Drug Use: A Personal Choice or Government Restriction.
The World Health Organization defines drug addiction as a state of periodic or chronic intoxication detrimental to the individual and to society, produced by the repeated consumption of a drug. Thomas Szasz says that drug addiction or abuse cannot be defined without specifying the proper and improper uses of certain pharmalogically active agents. Society says that the administration of drugs by physicians is proper while the occasional self-administration of drugs by a physically healthy person is improper. According to Szasz this is a moral judgment and is not sufficient enough to make the use of drugs illegal.
Szasz supports the legalization of all drugs and brings up several points to defend his opinion. He begins with asserting propaganda is used to validate the prohibition of drugs. Drug addiction is no different than addictions to other substances and stimuli. He sees that legalizing drugs would be economically sound. One of the reasons that drugs are illegal is because drug use goes against tradition and American values. Lastly, Szasz tries to show that self-medication is not only a fundamental right but also a constitutional one.
I do not agree with the idea of drug legalization. The myth that illicit drugs are no worse than legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco is not true. By decriminalizing the use of drugs crime rates would increase. Furthermore, drug legalization is not as cost-effective as Szasz alleges. Finally by looking at other countries that have tried to stop the prohibition of drugs we can see that it ultimately fails. .
"Since most of the propagandists against drug abuse seek to justify certain repressive policies because of the alleged dangerousness of various drugs, they often falsify the facts about the true pharmalogical properties of the drugs they seek to prohibit." Szasz states that this propaganda is used because there are many substances in daily use that are just as dangerous as the substances they want to prohibit.