UpFront Politics: Editor's Choice

Should America Decriminalize Drugs To Combat Drug Addiction

Should America Decriminalize Drugs To Combat Drug Addiction
Posted: May 18, 2018 at 1:37 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The United States government during the Nixon Administration passed the Control Substance Act during the 1970s. The Control Substance Act was designed to put a list of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and bath salts on a list of most dangerous drugs. The Control Substance Act has been more focus on a law enforcement approach to fight drug use. However, this doesn’t reduce drug use because the best way to fight addiction is better healthcare services. The United States should look at the Portugal model on how to combat drug use and help addicts fight drug addiction.

The country of Portugal decriminalizes all of its drug laws in 2001. If a citizen is in procession of drugs he or she won’t go to jail, but the drugs will be confiscated, the individual will have to pay a fine, and must go to treatment. In this sense, the Portuguese government does not lockup individuals for a small amount of drug possession. They focus on providing healthcare services for people who are addicted to drugs. However, the Portuguese government will go after drug dealers.

The American government should follow the same process to reduce drug addiction inside the nation. It is important to focus on drug dealers who are selling illegal narcotics to the public. The government would reduce drug addiction because more police resources are being used to combat drug dealers, instead of individuals that are addicted and in procession of small amount drugs. It is critical because synthetic drugs are starting to hit the market.

Statistics have shown that decriminalization of drugs reduces drug use, but also synthetic drugs like Bath Salts and spice, which is a synthetic weed. These synthetic drugs are more dangerous to the public because it’s not natural like cocaine or heroin. Street names for bath salts are Flakka, Zoom, and Vanilla Sky. This dangerous drug has been showing up in the state of Florida. When a person is high on Flakka, it can become a dangerous situation for any citizen nearby. For example, the side effects are the supernatural strength, naked, aggression, paranoia, and delusional thoughts. In one high profile case in the state of Florida, a person high on Flakka ate another mans face off. As a result, the police had to shoot and kill the suspect to stop the man from continuing from eating the other man’s face. These synthetic drugs are showing up across the United States and putting more focus on law enforcement instead of healthcare.

The best way to stop synthetic drug use is to follow what the Portuguese government did by decriminalizing all drugs. The reason is that people in Portugal get their hands on real drugs like cocaine and heroin, which is still bad, but its not synthetic. The issue of synthetic drugs is not an issue. A more focus approach to fighting drug dealers and not drug users is the best way to combat drugs in America.

In the end, the United States would be combating synthetic drug use and regular drug use by changing the law to decriminalize all drugs. Law enforcement would focus on arresting drug dealers. They would no longer focus on individuals, but only fine them, confiscate their drugs, and send them to a treatment centers to receive help. This change in the law will help fighting drug addiction. The Italian and Spanish government are moving to decriminalize drugs.

Disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.

1.https://www.drugs.com/csa-schedule.html
2.https://news.vice.com/article/ungass-portugal-what-happened-after-decriminalization-drugs-weed-to-heroin
3.https://drugfree.org/drug/bath-salts/
4. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-decriminalised-drugs-14-years-ago-and-now-hardly-anyone-dies-from-overdosing-10301780.html