Why Have Some Countries Legalised Drugs

It turns out that legalizing drugs is not a public policy option that lends itself to simplistic or superficial debate. It requires the dissection and revision of an order that has been conspicuously absent, despite the constant attention it receives. Apart from the discussion of some very broadly defined proposals, there has been no detailed assessment of the operational importance of legalisation. There is not even a lexicon of universally accepted terms to allow for intellectually rigorous exchange. As a result, legalization means different things to different people. For example, some use legalization interchangeably with "decriminalization," which usually refers to the elimination of criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use. Others equate, at least implicitly, legalization with complete deregulation, without acknowledging the extent to which currently legally available drugs are subject to strict controls. While the alternative of legalization usually emerges when fear of drugs and public despair of existing policies are at their peak, it never seems to disappear from the media radar screen for long. Periodic incidents — such as the heroine-induced death of a wealthy young couple in New York City in 1995, or then-surgeon general Jocelyn Elders` remark in 1993 that legalization could be beneficial and should be investigated — guarantee this. The importance of many of those who have advocated for legalization at various times, such as William F. Buckley, Jr., Milton Friedman, and George Shultz, also helps. But every time the issue of legalization is raised, the same arguments for and against are dusted off and trampled on, so we don`t have a clearer understanding of what it might entail and what the implications might be.

Selling any amount (not buying) remains a criminal act. Possession of "more than a small amount" of marijuana can result in up to one year in jail. For other illicit drugs, the penalty can be up to two years. Trade and production (with the exception of the cultivation of five marijuana plants) will be punished more severely. [57] Opponents of more permissive regimes doubt that black market activity and related problems will disappear or decline sharply. However, to answer this question, it is still necessary to know the specificities of the regulatory system, in particular the conditions of supply. When drugs are sold openly on a commercial basis and prices are close to production and distribution costs, the potential for illegal undercutting seems rather slim. In a more restrictive regime, such as state-controlled outlets or medical prescription systems, illicit sources of supply would be more likely to persist or expand to meet legally unmet demand. In short, the desire to control access to containment consumption must be weighed against emerging black market opportunities.

Systems that risk a persistent black market require more questions – about how new black markets work over time, whether it is likely to be more benign than existing ones, and more generally whether the trade-off with other benefits is always worth it. The decriminalization of drugs is something of an intermediate product between prohibition and legalization and has been criticized by Peter Lilley as "the worst of both worlds,"[20] since the sale of drugs would still be illegal, perpetuating the problems associated with handing over the production and distribution of drugs to the criminal underworld. while not discouraging illicit drug use by removing criminal penalties that might otherwise cause some people to choose not to use them. Drugs. In 2012, the think tank Australia 21 published a report on the decriminalisation of drugs in Australia. [121] noted that "by defining the personal use and possession of certain psychoactive drugs as criminal acts, governments have also avoided responsibility for regulating and controlling the quality of substances that are widely used." [122] Prohibition has encouraged the development of a criminal industry that corrupts civil society and government and kills our children. [122] The report also highlights the fact that alcohol and tobacco are regulated for quality assurance, distribution, marketing and taxation, just as currently unregulated illicit drugs should be. [122] The legalization of drugs requires a return to the parameters of the pre-1906 Food and Pure Drugs Act, when almost all drugs were legal. This would require ending the government-imposed ban on the distribution or sale and personal use of some (or all) of the currently banned drugs. Proposed ideas range from full legalization, which would completely eliminate all forms of state control, to various forms of regulated legalization, where drugs would be legally available, but under a system of state control, which could mean, for example:[15] A genuine debate that recognizes the complexities and uncertainties inevitable associated with the notion of drug legalization, is long overdue. Not only would this deter people from making the kind of flippant, if not frivolous, claims – both for and against – that have permeated previous legalization debates, but it could also inspire a broader and equally critical assessment of current U.S. drug control programs and priorities.

Eight other states and Washington DC have since supported the legalization of recreational cannabis, and sanctions are being eased elsewhere. The drug is allowed to be used for medical reasons in 33 of the 50 states. Many political parties, to varying degrees and for various reasons, support the liberalization of drug control laws, from liberal parties to far-left movements, as well as some right-wing pragmatic intellectuals. Drug liberalization is fundamental to the platforms of most libertarian parties.