Ladies and Gentlemen.. I am writing on an issue that I want anyone reading to seriously consider. Unfortunately many people do not think rationally on this subject.. why should they? They have been told what to think about it since they were in 5th grade or even sooner. They have seen countless statics and information everywhere about it and in general there is no real reason to think otherwise. From 1920 to 1933 in the United States of America the creation, sale and consumption of alcohol was deemed illegal. During this time crime rates soared higher than ever, Thugs were able to kill policemen and afford better weapons than the cops were given. Corruption ran rampant within the government. Due to the fact that alcohol was illegal and in high enough demand.. there were huge profits to be made from bootlegging it. What makes this situation even worse is that once illegal.. more potent alcohol became an even higher seller meaning it was the most profitable, thus bootleggers were even more inclined to make what was most potent in order to make even more money. For many of you I may be speaking history you are already aware of for the rest of you I would like to say that the situation got so bad that prohibition ended. How does this affect us today? We are in the exact same position right now as we were back then, although you could argue it is even worse. Right now there is a "war on drugs" being consistently waged. The war on drugs is highly detrimental and destructive in several ways. The war on drugs has no positive effects at the moment. 13 billion dollars spent in the course of a year to combat drugs is a lot of money. Up till now I have no included any links because I do not want you to just take my word for it.. or click a link to some website.. I want you to research this issue yourselves.. but, I do want to back up my 13 billion dollar point Office of National Drug Control Policy -- Publications -- Budget FY 2009 . That is 13 billion dollars that is for all intents and purposes wasted on a yearly basis however, that is not all the money that is lost. Because drugs can not be sold legally taxes can not be collected off of them which creates further loss. In addition to creating loss on a financial level for our country drugs being illegal creates more crime than it stops believe it or not. Due to drugs being illegal, there is incentive for drug cartels to come into the country illegally. These cartels are more powerful than I think the average person understands.. These cartels have done such horrible things that I really don't want to go into details.. However, for those of you with the stomach.. look up columbian necktie. I will say this... Drug cartels have paid off police in mexico.. and if cops don't accept payment their heads were cut off and placed on pikes outside police stations. There has been more than one innocent caught in the crossfire here. So long as drugs are illegal these people have a source of income that is probably more valuable than gold because, they have NO competition so they can charge whatever prices they want to meaning they can afford whatever weapons they want. Now at this point.. I am sure some of you probably think I am either A. crazy or B. some addict preaching for his own personal cause. I am neither. I do not drink alcohol, nor smoke cigarettes or marijuana. I do not snort coke or meth nor do I inject heroine, I do not swallow "x". Now.. I did lie in some fashion when I said I'm not an addict.. I can't get by without some coffee, sweat tea or sweet food on a pretty regular basis.. and I am an avid gamer way past what I should be. However, the point I am attempting to make is this. I have *nothing* personal to gain from legalizing any one of those drugs. Alcohol kills 99.9% of bacteria and it is currently legal to consume it. Alcohol is one of the few substances in the world that will kill 99.9% of bacteria and people drink it as if it were perfectly fine and there were no repercussions what so ever. Now, I know some of you out there at this point are probably outraged... "What if someone does drugs and drives!" and "what about the chaos that will be caused by people doing drugs" and "what about all the negative effects on the human body! First. If someone is going to inject heroine and drive.. they probably already do it. If your a responsible law abiding citizen and you do heroine, odds are your not going to drive. If your an addict who is already breaking the law to get a fix.. nothing in the world is going to stop you from driving. Next. A lot of people out there seem to have a belief that if drugs are legalized, everyone will turn into deranged maniacs bent on getting the next fix. There are a lot of misconceptions about the addictiveness of drugs. *IF* drugs were so addictive that you could become instantly addicted and willing to do whatever it takes to get more.. why do drug deals not hold a gun to your head and force you to try the drug once? bam.. you'd be hook'd for life. Finally about the negative effects on the human body. This is a major topic of interest and should be thought about heavily. I am not encouraging everyone in the world to go do whatever feels good. I am encouraging people to be accepting of others to make whatever choice they want to with their body. I Choose to carry a cell phone around which may or may not have long term effects on my health. Millions of women tan either in the sun or a tanning booth which may cause cancer, Every people drive automobiles which if they are uncareful will kill not only themselves but, innocent people as well. Are there negative effects to drugs? ABSOLUTELY! THERE IS NO DENYING THIS FACT! However, how severe are the effects? probably less than what you would imagine. In experiments rats were given the option between administration of heroine and food... They usually ended up killing themselves. Now.. many of you will read that and say "well what more proof do you need heroine is bad?!".. to which I will reply this. A large number of people have played video games until they died. It is easy to say "addiction" is the problem.. but, any given addiction is a symptom of another problem. What was never looked at in the experiment with the rats was "if they are given food and heroine will they still eat?" Now I want to point out a few things about drugs and health besides just the damage they may possibly do to your body. At the moment there is huge incentive to mix drugs with other substances in order to make more profit. So at the moment.. if a person is to buy drugs.. not only are they paying a lot of money.. they are paying a lot of money for something they can't judge the purity of. The chemicals added do not contribute to the safety of the user. the ultimate problem here aside from whatever being added to the drugs, is there is no standard for purity meaning it is incredibly easy to overdose.. Just imagine if you couldn't tell how much alcohol was in the drink you order at the bar? sure some mix drinks you can't tell.. but, if your buy a bottle of wine there is some content information, a beer from the store tells you what your getting. This way you at least have the option of finding out how much alcohol your consuming and consume a steady amount. Imagine if one beer was almost non alcoholic and the next one out the same pack was undrinkable because the alcohol content was too high. Legalizing drugs is a necessity for these reasons. A. To stop the militant cartels which at the moment are completely unchecked. if we manage to stop one.. Another is going to take its place in a heartbeat. There is too much money to be made by these people to stop. B. To Decrease crime rates. With legalized drugs the burden on the prison system will be eased. C. To protect people who want to do drugs. At the moment in order to get drugs an addict has to go meet dangerous people in dark allies in order to get a fix putting their own life in danger. If drugs are legalized and regulated this keeps children and underaged people from getting them. This also means they can buy them safely and do them safely in their own house. There are huge decreases in the chance of overdose when standards are put into place. E. 13 BILLION a year an go towards fixing REAL problems. Child porn, rape and the overwhelming deficit come to mind. Not only would that be 13 billion a year that could be saved or better used in tax money that would be a HUGE source of revenue for the government when reasonable taxes are applied. F. Drugs can be used for research again. Before being made illegal "x" and many other drugs were actually prescribed by doctors. "X" was a drug given to couples to help them work out martial problems. However, at the moment any drug put on a certain classification is deemed to have "no medical use" which in a lot of cases has already been proven wrong. G. We are fighting a war on an idea. You can not win a war against an idea. If you can not win, then you will ultimately lose. At the moment children can get drugs easier than alcohol and have just as much temptation to try it why? its illegal!. H. We can use the money gained to treat addiction and really help people solve their own problems. I theorize that even without addicts.. there would still be many people who try drugs on purely recreational level which they should have every right to. People who are addicted to drugs could stop being looked down upon and receive help. This is not about the legalization and regulation of marijuana. This is about legalization of most drugs across the board. This is an almost exact repeat of what happened in 1920 to 1933. The more the government tried to control the illegal alcohol trade the more people died. Innocent people died prohibition against alcohol because the government took steps to prevent production of alcohol. Now... let me add a huge disclaimer here.. I DO NOT ENCOURAGE OR RESPECT THE ILLEGAL USE OF DRUGS NOR IS THIS THREAD IN ANY WAY SUPPORTIVE OF BREAKING THE LAW! The only point I am attempting to make through out this entire thread is that if we do not have the right to control what substances go into our bodies, what right do we have? We have every legal right to drink a substance which kills 99.9% of bacteria as if nothing were wrong in the world however, pour some marijuana, heroine, cocaine, meth, "x", or even pcp on germs and you won't kill 99.9% of them. I personally think this makes a very, very interesting point on the dangers of things which are already perfectly legal and acceptable. Alcohol is a drug after all.. But, we even make different phrases to seperate it and justify it as though it were not a drug.. "he is an alcoholic" not "he is an addict" "drug and alcohol awareness" it is time we stopped making exceptions for alcohol which is one of the hardest drugs out there. It is time we stopped looking down on drugs and addicts. Yes people do use drugs to escape from their problems which does lead to addiction. Yes some people are physically addicted as well as mentally. However, if a person is legally allowed to be an alcohol, caffine, videogame, and nicotine addict why should we frown upon people just because their addiction isn't the same as ours? If a person can get heroine for a reasonable price, it will not ruin their life any more than alcohol, video games or anything else. If at this point you have read the whole thing, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude whether you agree or disagree and hope we can have a civil discussion on the issue.