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Douglas N. Husak's A Moral Right to Use Drugs Essay

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Douglas N. Husak's A Moral Right to Use Drugs


In Douglas N. Husak’s A Moral Right to Use Drugs he attempts to look at drug use from an impartial standpoint in order to determine what is the best legal status for currently illegal drugs. Husak first describes the current legal situation concerning drugs in America, citing figures that show how drug crimes now make up a large percentage of crimes in our country. Husak explains the disruption which this causes within the judicial system and it is made clear that he is not content with the current way drugs are treated. The figures that Husak offers up, such as the fact that up to one third of all felony charges involve drugs, are startling, but more evidence is needed than the fact that a law is frequently broken to justify it’s repeal.

Husak attempts to discuss drug use legality aside in order to prove his argument. He looks at drug use in a three fold manner exploring; the reasons Americans use drugs, the justifications behind the war on drugs, and a discussion on which drugs, if any, should be affected by the law.

In understanding Husak’s beliefs on the reasons for drug use it is first important to look at his definition for recreational use verses drug abuse. Husak defines recreational use as either consumption for enhancement of an experience, such as at a concert, or for alleviation from boredom, like while doing household chores. Husak admits that there are gray areas between this recreational approach and the universally reviled drug abuse. However, Husak is right in saying that drug use that occurs in the ghetto is not recreational, and goes on to explain that rich white people are even more likely to use certain drugs, notably ...


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...enough time explaining the benefits of legalization. I agree with his assertion that the burden of proof should lie on the heads of those limiting our freedoms and therefore I personally am not bothered by his attack strategy, but in the grand scheme of trying to further his cause Husak would be served well by discussing the issue in terms of why legalization would help our society.

I respect this piece a lot and what I would really like to see is some of Husak’s ideas form implementation, such as educational programs. This article does a lot to tear down the old beliefs that are hurting our society, which is an important first step. Yet, those of us who favor change must remember that removing old views does not bring freedom, it leaves a gap. Freedom is attained when we replace that gap with a morally and legally sound new set of ideals and rules.


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