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Legalizing drugs - Essay Example

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Jeffery Miron, an economist, claims that ‘over the past few years, drug violence in Mexico has become a fixture of the daily news, in which thousands have lost their lives to this ‘’war on drugs’’’…
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Legalizing drugs
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Legalizing drugs

‘This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead’ (Miron, 2009). This led Miron to controversially conclude ‘the only way to reduce violence is to legalize drugs’. I aim to discuss arguments supporting the controlled legalization drugs. ‘The legalization of drugs would massively reduce organized crime’ (Micklethwart, 1994). Legalization wouldn’t mean the existing ‘evil drug pushers’ controlling the market. Instead, official legal businesses (e.g. cigarette companies) would take control of the drug industry. ‘The number of drug related murders would fall because turf battles would be settled by law instead of gun fire and corruption/blackmail/bribes by drug dealers to judges, government officials and the police, etc would diminish’ (Micklethwart, 1994). Cussen and Block (2000) also claim that the price of drugs could fall if they are made legal due to increased competition amongst drug companies, which could reduce theft, and murder rates among addicts in order to get their next ‘fix’ because they wouldn’t need as much money to afford them. The increased availability of drugs could therefore decrease drug-related crime. Drug revenues of cartels (often international organisations which support terrorism and add to violent crime) could also diminish due to drug revenues being increasingly distributed by free-market forces (Cussen and Block, 2000). On the whole, crime figures would reduce dramatically as formerly illegal activities become ‘socially approved business transactions (Cussen and Block, 2000: 528). ...
However, when prohibition ended, alcohol related crime decreased. The same scenario could happen if drugs were legalized too. The legalization of drugs could also stop the ‘potency effect’, which is best summarized with the example of prohibition. During this time, the sellers would sell alcohol with higher alcoholic concentrations (higher potency) because ‘hard liquors’ had greater value (per unit of volume) (Cussen and Block, 2000). This resulted in people drinking alcohol with higher concentrations such as vodka, which, when drunk excessively is more dangerous than beer and wine. The same ‘potency effect’ can also be applied to today’s drug trade, in which dealers carry more potent drugs (which are also the most dangerous to consume, e.g. cocaine) due to their greater monetary value. I believe the ‘potent effect’ of drugs could be reduced is they were legalized. A legalized drug trade could also save taxpayers money. For example, in the UK, drug related crime costs the state department ?16 billion a year. Easton (2009) estimated that a regulated drug market for cocaine and heroin would see ?7 billion worth of savings due to savings in the cost of drug crime. ‘Jails are also often overcrowded and large amounts of tax payers dollars are being spent on enforcement efforts that only aggravate the problem’ (Cussen and Block, 2000: 532). Legalizing drugs could therefore cut the costs, not only of the consequences of addicts’ habits, but also for tax payers. Legalizing drugs would also mean that they could be taxed like alcohol and cigarettes, which would provide the state with a new substantial form of revenue which could outweigh related expenditure / costs, occurred onto ... Read More
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