Should drugs be legalized? Essay Example
In the United States, 31.9 million people are reported to be current users of illicit drugs1. These drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and others, have long been illegal in America. There has been a war on drugs for over 40 years to combat these illegal drugs. However, as time has passed, there has been debate over the illegality of many drugs. Some states have begun the movement of legalizing the recreational use of many drugs. Should all drugs be legalized in the United States?
In 1914, the United States of America passed the Harrison Narcotic Act, banning distribution of cocaine and opioids. This act marked the first of many banning narcotics within the United States. The 1970 Controlled Substances Act banned marijuana. In 1971, President Nixon announced the “War on Drugs” followed by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which gave mandatory prison sentences for use and possession of outlawed drugs. These drugs remained illegal nationwide until 2012, when Colorado and Washington first legalized the use of marijuana. In the year 2020, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession and consumption of all drugs.
In this debate, the opinion of the American people will be analyzed to discover what the population prefers. There are two major parties involved in this debate: those for legalization of all drugs and those against. There are several pros and cons that will be weighed for each side. This is important, as it can have influence on millions of Americans. Many states may follow Oregon’s example or not. It is essential, therefore, to know the desires of the people.