March 10, 2009

Legalize or not?

Most of my thoughts are spurred from some piece which I read across the web. This time too, I read an article in The Economist, that suggests a law and the same it suggested 20 years before also.

The article talks about legalization of drugs, and urges the UN and the next assembly to take a step towards it. They say that if we are not able to curb the trafficking of drugs,then the next step should be taken such that they are legalized and will be available for purchase.

The argument in favor from their end being that drugs have been and are ruining lives of many are the following.

There is an associated black market for these drugs which also results in the impurities in the drugs, which can be in many cases much more harmful to the person who intakes the drugs. Here the suggest that when the drugs are legalized, then we can have checks on composition and then the sales to minors will also reduce. The impurities reduced would mean the intake of drugs and the money spend by addicts would significantly reduce.

Cracking the ring or network does not seem to a very good option, as then the land where the production takes place changes, but the ring remains intact far and wide. They claim to have even tried dumping chemicals on the areas where the cultivation takes place of opium and cannabis, without yielding much/any result. Cultivation of opium and cannabis used to be predominantly in Thailand and Turkey, and following the restrictions on growth, there was a shift seen towards Burma and Afghanistan. They have always aimed to grow it in areas where they have a strong communal acceptance, especially in hope of gaining money in return.

When there is such a great deal of sales in drugs, and also as a result the increase in the number of addicts, then they say that why not legalize and hence make money through taxes on these products? They also go on to elaborate that why not use the money gained from these taxes in setting up addiction support and hospital services for those in need.

How would you justify giving people the causal agent and then offering a solution? This would be seen in the same light as computer security companies, introducing insecurities into the system, and then coming up with a patch for it! Is this what the government supposed to do? With a computer we can replace it, if something goes complete hay wire, but here we are talking about abuse to the body, and killing oneself in many cases. They argue here that many drug takers, take only the amount required to make them in a happy state of mind, and they do not to lead to death. But, maybe this is because of the restricted amount which is available to them. If these drugs are to be offered in drug stores, are there chances that the number of deaths will increase?

They also claim that since no improvement has been seen after the last decade when a law against drugs was passed, we need to try to pass a different law and study the effect of the same.

Far too many questions, that too flying in all directions, and I do no think the solution is as simple as what they make it to be.


  1. Legalising sale of drug, would be dangerous. Since that would allow many to access for curiosity and end up in addiction.

  2. Sunder: Why is this any different from addiction to Alcohol?

  3. This sounds like creating of another vicious circle. TOo complicated for me to comment on an aideal solution.

  4. Poonam: Me didn't know either, but then was just wondering how bad can things get from now... I don't know!

  5. Addiction to alcohol- one can still live a life without affecting the surroundings too much. Meaning my colleague is a addict. he needs 5 pegs in the evening. he works in the day and drinks in the nite.

    But in case of addiction to drugs, they cant do any other thing, to my knowledge.


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