Existing drug laws discourage abuse
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 21:10
Loosening the hold on drug control gives users the ability to abuse substances without the repercussions of government action. Without a firm grip on substance control, we are waving the right for drug enthusiasts to continue their dangerous abuse.
It’s the way the system works. Drug users already take advantage of every aspect of the law. One minute they’re asking for medicinal marijuana, claiming it heals the body, the next day they’re arguing that psychedelic mushrooms will cure headaches. The cycle never ends until all drugs are legalized.
Everything that can be cured or treated with medicinal marijuana, such as relief for ailments like Alzheimer’s and arthritis, has a prescription drug equivalent. Although they may not be as strong as smoking a joint, it still offers a resource to use instead of an illicit drug. These illegal options don’t make up for the fact that most banned drugs have a strong impact on the mind, whether it is hallucinogens, depressants or accelerants. There is no reason to make something legal if there are comparable drugs to compensate.
The problem resides in self control. An addicted drug user knows no limit to when they should stop. Give them the option to obtain it legally and there is no hope to scare it out of them. In court, it will be harder to prove that they are abusing the substance, thus less worry for jail time or rehabilitation. That means more drugs will be circulated in the system.
People addicted to drugs will find any loophole in the system that will grant them a legal way to acquire their needs. In California, 11.3 percent of the population, 4.1 million people, total the prescription and non-medical marijuana users in the state, according to a survey from the State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Health. Ironically, California was the first state to legalize the substance, and therefore that is why there are medicinal marijuana clinics in areas where many pot smokers are known to be. There’s also the fact that people make doctor’s appointments to fake a need for Valium or other pills.
The control in the system is already lost with the physician’s power to provide medicine. Doctors hand out prescriptions knowing that once they’re in the hands of someone, all control is gone. There will always be a fraction of the population that abides by the labels on the bottle, just like there are going to be those who abuse the substance. The more drugs we allow, the more likely we’ll see the use of it go up.
Legalization of drugs would reduce prices and increase the desire to use, according to a report from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution for research and analysis. Keeping the same drug laws we’ve had in the past will maintain high prices and difficulty of finding the substance, which turns people away from using it in the first place. As soon as the prices go down, the ability of finding a drug will go up.
Take a look at the legalization of Oxycontin for prescription use. In 1995 it was legalized and in 2008 the number of new nonmedical users of Oxycontin aged 12 or older was approximately half a million, according to a 2008 survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
We need to focus on perfecting the medicine we have, rather than letting illegal drugs open up for market in the United States.
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