Pubdate: Wed, 07 May 2003
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2003 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Author: Adam Breckenridge
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I am a student at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa who defies one of the
stereotypes typically associated with college students. That is, I am
rigidly opposed to drug use. I do not drink, smoke, toke, shoot, snort,
drop, etc. I think drugs are one of the most horrible things plaguing our
society today.

However, I firmly believe that marijuana, cocaine and heroin should be
legalized in this country. Why? Because keeping them illegal is destroying
America. This is something that is not terribly obvious in a city like
Honolulu, but all you have to do is travel to just about any city in the
Mainland and go to the wrong part of town. You can see right in front of you
what the illegalization of drugs is doing.

The truth is, we cannot stop people from wanting drugs. And it follows that
if someone can't get something they want legally, they'll have to get it
illegally. The results of this are crime rates of epic proportions, the
likes of which no industrialized nation on Earth other than the United
States has to deal with.

When this country instituted prohibition laws, it led to one of the biggest
crime sprees ever seen. This is still quite obvious today because gangsters
who breed violence throughout the nation control the drug trade.

If we legalize many of the illegal drugs out there, we can effectively put
the drug lords out of business. Crime rates would plummet. Unemployment
would drop. And, contrary to popular belief, usage will not increase.
Legalization of heroin has been tried in Switzerland and not only did more
people not start using it, but many habitual users quit because they said
legalizing heroin took all the fun and excitement out of doing it.

We will never be rid of people's desire for drugs and alcohol. It is
something that will probably be with the human race forever; however, it is
my firm belief that drugs will do far less damage when they are legal than
when they are illegal.

Adam Breckenridge
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