Example research essay topic: Societal Benefits Of Legalizing The Use Of Drugs – 1,039 words

I have always been told to fight the fight that I
can win. I was taught to pray for the strength to
change the things I can and for the strength to
live with the things I cannot. As I look at the
United States today, I see America fighting a
fight it cannot win and not attempting to gain the
strength needed to live with the things it cannot
change. In 1981, America declared war on drugs.
Since then, billions of dollars have been spent in
an unsuccessful attempt to banish drugs from its
borders. Illegal drugs are more available now than
they have ever been. Common sense would make one
believe that if you are continually eaten by the
sharks in the moat while trying to get into the
castle, then perhaps one should look for an
alternative route into the castle or make friends
with the sharks.

I do not deny that the use of
illegal drugs has an adverse affect on the user
nor do I condone the use of them, but many of the
wide range of negative results thought to be
occurring from drug use can in all actuality be
attributed to the current legal treatment of drugs
brought on by prohibition. John Lawn, former
director of the US Drug Enforcement Administration
upon addressing a Senate Committee investigating
drug legalization said, drugs are not bad because
they are illegal, they are illegal because they
are bad. If this is a sound argument, then the
question is why arent cigarettes and alcohol that
are medically proven to be harmful, illegal? The
answer of course is because prohibition doesnt
work. America is not learning from her mistakes.
On January 16, 1920 prohibition of alcohol was put
into effect. Though it seemed like a good idea at
the time, nothing could have been more detrimental
to control the use of alcohol. The chief
beneficiary of prohibition was not that of the
welfare of the American people, rather it was
organized crime.

Organized crime was producing and
distributing the black market alcohol and because
of the low volume and high demand, they made a
fortune off of it. Because the alcohol business
was so lucrative, there was fierce competition
between the various crime families that led to
bribery of public officials, smuggling, dangerous
and often lethal altering of the alcohol and of
course murder. In 1933 the 21st Amendment was
passed repealing prohibition. The timing was truly
unfortunate in that the United States was now in
the Great Depression and the only people with
enough money to bolster American businesses were
the mobster and the crime families. They were able
to buy into so many companies that many of them
are still there today. America is now facing many
of the same problems she had during the 1920s.

The
idea now is to eradicate illegal drugs instead of
alcohol from the United States. The theory behind
prohibition is two-fold. The first is the hope
that by making drugs illegal, it might reduce the
demand if some consumers exhibit respect for the
law. However this idea does not work to well
because many people tend to disregard laws that
are weakly enforced. This is evident in the
knowledge that more than 1 million arrests are
recorded each year for possession of drugs, and
there are more than 20 million drug users. Thus,
the number of arrests divided by the number of
drug purchases, suggests a very low probability of
being arrested for purchase or possession.
Moreover, many of the arrests for possession occur
because the arrestee violated some other law such
as theft or speeding.

The second idea is to deter
use by actually punishing the purchase or
possession, by enforcing strict penalties, fines
and/or prison time. As Boaz states in his essay,
from 1981 to 1990 the prison population went from
344,283 to 755,425 with an ever increasing number
of prisoners in jail for nonviolent drug law
violations. That idea is apparently not working
the way it should be. If prohibition worked, it
would be a great tool to use to better our
society. Unfortunately, prohibition does not work
and has instead turned the high demand for illegal
drugs into a very lucrative business for those
willing to take the risks. The profit made by the
drug smugglers, the drug traffickers and the drug
producers greatly out weighs the risk of getting
caught or even the punishment when caught.

I do
not think the people that are caught in possession
or even incarcerated for use or the selling of
illegal drugs have been released or pardoned
because they promise not to do it again. The
profit is too high and greed is too powerful. If
all drugs were legalized, then the American drug
companies that make huge profits on allergy
medicine would now be making grand profits on
recreational drugs. If someone is going to be
making fortunes off the drugs whether they are
legalized or not, then it should at least be the
American businessman instead of the South American
drug dealers, runners and manufacturers. The first
problem with the prohibition of illegal drugs is
the desire it creates for something that is
forbidden. At home, any time I tell my two year
old no, dont touch that or no, that will hurt you
she is automatically inspired to devise a plan of
action to get a hold of the illicit item as soon
as I leave the room.

From the beginning, when Adam
was drawn to the forbidden fruit, we learn that it
is just human nature, to want what we cannot or
should not have to some. The desire for something
prohibited varies in all of us, but the desire is
not the real problem. The problem lies in
controlling degree in which we will allow
ourselves to be controlled by our desires. For
Adam it was and apple, for my daughter it is all
things shiny and sharp, and unfortunately for some
young people it is their first taste of freedom
when they are given opportunities to make their
own decisions and that can alone be quite
intoxicating. Even though what they seek is
different, it is all the same for my daughter,
teenagers and young adults. They cannot comprehend
the long ….

Research essay sample on Societal Benefits Of Legalizing The Use Of Drugs