The Solution to the Immoral, Unwinnable War on Drugs Essay

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A new report indicates that the economic cost of lost productivity from drug-related incarcerations is considerably higher than the cost associated with drug use. The Prime Minister of your country is weighing the option of proposing new legislation which experiments with models of legal regulation of certain illicit drugs, including the decriminalization of marijuana possession. The proposed policy has received sharp criticism from members of the law enforcement, as well as groups of parents and other constituencies who believe that the government should pursue the goal of a “drug-free” society.

The solution to the immoral, unwinnable war on drugs

Key recommendations:

• All currently illegal drugs should be decriminalised.
• Up to a set quantity, possession of such substances would result in a misdemeanour charge. Education and rehabilitation would be offered as alternatives to prison.
• Drug traffickers and those concerned in the large-scale sale of drugs would be pursued more vigorously, with funds diverted from targeting small-scale drug users.

The issue:

Drugs are costing the United Kingdom's economy billions of pounds. The overall annual expenditure on the war on drugs in the UK is £4.72 billion, (Savage, 2008) with crimes relating to drugs costing the UK £13.3 billion every year. (Ellison & Baker, 2013) This is unmanageably high, particularly with concerted efforts currently being made to lower the UK's budget deficit of £121 billion a year.
The problem is urgent not only because of the economic cost of drug related incarcerations but also because of the proliferation of so called 'research chemicals'. These are often more dangerous than the drugs whose effects they mimic and have caused a spate...

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Full legalisation of drugs would be another alternative. The majority of the public would be against such a move, however, with justifiable suspicions that it could cause the usage rate of drugs to move much higher. This is particularly relevant in the UK, where the culture is one of a 'binging' mentality. This already presents numerous problems with alcohol, which could worsen if joined with other recreational substances that have low therapeutic index values.


Decriminalising all drugs has been shown to reduce harm for drug users, save monumental amounts of money, not significantly raise usage rates and has realistic, attainable goals. There is simply no other comprehensive option that makes as much sense - and no other alternative should this government genuinely want to make inroads into solving the problem drugs have on society.

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