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Legalizing marijuana is a concept that is growing in popularity. Proponents claim that it does society more harm than good to incarcerate people for a fairly harmless substance and is hypocritical for alcohol and tobacco to be legal because these substances are, too, physically addictive and deadly.
In addition to marijuana, others, such as Douglas Husak, want to decriminalize all drugs as he explains in Four Points about Drug Legalization, a philosophical commentary on the irrationality of the “war on drugs.” Of course the idea of legalization to some, such as James Wilson, suggests legitimizing the use of dangerous, mind-altering substances which would lead to the increase of addiction therefore crime and the decline of society. Wilson’s comments are based more in real-world terms rather than philosophical but both arguments are similar to the ones held in the medical, legal and philosophical arenas along with those by common citizens at the office, home and social settings. Husak favors decriminalization but not necessarily legalization. He believes users should not be punished for drug use just as alcohol possession was not illegal during the Prohibition era during the 1930’s. It’s a subtle yet important distinction in the national debate. Wilson contends the war on drugs is working. As an example, he points to the use of heroin, which has not increased since the drug war began in earnest during the early 1970’s. This is because it’s essentially the same - people are using it as back then. Young persons are afraid of getting caught and suffering through long prison terms in addition to not being able to afford the very expensive drug. ...
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