Positive and negative effects of legalizing drugs on the United States economy

The perennial problem of drug abuse has always been a controversial one since questions arise whether a sovereign entity is justified in attempting to curtail personal choice in the question of whether to engage in drugs or not.

Opponents of drug use argue that a state has an obligation to protect its people against destruction even though the means to such an end is voluntary since it is generally accepted in accordance to the natural laws that all people have a right to life.

Proponents of drug legalization have been quick to point out that human will, cannot be suppressed and it is economically futile to attempt to do so and hence it would be in the states interest to allow those in favor of such a course to indulge without interference. However, there are several moral, health and religious factors that have hindered those in power to actually consider legalizing illegal drug use since such recourse would raise fundamental ethical issues regarding their leadership as directed by the constitution.

Reasons for legalizing drug use

There are several reasons that have led some to clamor for the legalization of drug use. Firstly there are those who feel that the question of drug use is essentially related to personal freedom and that essentially competent adults should be left to decide for themselves if they wanted to engage in self destruction or not. It is not surprising then that some have argued that by the very nature of the state restricting drug use and in addition prosecuting users, the state is contravening the very constitution created to be its guide.

Secondly, the United Sates uses a lot of tax payer’s money in their fight against drug use. Enforcement agencies are forced to recruit more personnel in their mandate to find drug traffickers and drug users. These law enforcers need to be remunerated when in active service and in addition are entitled to several benefits during their active service and in their retirement.

This tends to make the federal and state government to divert huge funds towards operations of these enforcers and in the wages of their personnel. This in turn leads to shortages in funds which could have been channeled to other development agendas.

The economical cost of combating  drug abuse does not end with the police but goes on to necessitate more expenses to be provided for the prosecution of these individuals and also to cater for those charged with the duty of deciding the fate of these supposedly law breakers.

As drug consumption increases it leads to a need to hire more prosecution personnel and to avoid a backlog of cases more magistrates are hired to listen and pass sentences. This increases a burden to the tax payers and questions arise as to whether people should essentially pay for the negative choices of competent individuals. Furthermore, most people in American correctional facilities have been put there for drug related offences.

The cost of maintaining a prisoner is quite high and it is therefore economically realistic to legalize drugs as a way of reducing expenses and therefore use it as a tool of lessening the budget deficits and to provide more funds to important sectors in the economy (Goode, 97-150).

The fight against drug abuse has put America at a collision course with several countries perceived to be supplying drugs to the United Sates. Legalizing drugs would end this hostility improving bilateral relations with those countries and expanding markets for American products and allow investors to work easily in those countries (Friedman, 2009).

In addition legalizing drugs would allow for the investment of several billions of drug money in other businesses to help expand the economy, provide employment and reduce other crimes.

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