Legalization of Drugs

8 page research paper against the legalization of drugs with a “works cited” page, all in full MLA style

Drugs have always been present in human history. Early natives of South America and the Aborigines of Australia and New Zealand used the juices of plants to produce crude medicines; medicines whose purpose was to make a person feel better. From this early medicines, other cultures started to derive their own curatives and drugs, all having one common goal: to make the user feel better. As we progressed through the years and technology advanced, we started to have some incredible results with drugs and medicines. Many of our present day illicit drugs were originally introduced as pain killers like Tylenol or Advil. Others were considered vitamins or energy supplements. It was not untill much latter, and after many deaths and addictions, that we found out about the harms of these narcotics. Although most of these drugs like cocaine and heroin were and are extremely harmful and illicit, people still want whatever short feeling of pleasure they provide.
Now people want to take illegal substances one step beyond by legalizing them. Legalization poses a great amount of questions and opposing view points. Some belief that it is a good thing to legalize drugs. Others are completely against it. The legalization of drugs and other narcotics will only engender regretful consequences on society, some of which can be illustrated through legalization’s adverse effects on teenagers and younger generations, its effects on the illicit drugs and narcotics industry, and the fate of users and abusers.
Legalization of drugs will surely have a direct impact on teenagers, children, and possibly babies. Teenagers are characterized by their wild and carefree manner. It is noted that as children become teenagers, a sense of curiosity of the adult world, and a daring disposition is awakened inside of them. Teenagers feel that it is their duty to try new things and have as many new experiences as possible, even if these can be harmful. As a result, many teens find the idea of trying drugs fascinating and somewhat attractive. Among the graduation class of 1997, 54.3 percent of students had used an illicit drug by the time they reached their senior year of high school, continuing an upward trend from a 40.7 percent in 1992 (High School and Youth Trends). Taking into consideration that statistics like these happen while the drugs are illegal, imagine what would happen to these numbers if the drugs were made legal: a noticeable increase in drug use amongst youths would be prone to occur.
If legalization took place, laws similar to the ones restricting teens from acquiring alcohol and tobacco products would be set; but even with laws like these, teens would find a way to obtain the drugs they wanted. Once drugs become available at convenience, tobacco, and liquor stores, an increase in the number of substance-consuming teenagers is likely. Another great problem is that if marihuana, LSD, and maybe even coke are put at the same level as beer (a drug that teens don’t view as taboo or “bad”) as socially acceptable drugs; teens will be more accepting of trying out these substances.
As a result of increased use, a decrease in school grades and SAT scores is eminent. This could lead to the mimicking or surpassing of statistics for the year 1980 when drug use peaked and was at its worse, and as a result, the average SAT score for that year was 890 (Jonnes 390). Some believe that through legalization youths will be more aware of the dangers of substance use and abuse, and that we will accomplish a decrease in drug use amongst teenagers. The sad truth is that through the legalization of drugs, the only accomplishment regarding youths would be pure deterioration.
Unfortunately there is a younger age group that also feels the effects of drugs. This group not only consists of young children, sadly, sometimes even babies suffer the consequences of the use of narcotics. This younger generations aren’t necessarily affected by the direct impacts of substance abuse. They are the victims of parents that use the drugs. They are the children that suffer from child abuse. A case of child abuse was reported every 10 seconds in the USA in