The history of drug use is ancient. Nowadays, people, especially young ones, take drugs because they want changes in life, they want to escape from routine problems, feel relaxed, experiment or rebel, because of curiosity, social influences, pressure, love to risk taking, etc. They think drugs may be solution to their problems which may seem tiny in comparison with those, caused by drug taking. Almost none of those who take drugs for the first time think about the consequences which may be faced in the near future. They cannot even imagine what their life will be like in a couple of years.
One of the reasons why drugs are so popular is that they are easily accessible in spite of the fact that they are prohibited almost in all countries. There are many places in the world that greatly suffer from high level of drug trafficking and drug addiction. This happens mostly because of their location. Puerto Rico is a luring place for drug traffickers because of its close proximity to South America and the United States and ties with them, low cost base and tax breaks. Drugs can be moved into the U.S. without any customs interference in case they are got through the Caribbean onto the island.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It is a very problematic territory from a social, medical and criminal perspective. High level of crime has been related to the amount of illegal drugs use and business. Puerto Rico has become the largest transshipment point for drugs into the U.S. Violent crimes have increased due to clashes between dealers. The region is considered to be one out of five most dangerous islands in the Caribbean. Statistics shows that 49.2% of the crimes committed in Puerto Rico are linked to drugs and there is one of the nation’s highest AIDS rates. Officially, murder rate in Puerto Rico is five times the U.S. national average; more than 70% of the homicides are committed because of drugs. The island has become the so called bridge for the trafficking of drugs to the U.S. and the passage of drugs through it what causes lots of violence. About 30 % of the cocaine shipped into the U.S. comes through Puerto Rico or the Caribbean. Large part of the drugs which are smuggled remains in Puerto Rico in order to satisfy demands of more than 40,000 drug users.
It has been estimated that over 70,000 people are drug addict, and illicit drugs take approximately 3 million dollars per day. Puerto Rico also suffers from high level of official corruption related to drug trade. 89 law enforcement officers and 44 others were netted because of cocaine trafficking charger in September 2010. This happens because police is poorly paid and drug trade becomes a luring sphere of income.
Despite such a poor situation and statistics concerning drugs in Puerto Rico, a lot has been done to prevent it and beat the existing problems. The Government of Puerto Rico has been fighting with illegal drug use and trafficking since the 1970s (Griffith 164). The territory is considered to be a laboratory for U.S. Drug Control Policy in the Caribbean. The situation in Puerto Rico demonstrates a complex of issues encompassed by the multidimensional security concept. Puerto Rico government, together with the U.S. federal government, implemented a policy, known as ‘iron fist against drugs and crime.’ Moreover the problems, mostly internal ones, which are related to drug trafficking and consumption, have worsened.
Despite problems which are caused by drug taking and huge efforts provided in order to decrease drug use, the question whether to legalize drugs has been becoming more and more popular over the recent time. Opinions on this subject are very different because of personal views, beliefs and level of interest to this trade. Some people consider legalizing the usage of drugs as those, who decide to use them, will do it anyway, not thinking about law and prohibitions. If drugs were legalized, the government could gain from it getting money from the tax. Not imprisoning people, involved in drug business, the government will have an opportunity to spend money on welfare benefits, society needs. Also there is an idea that government drugs may be safer, of better quality and not cut with potential toxins. In addition, substances strengths would be monitored to avoid overdose, prices for drugs would be not as high as they are now because the work with them will be not so dangerous, and there might be a decline in crime in the whole world. Legal use of drugs would provide truthful information about them and restore our rights.
Having analyzed all pros and cons I have strongly decided that I am against drug legalization. Legalization of drugs may lead to lower cash and quality price, and according to James Q. (2000), the effect of cutting prices may be as following: it may sharply decrease the number of drug users, and the increase will be permanent; society will be profoundly impacted by addicted people who will cause deaths, divorces, etc.
One more reason why I am against the legalization of drugs is that the obvious result of their legalizing would increase drug activity. When something is legal, it is more accessible and people don’t fear any punishment. Drugs destroy people’s lives, produce overdoses which are in most cases fatal, cause accidents and deaths. They are intoxicating and enhance immense addiction which is almost impossible to beat. Nowadays, situation is striking; drug overdose deaths continue to plague our metropolitan areas, our suburbs, and our schools.
Except problems with crimes and family problems, drugs have a negative effect on our mind. Drugs blur memory causing blank spots. The person feels slow and stupid, as a result makes failures in life, so life gets harder for him and the person comes back to drugs which make the life better and easier. It is like a endless circle. The worst fact is that drugs directly affect our mind promoting unconsciousness of what is happening around us. In addition, drugs block off our sensations wiping out ability and alertness.
The issues of cons and pros of drug use are many faceted and there is a lot to debate. But my personal opinion is that drugs should not be legalized even because of health problems which are caused by drug use and level of crimes related to drug trafficking and consumption. The problems associated with drug use are complex and require serious solutions. A lot has been done, and now we ‘cannot step backward after beginning to move forward’ (Hearing before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources of the Committee on Government Reform House of Representatives One Hundred Sixth Congress. First Session 3). We want to live in a friendly, healthy, spiritually and culturally strong society, so we should take all possible measures to improve it. We cannot just stay still and turn our backs on criminal conduct or issue a license which will destroy lives of thousands of people.