According to the Centre of Disease Control, every year the U.S. experiences 40,000 drug-related deaths, with almost 75% being unintentional. Meanwhile, cigarettes kill almost half a million U.S. citizens, yet are legal. Because of this, Gawker's Hamilton Nolan argues that all drugs should be legalized and regulated.
Drug abuse, like alcohol or tobacco abuse, is bad for you. It is a serious public health issue. It is a serious criminal issue only because we make it one. With our own laws, we create a black market. With our own laws, we create an instant class of criminals. With our own laws, we shove those who need real help into prisons rather than into rehab. Drug treatment has been determined to be many times more effective than incarceration as a public policy. We ignore this in favor of punishment.
It is stupid, and it does not work.
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