The Drug Problem This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When one thinks of solutions to the drug problem in this country, the standard list of recovery ideas are usually the same: more laws, more prisons, more counseling, etc. Yet the one solution which tends to go unmentioned in this country: legalization and regulation of narcotics.

Since the late 1930s, the federal government has attempted to crack down on the use of marijuana. As anyone who has attended high school can attest, drugs are a major aspect of social life. According to government figures, overall drug use (both among minors and adults) has risen in the past few years and shows strong signs of continuing to rise. As this trend continues, it becomes necessary to ask ourselves, what are we wasting our tax dollars on?

Decriminalizing drugs is the first step in reducing crime and government waste of tax dollars. Most drug-related crimes occur not under the influence of narcotics, but rather in the process of acquiring these substances. If drugs were legalized and regulated, not unlike alcohol or tobacco, addicts would not have to beg, steal or even kill to support their habit.

The entire drug war raises another important question: does the government have the right to continue their fight against narcotics? It seems reasonable that if a citizen of this country is an adult and has been living on this planet for the past twenty or so years, he or she is aware of the dangers of abusing drugs. Why is the government prosecuting adults who take this risk? More importantly, where in the constitution does it give the government the power to invade on a citizen's right of both privacy and personal choice? These questions have been ignored by the government over the past few decades and continue to be dismissed.

Keep in mind this is not an open endorsement for the use or sale of narcotics in any way. This is an endorsement of the Libertarian Party position. Libertarians believe in the strict enforcement of the Bill of Rights and a less overbearing federal government. Drug legalization is a major part of the Libertaarian platform and will continue to be until the federal government concedes that they have failed to control addiction through tough jail sentences and mandatory minimums for drug offenders.

Drug addicts are a part of this nation that cannot be locked away forever. In many cases, their addiction is a medical problem, not a criminal act. Let's end the war on casual users and allow counseling for those who really need it. During the 1920s and early '30s, the government attempted to control another drug: alcohol. Prohibition didn't work then, and it won't work today. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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