Should Certain Drugs Be Legalized?


The debate on drug legalization is intricate. The debate on whether certain drugs considered harmful to human health should be prohibited or not has always stirred controversies across the public domain. This is not peculiar to the United States. It happens across the world such as in Portugal where the government decriminalized all drugs, raising heated debates across the world (Aleem, 2015). Drug policy reform has also caused deep divisions between advocates of drug law reform on one side and law enforcement on the other. In the United States, most Americans are against the legalization. On the contrary, there are very outspoken and strong lobby that deem drug legalization as the proper course of action.

Main Body

There are two distinct schools of thought regarding the subject of legalization of drugs. One side is the class that believes that the existing drug policies are harmful to the society and families in general individuals in particular. This class strongly contests current drug policies and laws. They view the law as infringement of individual freedoms. They view the law as massive waste of resources alluding to the belief that legalization of drugs could easily fetch the government millions in tax collection (Branson, 2012).

Whereas I tend to agree with certain arguments projected by advocates of legalization, I equally disagree on the fundamentals that lead to these arguments. Some drugs that are largely abused include cannabis sativa. Medical cannabis has known positive influence on human health. It contains numerous chemicals with unknown health effects. To this extent, many states have embraced the legalization of cannabis. This does not negate the fact that cannabis alongside other illegal drugs known to have positive effects on human health are often abused to the detriment of human health (Boffey, 2014).

The prohibition of illegal drugs has proved to be an effective measure of regulating and controlling the abuse of drugs. The laws have a proven and success record of accomplishment for the suppression of illegal drugs since their introduction over a century ago. The legalized consumption of otherwise harmful drugs in some states that undertook to legalize has current consumption of between 80 and 90 percent among young adults of over 14 years (Simon, 2016). This includes the smoking of cannabis whose effect is known to cause hallucinations on the users. Legal tobacco has a historical record of between 60% and 65% consumption among adults yet the consumption rate using illegal drugs in OECD nations is lower than 1 % except cannabis where the rates are between 3.5% and 10.5%. Only six countries have a record of between 12% and 18% (Mann, 2014).

During the half century after the 1912 international caucus that restricted the use of opium, cocaine, and heroin, the US consumption of illegal drugs apart from cannabis was constantly below 0.6% of the population (Harnett, n.d.). The beginning of counter-culture movement in the 1950s promoting the use of drugs as mind-broadening and comparatively harmless saw the sharp increase in drug consumption. When illicit drug consumption hit the roof in the 1970s, the campaigns championed by Nancy Reagan saw the reduction of illegal drugs reduce from 14% in 1979 to 5.7% in 1992. The introduction of drug control policies in various countries and states has seen the consumption rate reduce by as high as 60%, demonstrating the effectiveness of drug control policies.


The legalization of illicit drugs is not an effective drug-control policy. Historically, it has resulted in rampant use of harmful drugs such as opium and heroin. Legalization would lead to amplified use. It would result in more experimentation by young people and aggravate the already harmful effects illegal drugs have on the society.


Aleem, Z. (2015). 14 years after decriminalizing all drugs, here’s what Portugal looks like. Web.

Boffey, P. M. (2014). What Science Says About Marijuana. Web.

Branson, R. (2012). War on drugs a trillion-dollar failure. Web.

Harnett, E. (n.d). Drug legalization: Why it wouldn’t work in the United States. Web.

Mann, J. (2014). British drugs survey 2014: Drug use is rising in the UK – but we’re not addicted. Web.

Simon, M. (2016). Vermont marijuana regulation bill advances in Senate. Web.