Decriminalization Vs. Prohibition
|Title||Decriminalization Vs. Prohibition|
|# of Words||1151|
|# of Pages (250 words per page double spaced)||4.6|
Decriminalization vs. Prohibition
Decriminalization vs. Prohibition
The idea of Drug Prohibition made sense: lower the availability of drugs
by the use of law enforcement. Unfortunately, Drug Prohibition means heavy
costs while proving to be ineffective and counterproductive.
I was thirteen when I saw drugs for the first time. I was with some of
my friends that live down the road from me. They asked me if I wanted to get
high with them. At the time, I didn't know what getting high meant, so I asked
them. One of them pulled ut a long slender object, similar to a cigarette, but
twisted on either end. They told me it was something special. I was still
bewildered. They said "It's pot, you know, marijuana?" Immediately I said no.
I had seen several anti-dug commercials, all with the same motto, "Just Say No".
I felt so good about myself. I had done the right thing. I said no to my
friends, which is a very hard decision to make at that age. I was not going to
be one of those sad cases, where my life is wasted away. I was not going to be
a crazed addict, who would stop at nothing to get a hit. I was not going to be
dodging the law my whole life. I was going to be everything I wanted to be, and
drugs were definitely not going to get in the way. I promised myself I would
not end up like Jimi Hendrix, or Janis Joplin, both found dead after overdoses,
because I had the power to say no. I had read stories and seen news flashes
about the side effects of some drugs. I had read newspaper articles about
people in Rome, which is just a few minutes away, dying of heroin overdoses. I
had seen people on TV that were alive, but were not conscious of their
surroundings, because of drug use. Their lives were basically over. I had
listened to speakers preach that drugs were one of the Devil's tools. There was
no way I would even consider ever trying them, because once a person starts,
they can't stop.
It was a few years later that I heard the other side of the story. I
learned that not only were we losing the war on drugs, but that the war had been
corrupted. The government was wasting money on something without a cause, or
hope. It wasn't long after that when I tried marijuana for the first time. I
remember it well. I was with my sister, who was the only person that I couldn't
say no to. I took a hit. Within fifteen minutes, I felt the most exquisite
feeling I had ever experienced. I felt as though I was in a different world.
It was at this moment that I knew things would be different for me, but I was
still unsure about it, because I had heard of the dangers of drug use. I
decided to do a little research. I looked in health magazines, I looked in
Rolling Stone magazine, and I read some computer articles about the sixties. I
also casually talked to several people who had experience with drugs. It was
through this research that I found out some interesting facts.
First was the mere cost of the war on drugs. The federal government
spends billions of dollars a year on drug enforcement and billions more on drug-
related crimes and punishment. The estimated cost to the United States for this
war on drugs is $200 billion a year, or $770 per person, according to statistics
posted by CNN, and that does not include the money spent by state and local
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