Why Are Some Drugs Illegal?

Why Are Some Drugs Illegal?The legal status of drugs has been a hot topic for quite some time, as many government acts and finances center on it. Although new laws have recently passed to legalize certain drugs, a long list of drugs are still illegal. The government chooses whether or not to legalize a substance based on many factors, most of which are to protect citizens from danger.

Why Drugs Become Illegal

The choice to legalize a drug has been a constant battle for decades. Some people cite the following reasons for legalizing certain drugs:

  • Criminal activity has not been substantially reduced with drug illegalization
  • Most illegal substances are no more harmful than legal substances, such as cigarettes and alcohol, so illegal substances should be treated the same as these other substances
  • Legalization would free up billions of government dollars that are currently being spent on police, court and correction facilities

However, opponents to drug legalization cite the following thoughts to maintain the status quo:

  • Legalization would increase the number of addicts, thus national crime rates would increase
  • Economic productivity would decrease and cause the economy to crumble
  • Although legalization would free up billions, it would also cause public-health costs to sky rocket, which may increase taxes

Although both sides present persuasive arguments, deciding what drugs to legalize keeps this war on drugs under constant scrutiny.

How Drugs Became Illegal

The government banned some drugs for any of the following reasons:

  • To keep people from dangerous risks
  • To protect people from harmful side effects
  • To curb the potential and/or risk of addiction

Certain drugs became illegal due to the risks associated with them. These risks can be anything from their harmful side effects, potential for overdose and or the possibility that the user may hurt someone else while under that drug’s influence. Additionally, certain narcotics, stimulants and depressants, when used in excess and/or incorrectly, can cause harmful side effects, including death, so these drugs were outlawed to protect people. Lastly, many of the regulated drugs have a high potential for addiction, so by monitoring these medications the government hopes to lower the numbers of drug addicts.

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