Critical Analysis of James Q. Wilson’s Article “Against the Legalization of Drugs”

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All points of view on the role of drugs in society and their place in the system of measures of "harm reduction" in terms of their use may be divided into two polar groups. The first view is that the substances, which are related to drugs, should be banned completely outside the medical sales. They should be available only for patients with serious pain suppression. The second, drugs should be used in the prevention of drug addiction in general, for the suppression of illicit traffic in narcotic substances.

In my opinion, today drugs and their availability are some of the major issues of society. In my research paper, I consider my attention on James Wilson’s article “Against the Legalization of Drugs”. The article was written in 1990. The worse thing is that today the question about drugs is still raised and appears as supposedly solved by everybody. However, no one can solve this problem. It has been 23 years since the article was written; however, then and today, we are still talking about the same problems.
Opponents of legalization often support their position by justifying a sharp increase in demand for drugs. There is no doubt that legalization resulted in a decline in prices, thereby provoked an increase in demand: the question is, to which extent. All existing estimates are faulty. In the Netherlands, for example, legalization of marijuana among young people under twenty years of age decreased considerably.

In my opinion, the best well-reasoned opponents’ article of legalization out of those that I have read is an article by Professor James Wilson. It argues that, in case of legalization of drugs, the increase in their demand will be very significant. However, all this is nothing more than a hypothesis. Opponents of legalization are willing to accept an obviously evil prohibition fear favoring it over the legalization of an even greater evil. If these doubts were sufficiently substantiated, they could be very persuasive.
The absence of a clear answer to the question of how legalizing drugs affect the demand for them leaves this question open. However, if we cannot figure out all the possible consequences of legalization, how we know all the consequences of a failed repressive policies. I do not understand, how they can justify, referring to the danger mostly hypothetical.

The article elaborates mostly on the statements of Friedman. Milton Friedman is my longtime idol on issues of power, government and freedom of markets. He was a genius, voting for people, not for the narrow club of powerful people. Friedman found almost unthinkable how people can maintain the current system of drug prohibition. After all, it brings much more harm than good. He thought that prohibition is veiled desires to unattainable. After all, everyone should have the freedom to choose on the intake of drugs. It is based on the right of freedom for self-determination of the individual. There is also a view that the cost of the state due to the ban on free trade is higher than if drugs were legalized. As an economist, he was aware of the importance of the market, free choice. Of course, price and supply play a large role, but if drugs are legalized the world will get cranky.

The central argument against the legalization of drugs is the claim that legalization will cause a sharp increase in the demand for drugs. First, an increase in demand, even if it occurs, will result in free choice of free adult "voluntary victims". It is a libertarian point of view: the state has no right (and duty) to oppose the adult and sane person to use drugs. In the same way, the government can prohibit acrobatic tricks performance under the pretext that it is dangerous.

Currently applied methods to combat drugs increasingly lead to violations of basic human freedoms, such as the confiscation of the property before the sentencing, a violation of the laws relating to the inviolability of the home, in particular, to the searches. Prohibition has led to disrespect for the law. The war of drugs leads to the same consequences. The most disadvantaged segments of the population that are now the main victims of the ongoing war would benefit from the legalization of drugs in the U.S., most of all. In this respect, it noteworthy to analyze why so many juveniles belonging to the most disadvantaged sections of society, are caught up in the drug trade. The point is the laws are much less severe towards them than towards adults, and for this reason, drug traffickers are using them as cover.

In the 60s, in England, authorities tried to provide assistance to drug addicts. Drug addicts were given pills in hospitals, but there was no positive result. As a result, patients took more drugs than were necessary. They could sell them on the streets, thereby creating a new danger for people. There is an expression that forbidden fruit is sweet. I think, just for this reason Friedman voted for legalization of drugs. He did not analyze the amount of faint-hearted people and people who are exposed to the influence. The amount of them is much higher than the amount of wise people who are thinking about their future life and future lives of their descendants.

The central arguments of legalization were next: it would be free choice of every person, needle would be clean, it would have closed the black market and the economy would be more effective. “…My guess is that if we had allowed either doctors or clinics to prescribe heroin, we would have had far worse results than were produced in Britain, if for no other reason than the vastly larger number of addicts with which we began” (Wilson, 1990).

Those people who observe the risks in legalizing heroin or cocaine still favor the idea because, in their opinion, war on drugs had been already lost. “Nothing we have done has worked” and the current federal policy is just “more of the same. Whatever the costs of greater drug use, surely they would be less than the costs of our present, failed efforts” (Wilson, 1990).

Those of people who support the legalization of drugs have something to do with addicts. Normally, a person starts to smoke marijuana in the age of 17 just to relax. Over time, he wants acquire new experiences and switches to amphetamines and codeine, which are hard to quit. Then a young drug addict meets a girl, and a girlfriend also tries drugs. There is no escape road for the majority. In the end, there is a short life, the sick kids and premature death. It is my view on legalization of drugs.
Proponents of legalization suggest that the expenses of having drug addicts would be entirely or partially offset at the expense of money available from taxes collection to be imposed on the sale of cocaine and heroin (Wilson, 1990).

James Wilson suggests, as long as people are thinking just about money, the world is losing its soul (Wilson, 1990). I disagree with the author of the article. I am opposed to the legalization of types of drugs like cocaine. I understand that it is everyone's free choice to make, but I understand that someone earns on this business, just like manufacturers of alcohol and tobacco do.
Very often, the fear of failure and the usual bad luck are pushing people to rash actions. One of these actions may be the decision to try drugs. Firm supporters of drug legalization are tolerant minded liberals of all countries. These people argue that legalizing drugs will help to achieve mutual understanding between races and peoples. Liberals forget that if for one culture drugs are the norm, then for another culture they may cause degradation and extinction.

Every person who supports the legalization of any drugs just pursues his or her personal goals. All supporters of the legalization of drugs are well aware that the admission of the aforementioned substances kills motivation. The addict wants just his or her dose. He does not think about career development and building a family. An addict does not think about the welfare and health of his or her children. Person who is an addict can break the law (steal or kill). He is incapable of civil protest or riot. In fact on addicts and their "bouquets" diseases can test new drugs dummy. An addict will be a lifelong pharmacy customer. He is not going anywhere.
If humanity does not want to die out or become apathetic junkies flock, it must contend with the idea of legalization of drugs. Both light and heavy drugs should be available to a person only in case of severe illness. Receiving the same narcotic drugs for medicinal purposes should take place only under the strict supervision of the physician.

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