The increase in the drug cases during the years has lead several propositions from various individuals, one of which is the legalization of drugs. Since the widespread use of illegal drugs has eventually persisted throughout the expanse of time, and with the failure to contain the issue of illegal drug use, one suggested solution is to amend the law by legalizing the use of drugs or by putting it finally under the control and mandate of the law.
However, the judicial system has had to cope with the situation. The need to reexamine the existing methods of managing and handling these drug cases proportionally rose with the persistence of illegal drugs amidst existing legal sanctions. This had led to the processing of drug cases not only in court but even outside the court. This is to cope with the great number of drug offenders of varying levels getting apprehended everyday.
There were several judicial strategies conceived in order to deal with the massive amount of drug cases. These judicial strategies include the creation of specialized divisions of a drug court in some trial courts, sped-up case processing procedures, deferred prosecution programs requiring court-supervised treatment and counseling and more. There are also combinations of these strategies, all to speed-up the processing of these cases. These cases are screened beforehand in order to know what degree and what level of judicial supervisions would be applicable for the case. This is also essential for early treatment intervention and rehabilitation of the offenders, so as to stop the continued drug abuse and the likelihood of crimes.
On the other hand, arguments for the legalization of drugs are constantly being hurled forward in order to finally resolve the existing contentions against the ill-effects of drugs as well as for the perceived benefits both the government and the individuals can actually obtain from legalizing these substances.
Arguments for the legalization of drugs
One of the most common drugs in the society today is Marijuana. It is known scientifically as the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, where the leaves are being dried up, rolled into sheets of paper and be smoked just like cigarette or tobacco. It is the most often used illegal drug in the world, known in various names all over, like “pot,” “herb,” and “Mary Jane.” Some users can make use of marijuana by mixing it into food substances or drink it by brewing it with tea. The addictive element of marijuana is its Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC content. The effect of marijuana would depend on how strong or how potent is its Tetrahydrocannabinol content, thus also giving various effects on the marijuana users (Dell and Snyder 630).
One of the reasons for finally legalizing drugs, especially marijuana, is founded on the historical context of the “illegal” substance. In America, for instance, those who lived in the area of Jamestown back in 1611 raised marijuana under the order of King James I for the purpose of crafting rope for the naval force of the British. The “herb”, as it has been called, also served as a medicinal substance specifically for George Washington who planted marijuana within the premises of Mount Vernon and that the plant was categorized as a prescription medicine until 1937 (Smith 101).
Marijuana also has positive sides which can be used as an argument for its eventual legalization. One of the beneficial effects of the use of marijuana rests on its utility for the control of symptoms, especially in chemotherapy procedures, as an “effective antiemetic” among patients with health profiles such as cancer and “AIDS patients with wasting syndrome” which led to “a greater ability to cope emotionally with disabling or life-threatening illness (Gorman 23).
Moreover, under the rule of Emperor Chen Nung of ancient China five centuries ago, marijuana has been declared as well as a plant that has medicinal value in terms of curing malaria, rheumatism, constipation, “absentmindedness” as well as the claims for mental and bodily disorders suffered by women (Grinspoon and Bakalar 3).
There is also the contention for the prospect of establishing a regulated drug market which can be a profitable source of government tax. This idea illustrates the observation that the widespread use of illegal drugs and its potential to be a market commodity can overcome the legal restrictions ascribed unto it. A controlled degree of the regulation of marijuana, for example, creates, instead, an increase in government revenues that may outweigh or, at least, come close to the actual government payments on law enforcement against the production, distribution and consumption of marijuana (Caputo and Ostrom 475).
Drug Abuse is one of the most common criminal cases in the society today. It is a form of substance abuse, just like alcoholism, since these illicit drugs are actually addictive in nature. Because of this, many people who are hooked on drugs cannot easily let go of the addiction, and would often lead to drug-related crimes like robbery, physical assault, or even murder. Not only does these drugs dangerous to others, but it is also harmful in the drug users’ body, causing the body to take into negative turns, like deterioration and organ failures.
When a person smokes or inhales marijuana smoke, he would usually feel rapid heart beats, loss of coordination and decreased sense of balance, slow reaction rate and a dry mouth. These are already signs of marijuana intoxication, along with the expansion of blood vessels in the eye, that’s why marijuana users usually have red eyes. The effects of marijuana would usually last two to three hours, where the marijuana user would usually tend to be sleepy. The negative effects of using marijuana would be hindering the user’s short term memory, wherein it would be difficult for him to remember recent events. This would usually lead to car crashes and other accidents, since their sense of coordination is greatly affected.
Another dangerous drug would be cocaine. This drug’s effect on the body is really damaging, where addiction to cocaine could bring about permanent damages in one’s body or even death. Cocaine has both short term and long term effects. The short term effects are immediately noticeable, but not that damaging as compared to the long term ones. The common short term effects are a feeling of boosted energy, a decrease in a person’s appetite, and a rather hyped heart rate and blood pressure.
There are still many other types of illegal drugs and similar forms of substances that create ill-effects to the overall health of individuals, oftentimes resulting for them to commit crimes that they could not have possibly committed had they not taken these illegal substances.
Although several illegal substances can actually bring forth benefits for individuals, the negative consequences outweigh these positive sides. Further, not all of these substances have positive effects when used, and that the negative consequences of illegal drug use oftentimes lead to crimes and violence. For these reasons along with the refutations against the legalization of drugs, it can be asserted that the legalization of drugs should not be taken as the ultimate measure for solving illegal drug issues. Rather, the reasons behind the legalization of drugs should be taken as a means in finding the deeper refutations against it.
Caputo, M. R., and B. J. Ostrom. “Potential Tax Revenue from a Regulated Marijuana Market: A Meaningful Revenue Source.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 53.4 (1994): 475-90.
Cocaine-Effects.com. “Cocaine Effects.” 2001.
Dell, D. D., and J. A. Snyder. “Marijuana: Pro and Con.” The American Journal of Nursing 77.4 (1977): 630.
Gorman, M. “Substance Abuse.” The American Journal of Nursing 97.11 (1997): 23.
Grinspoon, L., and J. B. Bakalar. “The History of Cannabis.” Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine. London: Yale University Press, 1997. 3.
Smith, G. R. W. “Possession of Marijuana in San Mateo County: Some Social Costs of Criminalization.” Stanford Law Review 22.1 (1969): 101.
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