Decriminalisation, legalisation and drugs

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|Decriminalisation, Legalisation and Drugs |
|It is clear that most South American countries believe that the war on drugs has failed and that drugs should|
|now be decriminalized. To what extent do you agree withthat statement? |

|11/12/2009 |

Most of the South American countries believe that the war on drugs has failed and that drugs should now be decriminalized. Indeed, after years and billions spent solving the drug problem, criminality is still increasing. Most ofthe people strongly believe that the decriminalisation of drugs will benefits for the overall society and that it is a first step to eliminate criminality. In the first part, we will explain why drugs should be decriminalised. In the second part, we will show why decriminalisation is not enough and that drugs have to be legalised.

Cartels are due to criminalisation which is encouraged by drugs.Indeed, a large criminal market such as terrorism, gun-running, prostitution and trafficking has been developed, using corruption, violence and targeting children becoming addicted to make huge profits (Llyod, 2009). Crimes destabilise society; for instance more than a third of Mexican residents have thought to leave the city because of the increasing presence of cartels (Upi, 2008). Consequently,the government tried to eliminate criminalisation by entering in a war against drugs. However, Lloyd (2009) points out that this “war on drugs” has failed. Truly, it is expensive, counterproductive and harmful as problems due to drugs have not been eradicated. For instance, an operation held in East Anglian city in order to decrease the criminality rate has been unsuccessful. Many dealers havebeen arrested and a large volume of drugs seized but few days later, other dealers were back on the drug market. Indeed, the underground market is booming and very profitable for criminals as it represents £6 billion revenues a year (Lloyd, 2009). In other words, they owe their existence to this large illicit market. Thus, the war on drugs had no effect on criminalisation and has been considered bya majority of people as pointless. Therefore, another way to reduce the criminality due to the drug black market has to be found.

Most scientists think that prohibition drives crime and increases the attraction of people to take drugs. Karam (cited in Carroll et al., 2009) welcomed the move towards decriminalisation as a solution. For instance, in the Netherlands, the decriminalisation of harddrugs has allowed people to be treated as patient rather than criminals in order to help them in their addiction to drugs. Thus, person with small quantities of drugs should not be penalised and sent to prison but treated as a victim. Furthermore, it is useless to fill prisons with addicted people who do not represent a real threat for the society. It represents an additional cost for governmentand drugs problems are not resolved. Moreover, in a democratic system everyone should be free to make their own decision regarding their lifestyle (Carroll et al., 2009). Grayling (2002) emphasises the fact that a good society is permissive, giving the freedom to people to experiment by their own rather than presuming what is good or not for them. With this mind, we could suggest thatdecriminalisation could lead to a better society, resolving part of the drugs problem. Moreover, it has already shown benefits. For example, in Portugal it has unblocked overcrowded prisons and shown a positive impact on social integration (Llyods, 2009). All in all, it is a cost saving for the government and an improvement for the society. Regarding Transform, the drug policy think-tank, £14 billion could...
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