Anybody that is living in America currently, could tell you that there is one obvious ethical problem that is growing increasing problematic with each day that goes by. If you haven’t already guessed it, the problem I am talking about is the drug problem. The Center Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 72,287 American people died from overdoses in 2017, an increase of about 10% from the year before (www.cdc.gov, 2018). What I find very concerning is the number of people dying from overdoses accounts for more deaths than HIV, car crashes, and gun violence combined (Mckeever, 2018). About 4 centuries ago, when President Nixon declared the war on drugs the government thought that it would put an end to the drug problem, but the truth is it hasn’t even come close to fixing it. Let’s take a closer look at his ethical issue.
The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade (US Legal, Inc, n.d.)
Furthermore, I am going identify the two most prominent solutions to the question whether drugs should be decimalized in America. One solution would be a) Drugs are extremely dangerous and should be kept illegal, and anyone that uses drugs should be treated like a criminal. The other most prominent solution would be, b) Drugs should be decriminalized and drug addicts should be provided treatment, and addiction should be treated as a disease.
Currently, it is a crime to possess, use, or sell illegal drugs in the USA. This crime is known as a Drug possession, and the consequence of committing this crime varies from a small fine to a prison sentence. The penalty for a drug possession is based on the circumstances, the amount, the type of illegal drug, and the jurisdiction. Moving on, there are drugs that are categorized as legal and there are drugs that are currently illegal. For example, Crack cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Bath salts, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Methadone, Benzodiazepines, Ecstasy, Marijuana are among the many drugs that are illegal to use, possess, or sell in America. I would also like to add that even though these drugs are illegal for recreational use, the government does however regulate the manufacture, distribution, marketing and sale of certain illegal drugs. For instance, amphetamines which are illegal to use, can be used if a doctor prescribes them, but only by the person/patient that they are prescribed to. It would be illegal for the person/patient to sell their prescription drugs. Not all drugs are illegal, there are some drugs that are legal to use and sold at stores such as Alcohol, Tobacco, Caffeine, to name a few.