Drug Use is a Problem
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Back in the 1960s and 1970s, drugs were popular, if not encouraged. That was a day and age where it was still cool to smoke cigarettes and some doctors were still encouraging smoking cigarettes because it was good for one’s health. It seems like there wasn’t a care in the world. Images of Woodstock still float around in many of our heads today. However, drug use is viewed much differently today than it was back then.
Today, drug use causes all sorts of problems. As the population has grown over the years, so has drug use as well as the increased number of negative incidents associated with its use. So, how do we curtail drug use? More so, what is causing drug use to be ever present in today’s society? While we have laws in place as well as police officers to help enforce that law, people who are now addicted to drugs are finding a multitude of ways around the law so that they can go on their drug binges.
Some would argue that marijuana is the gateway drug that leads to other drug use. In places like California, marijuana has been legalized for specific groups of people with medical problems. As it turns out, marijuana is said to have medicinal qualities that help to alleviate pain and discomfort for people or patients who are suffering from major medical maladies. But is it still being abused? Yes. I remember (vividly) hearing stories being told in the open about how person X was growing marijuana in their backyard. Police officers are constantly confiscating marijuana from teenagers and older adults who should know better. The fear with those who use drugs is the unintended consequences that it will have on others around them who are doing nothing wrong.
This brings up the controversial question, “If drug use didn’t cause harm to others, would it then be OK to legalize it everywhere?” Economist, Milton Friedman was a strong advocate of legalizing drug use because he reasoned that the reason we have such high crime rates is due to the very fact that drugs are illegal in the first place. He went on further to state that by decriminalizing drugs, it would in essence make things better because drug lords wouldn’t be able to sell drugs at higher rates because suddenly supply would go up. The reason that crime is high is because people who use drugs go to extremes to avoid the police as well as to get the best bargains they can for some drugs that are costly.
The fact of the matter is that drugs aren’t going away anytime soon. Sooner or later, something will have to be done to get a better handle of the drug situation. Perhaps decriminalizing drugs is the answer; perhaps it is not. Keep in mind the fact that each day someone is born into a life of drugs and crime while someone else is dying because of it. The facts are sobering enough to warrant some sort of change.