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Drug Legalization

Although it is apparent that America's drug plague is reaching epidemic proportions, costing US taxpayers an estimated 20 billion dollars in a year, the legalization of drugs cannot be economically justified.Despite pro-legalization arguments, the estimated economic benefit that would be derived from the legalization of drugs would not compare to the enormous social-economic costs that would result.
The main assumption that is made concerning the legalization of drugs is that taxes on drugs could raise large amounts of revenue.First, this assumption is simply untrue if compared to the tax revenues collected on alcohol, a legal drug.The total tax revenue from the sale of alcohol is $13.1 billion a year while alcohol extracts over $100 billion a year in social costs. (Magginnis, 2001)This assumption also does not take into consideration that legalization would perpetuate the criminal black market.Government regulations on drug sales would open the doors to cheaper, more potent drugs being offered to under-aged users who could not obtain the legal version.This criminal sale of drugs would continue the need to spend money funding additional law enforcement and judicial personnel.
The legalization of drugs would also help bring in many new drug users.It has already been proven that drug use and abuse is reduced by drug prohibition.Demand is less when the drug is illegal.The use of heroin and cocaine, two popular illegal drugs, usually begins in social situations.The likelihood of an initial user obtaining the drug from a drug dealer is slim.In one study it was found that almost 90 percent of the initial use of cocaine took place at a party or other informal social event.About 70 percent of new users obtained it from friends or relatives.Only 5 percent of the new users obtained it from dealers. (Edgmand, Moomaw, Olson, 2001)Thus a vicious circle emerges; society's increased social interaction wi…

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