As more states legalize marijuana and other drugs, will the negative impact of drug denial outweigh the positive impact? The debate continues. Researchers, politicians, and public health authorities are discussing both sides. But the most important question for mental health professionals is how drug legalization affects the rate of substance abuse and addiction. Let’s take a closer look at the discussion of drug legalization, the pros and cons of drug legalization, and what the study says about how non-criminalization of drugs affects especially young adults. Some countries do not have narcotics laws such as marijuana, heroin, and other narcotics. For example, South Dakota was the first state to legalize medical and recreational cannabis at the same time on July 1, 2021, and Arizona is in talks to legalize the law, in Colorado. Is the first state to legalize the drug “marijuana” in 2012. In addition, marijuana use is legal in Guam, USA, and medical marijuana is legal in 34 states. And experts predict that more states will move towards the legalization of drugs under the Democratic president and parliament, paving the way for the federal legalization of marijuana. In addition, in 2020, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and LSD. Opponents of legalization argue that the biggest flaw in the theory of drug legalization is the assumption that drug law, not drugs, causes the greatest damage to society. Opponents often cite the increase in alcohol-related mental and physical illnesses after the abolition of the alcohol ban in 1933 as an example of what would happen in the absence of a ban. In addition, opponents quickly argue that advocates of legalization cannot explain effective ways to legalize drugs. The specific arguments against legalization are: 1. Legalization will increase the number of drug users. Legalization sends the wrong message to children, 4. Substance abuse creates higher costs for businesses, and 5. Drug use impairs the ability to think and react, thereby work and travel-related Accidents that endanger society because they undermine the problem of.
MARIJUANA AND OTHER DRUGS: There are numerous other drugs besides marijuana, opium, heroin, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, tramadol, morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, carfentanil, and more.
It is not a new topic for political thinkers. It has been around for some time, and many countries have gone through trial and error in drug law. And the same result is very characteristic. If criminalizing or punishing a social problem does not produce good results, it is not simply necessary to criminalize or legalize the problem and see if it works. Society and its people do not experiment with experimental equipment to test such big problems. In many countries, the legalization of narcotics has proven to be at the expense of citizens. The Parliament of India, which has yet to see the light of day, has made efforts to introduce policies to legalize the use of drugs.
REASONS BEHIND THESE LAWS
India has enacted numerous laws governing drug use under the Narcotics and Psychotropics Act. Drug use can have a variety of effects on the human body and mind. These effects can be direct or indirect, even short-term or even long-term. The fatal health effects of using different drugs have become a major public health problem, which is also strongly associated with various crimes in society, which in India have such drugs. That was the reason for the suppression. The war on drugs itself refers to the recent government’s collaborative efforts to ban and punish the use, possession, transportation, sale, and production of drugs.
The legalization of narcotics will overwhelm societies that are already tackling sufficient social issues. Alcohol and tobacco are already detrimental to the health, well-being, and peace of society as a whole. Legalizing a drug because it has fewer harmful effects does not solve the existing drug. Nearly four in ten criminals cite alcohol as a cause of violence. Nearly 40% of Indians are exposed to alcoholism in their families. Tobacco is physically bad. Nicotine addiction is difficult to stop. The legalization of narcotics only makes things worse.
CRIME AND DRUGS
A review of current issues suggests strong practical evidence of statistical overlap between drug use and criminal behavior. The various crimes that occur in today’s society are somehow related to drugs, such as legal drugs such as alcohol and illegal drugs such as hash and marijuana. On the other hand, the only source of availability of illegal drugs is illegal drugs. Drug market due to regulation against it. Therefore, users cannot rely on police or other authorities in disputes with drug dealers. Since there are no legal restrictions on this, drug users will inevitably resort to criminal violence and commit criminal offenses. Similarly, you may even come across a crime committed just to raise the amount of money you need to buy a drug. Thus, in some way, the use of narcotics is considered to contribute to the increase and perpetuation of criminal activity. Syndicates have emerged and are exploiting these laws to sell drugs illegally and at high prices. However, this is due to inaccurate or weak enforcement of the issued law.
Laws enacted if not properly implemented will be useless and people will find loopholes in them, but that does not abolish the law itself. Rather, correct the mistakes made in such practices.
WHAT IF WE LEGALIZE DRUGS / WITH NO RESTRICTIONS ON LAWS?
REDUCTION IN DRUG TRADE: The fact that the manufacture, possession, sale, and use of drugs are illegal makes them inaccessible to the general public. Many people demand such illegal drugs. The drug market operates on supply and demand, and criminal organizations are taking advantage of this demand to drive prices for such drugs. These criminal syndicates make millions of profits in the guise of illegal drug trafficking. Legalizing these medicines will lower the prices of soaring medicines and reduce the criminal or illegal supply of medicines that would harm the general public. It eliminates crimes associated with illegal transactions. The legalization or non-criminalization of marijuana will replace the production and distribution of the black market with the “outboard industry”.
PUBLIC IMPACT: It is a well-known fact that children, especially children between the ages of 14 and 16, are easily exposed to such drugs, even though they are illegally banned. Among young people, the use of medicines is considered cool, and children rely on medicines that are readily available to them, despite their high prices, under pressure from peers. Strict drug laws didn’t help. In the Netherlands, where the cannabis law is much less stringent, drug use is one of the lowest in Europe. Clinical studies show that only 9% of marijuana users become clinically dependent, while those who use alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine are highly dependent, ranging from 19% to 30%.
SUPPORT OF STUDY
Drug legalization will support the availability of samples for detailed studies of the same. Because they are not available, the illegal drug market is spreading a lot of disinformation about drugs and drug use by dealers and media that forge false information based on their prejudices. Such rumours may be controlled by scientific research on such drugs and reveal their use, efficacy, and usefulness. However, only if these drugs can be studied by students under controlled conditions. Ultimately, it will enable better elucidation of the same as access to real information.
MEDICAL USAGE OF DRUGS
Various medicines have many active medical uses. Marijuana and other such drugs are used for medicinal purposes and are known to cure illnesses. It is said to treat the following illnesses: i. Glaucoma, ii. Prevents cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, iii. Reduces anxiety, iv. Improves metabolism and vi. Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. We need to stimulate the creativity of our brains. In addition, magic mushrooms are said to treat alcoholism and relieve anxiety, ketamine is used to treat bipolar disorders, heroin is said to reduce opium addiction, and MDMA is post-traumatic stress. It may also be prescribed to patients to combat stress disorders. There is no clear evidence that the criminalization law was successful after all, if the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, what are the advantages of such a strict drug method? After all, if someone who needs such medicines (either for medical or targeted use) does not have access to them, it would be a failure of the strict laws in force. It is also true that a great deal of economics has been invested in these laws, and the illegal drug market is even worth the money to create such laws and to arrest and punish drug criminals. It is also true that we do not. Under the Narcotics and Psychotropics Act, Congress passed a ban on the use and sale of marijuana, which came into effect in November 1985. The law was enacted by the obligations India must fulfil under a US-backed international agreement on the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs drafted in 1961. In addition, medical use of drugs has been legalized in many countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, and Thailand.
NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCE ACT
The NDPS Act prohibits the manufacture/cultivation, possession, sale, purchase, transportation, storage, and/or consumption of narcotics or psychotropic drugs. Originally enacted in 1985, the law was amended three times in 1988, 2001, and 2014. According to the law, drugs include coca leaves, cannabis (hemp), opium, and poppy straw. Psychotropic drugs include natural or synthetic materials or salts or preparations protected by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Drugs. Psychotropic drugs include natural or synthetic materials or salts or preparations protected by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Drugs. The penalties under this law are severe given the consequences of substance abuse and smuggling. Violations under the law are subject to imprisonment of 1 to 20 years and fines for the violation. Under the law, incitement, criminal plots, and even attempts to commit a crime are subject to the same penalties as the crime itself. Preparing to commit a crime is punished with half the fine. Repeated criminals face 1.5 times the penalty and in some cases the death penalty.
This issue is known as “no strict laws on drug possession” and has been the subject of much debate for some time. There are many prominent figures inside and outside politics who support the legalization of drugs, and similarly, large groups oppose it. The use of drugs has claimed countless lives, and the war on drugs has almost disappeared. It is often said that “humans evolved beer before bread”, perhaps because the human body and mind react in a particular way when exposed to the chemical composition found in natural plants. The legalization of the use of such medicines, which spread in ancient times and were considered very useful by our ancestors, is controversial. Indeed, some medicines have medicinal properties, cure many deadly diseases such as glaucoma, prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, reduce anxiety, and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, our brain helps improve metabolism and stimulate creativity. There are also magical mushrooms for alcoholism and anxiety relief, ketamine for bipolar disorder, heroin for drug addiction, and MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder. Few medicines, even in the Vedas and other valuable manuscripts, are mentioned to help treat a variety of illnesses. Therefore, preventing patients from using these medicines in their favour would be very unconstitutional and would be a crime against them. In my opinion, after considering the possible strengths and weaknesses of the drug legalization program, the complete lifting of the ban on illegal drugs only exacerbates the situation. Instead, it may prove useful if the Indian government can come up with a plan to partially lift the drug ban. Non-criminalizing the use of medicines and limiting their therapeutic use should be closely related to limiting and controlling the manufacture, distribution, and use of those medicines. The rest of the non-medicines that are harmful to the human body and mind should be considered illegal and criminal. We all tend to look down on drugs at some point. In today’s legal world, getting drugs is easy and you need to stop doing it. Full legalization is not great, as if we legalize all narcotics, there will be more drug-related deaths, and Lynch states that “legalization of narcotics does not rule out crime.” But at the same time, he needs to be available if it helps improve health.
Author(s) Name: Arin Sharma (Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth)