Point Counter Point: Should all drugs be legal?

Kelly Wynne, Editor-In-Chief


When talking about the legalization of all drugs it’s important to note that roughly 10 percent of American’s are in favor of the idea. I am one of the 90 percent who believes legalizing hard drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine (meth) is a bad idea.

I understand it may be seen as an infringement on the idea of “freedom” to keep these substances illegal. In my opinion, it is the responsibility of the government to act on what will keep the majority of the population safe. Keeping these drugs illegal limits accessibility and reduces the glamorization of everyday substance use.

I am in no way arguing that by keeping the drugs illegal, they are being used less. I understand it is impossible to erase all traces of heroin, cocaine and meth from the streets. I believe that by keeping these drugs illegal, fewer people  are likely to use and abuse their presence. As a 20-year-old in the suburbs, I wouldn’t know the first place to look for any one of these substances. If the general population were granted access, even in limited and overseen quantities, it would normalize the idea and encourage recreational use.

The idea of using substances such as these in guided, medically-induced practice is centered mainly on the idea of measured quantities and supervised highs. It is argued that in low doses, none of the drugs can become physically addictive. Still, by fostering an environment of safety and comfort while experiencing life-altering highs, a large amount of those using each drug facility will feel inclined to return, or even experience the highs in more powerful doses, encouraging the unsolicited sale of drugs to continue behind the backs of the drug-friendly government.

Supervised highs may be beneficial to some extent, but what’s the point? Yes, these drugs have been used as medical aid, but have long been out ruled from the medical practice and replaced with safer options. If the benefit isn’t medical, it is purely recreational, which makes me wonder: who thinks making any of these drugs a recreational norm is a good idea?

Sadly, I have witnessed peers give up parts of themselves to addictions, including, but not limited to, heroin, meth and cocaine. What many don’t understand is while physical addiction exists, mental addiction is just as big of a factor. There is no way to properly test an individual for how a drug will mentally impact him or her. This truly depends on the person, but it can change based on moods and life events. No person’s mental state is the same every day of their lives, and each individual will have moments in which they are more susceptible to addiction.

I believe that, for the good of the larger population, it is important to keep these drugs illegal, mostly to keep their image tagged as hazardous. Think of it like cigarettes; we all know they’re bad for you, but because the access is easy and some of your cool friends do it, they tend to seem glamorous. Admit it, if you’ve never smoked, you’ve thought about it once or twice. If you weren’t embarrassed to buy them, and there was somewhere you could go to smoke them, advertised to be “safe,” you’d probably try it. You might even think it’d benefit you since the government is saying it’s okay.

The only reason for government oversight on these hard substances is for tax and economical purposes. Still, the legalization will never completely stop the illegal drug scene. People will always be looking for the next best thing: the higher high. Legalizing cocaine, heroin and meth would only lead the general public to believe that some of the most addictive are nowhere near the worst.