Should Drugs be Legalized? If so, would that reduce crime?
This Blog is written by Vijayalakshmi Raju from Dr. Ambedkar Global Law Institute, Tirupati. Edited by Prakriti Dadsena.
Legalization may have a short-term negative impact on Latin America by expanding criminal activities such as extortion, robbery, and abduction while having an ambiguous impact on violence reduction. Without a doubt, legalizing narcotics would drive criminals out of the drug trade. There is no wrongdoing if there is no benefit. However, the repercussions of legalization are more complicated than proponents represent. Where law enforcement is weak, it may be simpler to diversify into abduction, extortion, or robbery than it is to enter into tight legal employment markets. There is an unquestioned presumption that after the illicit drug economy is closed, people who sell drugs will be able to effectively depart criminal life and enter the legitimate work market. This may not be the case. In the United States, policymakers have decided to characterize drug use as a legal issue rather than a one of public health. This approach places a large war on drugs at the core of the criminal justice system. The drug war is a growing company deeply rooted in US society’s political and social fabric. It involves law enforcement, courts, correction, education, health, and many political organizations. The drug war, which started under Reagan and spread to the Bush and Clinton governments, presents the US as a struggle against a dangerous adversary.
The term “narcotics war” refers to the scenario produced by the government’s empowerment, enthusiastically enforcing the laws and jailing huge numbers of drug criminals as opponents of actual conflict. Offering and demand are key to the drug problem. Solutions on the supply side include measures to put pressure on drug-making countries to stop exports, intercept drugs before smugglers can cross the American frontiers, enact tougher drug legislation, crackdown on drug dealers, and impose long-term prison sentences on drug manufacturers and traders. Drug education and treatment options are on the demand side. A more radical view says that the one possible option is to remove legalization (i.e., remove the crime from criminal laws).
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS DEVELOPMENT
There have been discussions since the adoption of the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914 over the appropriate approach to deal with drug and drug dependents. The Harrison Act was the first major piece of federal anti-drug law to restrict the manufacturing, import, sale, and possession of opium, coca, and their derivatives, under Congress’s taxation authority. Drug legitimacy promoters claim that the underground market for drugs overwhelmed the justice system in general and the “War on Drugs,” in particular that began in the 1980s, did not diminish drug supply and kidnapping. Adversaries claim that legalizing will lead to increased numbers of drug users, families being destroyed, crimes being increased, and harmful physical impacts among drug users.
Marijuana is the most popular illicit medicine, according to drug specialists. The majority of the reasons for and against marijuana legalization are the same as those for and against the legalization of other illegal medicines except for the proponent of legalization’s claim that studies demonstrate that marijuana, consumed in moderation, does not have significant bodily consequences. In any one of the 50 states, neither narcotics nor marijuana are legal. In 1975 Alaska legalized marijuana, but again in 1990, a vote rendered possession of marijuana illegal. But nine countries have decriminalized small quantities of marijuana: California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio, although no states have legalized these substances. Since 1989, New York’s Senator Joseph Galibier has also tried to pass a bill in the New York Senate to authorize the use of all the medicines now under consideration.
Drug prohibition has neither removed nor significantly decreased the usage of drugs. drug prohibition. The drug war cost society more than the usage of drugs themselves. The federal government alone has spent 16 billion dollars to combat drug use in 1998. Of these 16 billion dollars, 10.5 billion dollars are paid for medication supply reduction efforts. These measures mostly entail efforts to ban or intercept drug supply at the borders by law enforcement. Costs include corruption, harm to the poor and minority neighborhoods, the world’s illegal black market, enrichment through engagement in drug trafficking of criminal organizations, and a rise in rubbish and burglary of predatory crime.
Most illicit drugs are no more dangerous than legal drugs, such as cigarettes and alcohol, thus drugs should be addressed in the same way as these other drugs. Legalization will free the government up billions of dollars it spends on police, courts, and drug war prisons, generating considerable tax income. The money saved may be invested in the teaching of drugs, drug treatment, and enforcement of a crime. The ban on drugs violates civil freedoms. The US Supreme Court has chosen to bend the fourth amendment (which concerns searches and seizures) to facilitate the securing of convictions in drug matters because drugs are such a dreadful matter.
Legalization would increase the number of informal users, therefore increasing the number of drug abusers in turn. Greater drug users, abusers, and toxicologists would entail more health and economic productivity issues. While legalization can lead to costly criminal justice savings and tax revenues, the financial advantages of legalization would be outweighed by the increasing public-health expenditures and lower economic productivity resulting in more drug-dependent employees.
The argument that alcohol and tobacco comparison against psychoactive medicinal products is a weak one since their conclusion — psychoactive medicinal products should be permitted — is not from inside. It seems unlikely that, because alcohol and tobacco take a huge toll (for example, 500 000 premature deaths per year), it is thus appropriate to have a hefty toll on legalization. In fact, the opposite appears more logical: the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and psychotropic medicines forbids them all because of the harm. Moreover, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, crack, and other psychoactive chemicals are not innocuous – they have significant detrimental effects on the individual.
Section 8 of Article I also includes a Postal Clause, which transfers the “[t]official postal offices” to Congress. In the federal criminal law — junction of the Post and Commercial Clauses — the growing number of mail and wire fraud offenses might be largely due to the drogue. The privacy of our mail has also been damaged by that battle. In Ex parte Jackson’s case in 1878 the Supreme Court decided that “[n]o Congress statute could place any authority to intrude the confidentiality of letters and similar sealed bundles in the mail in the hands of personnel related to the postal service.” With the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, Congress authorized the U.S. Postal Service to check any shipments that Congress believes may contain medicines using dogs, scanning technologies, and inferences related to police usage to determine probable cause.
Under Article I, Section 8, the power to declare war could not be clearer for entrusting Congress, rather than the administration. But the first to declare war on drugs was President Nixon. Initially, the term was only a rhetorical mark, but since then it has included the widespread use of military power within and outside. A leading instance of this is Operation Just Cause — the 1989 Panama Invasion — in which one of President George Bush’s stated objectives was fighting the drugs trade. Without a Congressional declaration of war, about 26,000 US soldiers invaded Panama during the operation.
Residents of D.C. passed Initiative 71 in 2014, legalizing marijuana for pleasure. Congress then went in to ensure that the district was not able to regulate or tax drugs. The outcome has put marijuana in a kind of legal limb: even though individuals in the nation’s capital are able to legally own and use marijuana, they continue to buy it illegally.
In the case of Ravin v. State, 537 P. 2d 494 (1975), the House of Lords declared that, In any of the 50 countries, neither narcotic nor marijuana is lawful. In 1975, following the Supreme Court ruled that Alaska’s privacy clause allowed possession of marijuana by the Alaskan Constitution for personal adult use at home.
Drug testing procedures in the public sector are restricted by the restriction on unreasonable searches in the Fourth Amendment. Random public employee testing is often permitted if the program only applies to personnel occupying security-sensitive jobs or maybe to positions that imply the integrity of the agency’s goal. The courts elsewhere have found that random testing is an undue invasion of employee confidentiality (Harmon v. Thornburgh, 878 F 2d 484 (D.C. Cir. 1989) cert, denied 493 U.S. 1056, (1990).
In its latest judgment in Murphy against NCAA in 2018, the Supreme Court reinforced the second constraint – known as the concept of ‘anti-commander’ – a challenge to legalizing sports betting in New Jersey under federal legislation that purported to prevent States enacting such legislation. Simply put, Congress can’t force states to exercise federal law. The teacher argues. In the case of marijuana, the federal ban can be imposed only realistically with the increased enforcement resources of the countries, since only 1% of the 800,000 annual marijuana arrests are carried out by the federal government. The Department of Justice, meanwhile, does not utilize federal funds to pursue anyone who uses medicinal marijuana in the 33 states (and the District of Columbia) where the practice is legal. Under any event, the legalization of marijuana at the national level has blossomed in the shadow of the federal ban demonstrating the limitations of federal supremacy.
The culprit is the trade clause for Congress’ ability, as has been established above, to outlaw the growing and use of marijuana. In particular, Section 8 of the power to regulate the trade “among several States” derived from a broad interpretation of Article I of the Congress by the Supreme Court. This is an interpretation of Wickard v. Filburn in 1942 where, because growing wheat has an effect on an aggregate, the Court found that Congress may regulate the wheat a farmer grew to non-commercial effect. In spite of this weak reasoning to let the legislative reach of Congress expand beyond the trade between countries, the judgment remains a sound one. Instead in Gonzales v. Despite the prospect of prohibiting the private cultivation and use of marijuana still fall within the scope of the Trade Clause, 63 years later, the Court declined the opportunity to put Wickard back on the table and said that these are economic activities that in general affect international trade. Further, it concluded that the restriction on marijuana growing for medicinal use – allowed for the case, in California – is an allowable means to prevent access to marijuana for other purposes by the federal government.
As Scalia voted for unconstitutional parts of the Congress (the US v. Lopez 1995), and the reason for victims of violence motives of sex (the US vs. Morrison 2000, with a pro-Federalism majority), Raich became known as the “drogen war exemption” of the constitution by late judicial authorities. To paraphrase the dissident Raich of Justice Clarence Thomas’s, cultivating cannabis for private use in one’s own courtyard is not a kind of inter-state business. Moreover, Thomas observed that “if the Federal Government is able to regulate the production of half a dozen cannabis plants for personal use (not as intergovernmental trade, but as intergovernmental trade is inextricably linked), there are no means limited powers of Article I of Congress, as extended by the necessary and correct clause.”
The NSDU History Data indicate the difference between the use of lawful drugs (alcohol, cigarettes, and increasingly marijuana) and illegal substances. Data from the National Drug and Health Survey (NDUH). In the last 30 days, roughly 51 percent of Americans 12 and older drank alcohol, and about 21 percent used cigarettes. The percentage of people who used any marijuana is over 12%, substantially greater than painkillers (1%) or cocaine (0.7 percent).
Neither illicit substance is less appealing physiologically than alcohol or cigarettes. This is because many more Americans take these two medicines since they are lawful for adults and easily available and well-established companies promote them. The legalization of marijuana assures that the percentage of Americans who use this medicine will reach such proportions. Even worse, it is crucial to highlight that more than 58% of Americans living with drugs other than alcohol issues have a disorder in the use of marijuana.
Is it worth legalizing? Both sides’ arguments are convincing. What should we do if we cannot embrace drug legalization explicitly or reject it? One logical way is to pause the judgment and accept in part that legalization advocates are right (which has been shown to be unsuccessful in decreasing drug usage and drug-related crime), and to see that it is time to look at other alternatives. The way marijuana is utilized has also changed substantially. While generally, the national marijuana usage rate has decreased for Americans aged 12 or older since 1979, more marijuana users are heavily used. The number of users of marijuana daily or nearly daily grew by 772% between 1992 and 2014, as seen!
Legalization of medicines prevents any additional threats to our civil freedoms, reduces crime rates, reverses the power impact, improves the quality of life in the cities, prevents illness transmission, spares taxpayers’ money, and generally benefits both people and the society as a whole. Our ideas are founded on a fundamental understanding of the advantages of voluntary exchanges and the role of markets in organizing human activity. Legalizing drugs would reduce several incoherences, ensure liberties and make the government’s anti-drug beliefs even more effective. The current drugs war has no definitive triumph and will not succeed. A new approach can be made to solve the issue of this social problem.
Drug prohibition in our cities has established a criminal lifestyle. Drones are the most lucrative business for many, especially those who worry least about obtaining the incorrect aspect of the law, due to huge earnings in the black market business. Abrogation of the ban would exclude huge gains from the drug industry and destroy drug kingpins who terrorize portions of our communities. Crime would be reduced further than the abolition of alcohol prohibition. There is not just reduced crime; reform would also allow the police to focus on robbery, ruin, and violent crime. The drug war lasted longer than the ban, longer than the Vietnam war. At the end of this tunnel, however, there is no light. Prohibition, once again, has failed and should be abolished.
Shreds of evidence show that drug users are prone to conduct crimes more than nonusers, that during the time they did their crimes, the arrests and prisoners commonly came under the effect of drugs and that drug trafficking causes violence. Assessing the type and extent of drug effect on crime requires trustworthy information about the offense and the offender and uniform terminology. Given problem-oriented evidence, the effect of drugs on the occurrence of crime cannot be said quantitatively.