There are so many reasons for decriminalising drug use, the most pertinent relating to public health.
Firstly, decriminalising recreational drugs enables accessible education around their benefits and risks. By removing surrounding stigma, individuals can feel comfortable receiving judgment-free support & medical advice.
Plus, there are countless national case studies of its positive, longitudinal impact, for instance, within Portugal (2001) and Uruguay (2013), emphasising how decriminalisation does not increase addiction levels, instead, reducing them whilst saving taxpayer money by decreasing prisoner numbers. Additionally, its effect of reducing the drug trafficking market minimises the number of people whose lives are exploited in the process.
Besides, its effect of reducing the influence of criminal drug industries surrounding users would enable individuals to come to their own conclusions. Yes, drugs can still have an impact on those surrounding users, but at least the user would be in a better place to access support and/or rehabilitation if desired. And yes, drugs kill, but people who want to consume drugs will do so regardless of their legality. Surely it’s better to regulate than prohibit, then.
Naturally, though, it’s important to remember that this post is biased in favour of decriminalisation. It’s a blog, after all. I’m not going to try and convince people to support drug prohibition when I don’t personally believe in it. And this is hardly scientific or complete, it’s just my personal opinion. So, it’s important to research both sides of the argument with a range of credible sources before solidifying your opinion. Shun the Sun in your research, too!
Historically, the prohibition of drugs through possession charges and zero-tolerance policy have failed to curb consumption, instead, encouraging a criminogenic society by devastating user lives inside the criminal justice system and beyond. Considering the potential economic, social and physical health benefits of decriminalisation in Portugal and Uruguay, why not try elsewhere?
Further Resources: - The National Institute on Drug Abuse - Frank