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Legalizing Drugs Essay

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Legalizing Drugs

Drug legalization is an enduring question that presently faces our scholars. This issue embraces two positions: drugs should not be legalized and drugs should be legalized. These two positions contain an array of angles that supports each issue. This brief of the issues enables one to consider the strengths and weakness of each argument, become aware of the grounds of disagreement and agreement and ultimately form an opinion based upon the positions stated within the articles. In the article “Against the Legalization of Drugs”, by James Q. Wilson, the current status of drugs is supported. Wilson believes if a drug such as heroin were legalized there would be no financial or medical reason to avoid heroin usage; therefore, anybody could afford it (367). Wilson stated that during 1960’s, British physicians were allowed to prescribe heroin to addicts until the number of addicts increased fivefold. He argued that cocaine is not a “victimless crime.” Addicts victimize children by neglect and spouses by not providing (370). Wilson upholds that illegality of drugs increases crime because users need to pay for their habit (372). He believes the benefit of illegal drugs is it forces patients who enter under legal compulsion to complete their treatment due to the pressure and drug-education programs in the schools (374). Wilson is convinced the difference between nicotine and cocaine is that while tobacco shortens one’s life, cocaine debase it and destroys the addicts humanity (375). Wilson’s argument is strong because he demonstrates his knowledge of the subject and supports it with many clear, scientific facts and historical examples of drug usage. He interprets facts differently by seeing “logical fallacy and factual error” (371) in what other perceive as being a true. He also acknowledges his opposition by addressing how the advocates of legalization respond to his position. Wilson recognizes that that he may be wrong about his conclusions of drug legalization. Yet he states if he is wrong, money will be saved, while if he is right, and the legalizers prevail, then millions of people, thousands of infants and hundreds of neighborhoods will live a life of disease (377-8). In the article “Drug Policy and the Intellectuals,” by William J. Bennentt, drug legalization was not supported. Bennett wants to address the “root causes” of drugs by means of...


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...ons of this issue provide were fully supported. I concluded that the anti-legalist hold a stronger argument than the legalist. Still, Drug legalization is an enduring question that presently faces our scholars.

Works Cited

Bennett, William J. “Drug Policy and the Intellectuals.” Drug Policy 1989-90, A Guide. Ed. Arnold S Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese. Rpt. In Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1996. 358-64.

Schmoke, Kurt, “A War for the Surgeon General, Not the Attorney General.” New Perspectives. Rpt. in Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1996. 379-84.

Tooley Michael, “ Our Current Drug Legalization: Grounds for Reconsideration,” Newsletter of the Center for Values and Social Policy, vol8, no. 1, Spring 1994. Rpt.in Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1996. 385-89.

Wilson, James Q, “Against the legalization of Drugs,” Commentary, Feburary 1990. Rpt.in Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1996. 365-78.


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