Should drugs be legalized? | The Tylt

Should drugs be legalized?

Nearly 2.1 million Americans are suffering from opioid addiction, and over 21 million suffer some form of drug abuse. Some criminal law reform advocates suggest drugs should be legalized and regulated to save lives. Supporters argue prohibition hurts more people than it saves, and creates an environment where crime flourishes. Critics say that criminalizing drugs has effectively kept people away from drugs. Most agree reform may be needed, but appear divided on legalization. What do you think?

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Here's an overview of arguments for and against drug legalization. 

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“The opposite was happening around me every day,” she said. “People were hitting rock bottom, and they were dying.”

Decriminalizing drugs and treating addiction as an illness and not a crime could save lives. But not everyone is so sure that’s the right path.

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Critics of legalization think that expanding the pool of drug users is a recipe for disaster. Criminalizing drugs has kept people from becoming users. It makes more sense to address the current issues than to create another mess. 

Post by Heidi Heilman.
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However, decriminalizing drugs brings drug use out of the shadows so that addicts can get the help they need. People are dying because they are using unregulated drugs in unsafe ways. People are obviously not going to stop using drugs. Instead, harm reduction methods will help save lives in the short term, and can help people get off of drugs entirely in the long term. 

Post by Jameson Bozsik.
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Drug abuse is a public health issue. Crime becomes a factor because of its prohibition—gangs would not be in control of the drug market if it were legalized. Portugal legalized drugs in 2001 to great success. 

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Critics argue while that strategy worked in Portugal, the United States is infinitely more complicated. It's not enough to change the laws, but cultural perspectives on addiction need to change. From The New Yorker

"... but what works in a small seaside nation in Southern Europe is not necessarily likely to work in a place that is larger, richer, and more heavily plagued by drug abuse."
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should drugs be legalized?
#LegalizeDrugs
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepDrugsBanned