Well, the title should have some people scratching their head whilst they curse me behind their computer screens. But since you are here, please listen to what I have to say, and then make your judgment.
I do believe all drugs should be legalized. The reason for this is quite simple, really: It is not a crime to hurt your own body. But that is not the best part of it! You might be a religious person who thinks that the body belongs to God and should be sacred, or you might just not want drugs flowing in the streets for kids to buy, and you´re afraid that legalization means enhanced availability to drugs.
If you belong to the first category, I am afraid that it is not good enough. Your religion should not dictate what others should be allowed to do. And if you truly believe that the body is Gods sacred temple, you should be against tobacco, alcohol, McDonald's, Caffeine, sweets etc. And by against, I mean you should be fighting for the prohibition of it. But the second category is much more authoritative, if somewhat deranged. Because today, children have much easier access to drugs then they have to alcohol (drug dealers rarely ask for ID). The availability of illegal drugs is, whether we like to admit it or not, massive.
By legalizing it, we can control it. We remove the profit from the black market, and we regulate it. We have strict license-laws on those who sell it, and we tax it.
Prohibition has never worked. It didn´t work for alcohol in the 1920´s, and it hasn´t worked for drugs. Illegal substances have become cheaper, more available, usage has gone up, new and more dangerous forms of drugs have entered the market, and the drugs today are much purer than they were couple of decades ago. The "War against drugs" has burdened the tax payers in America with more than $200 BILLION since it was first announced by Richard Nixon. Yet, there has never been a step forward. Maybe time for another strategy?
We can help our citizens instead of locking them in to prisons. Rehabilitation for an addict costs on average 1/7 of the cost of putting them in to prisons. We can eliminate the number one reason for death amongst heroin junkies: HIV and AIDS. The Netherlands, with their system of having the heroine junkie receiving their fix by a nurse, with a clean needle, under controlled circumstances, has less than 50% of HIV and AIDS cases than SWEDEN, even though they have almost 50% more population.
The people who don´t want drugs legalized are the criminals who make millions from the black market profits. Why let them control this market? Surely we can do a better job? By controlling and regulating the use of drugs, we can hurt the criminal underworld by landing a massive blow to their arguably greatest source of income. We remove the drugs from the streets and the hands of irresponsible, money-hungry snakes, and take control of the distribution of it.
The medical benefits of marijuana are too many to mention. This is one of the main reasons it is not legal in the US. Because the most profitable of all the lobbies in America is the pharmaceutical companies. They would loose billions if a plant you can grow yourself, that would help relieve so much pain and distress amongst suffering people, were legalized. Make no mistake about it, this is the main reason. There has never, in 10 000 years of documented usage, been a death due to usage of marijuana.
The GATEWAY theory.
To say that marijuana is a gateway drug is like saying that milk leads to alcohol. This is absolute nonsense. It is not the substance that causes people to start using heavier drugs, it is the fact that is illegal!! Because people who smoke marijuana have to get it from dealers who almost always deal with heavier drugs. So, they will one day offer something like Cocaine or XTC to their client, and having had someone take the first step in doing something illegal, the next step isn´t too far away.
We have alcohol and tobacco legalized in almost every country in the world. In America, 440 000 people die annually from tobacco, and over 100 000 from alcohol. Again, no one has ever died from smoking marijuana! Ever...
But this is not the point! The point is that it should be legalized, because it is not a crime to inject poison in to your own body. We do it constantly, by smoking, drinking, eating fast food, drinking coffee... By legalizing drugs, we can have a much stronger overview on our citizens who take these substances and help them quit. Today, all we have done, with prohibition, is to wipe the problem under the carpet.
There is an agency in America called LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). It consists of over 10 000 narcotic officers, lawyers and judges who want an end to this war. United States has 5% of the worlds population, but 25% of the worlds inmates. Over 700 000 people are arrested each year for smoking marijuana! For smoking a plant... 700 000 NON-VIOLENT PEOPLE!!! And the punishment is often worse than murder or rape!!! When did things go so wrong???
There is not a SINGLE scientific research, and by scientific I mean unbiased, that is not performed by governmental agencies, but by impartial institutions, that show that marijuana is any more dangerous than a cup of coffee. There has been HUNDREDS of studies that show that marijuana has extreme medical benefits, though.
Those who use drugs (and I have personally never used an illegal drug) are not bad people. They are maybe weak, but that is not a crime. Why not create a system that will help them, and at the same time make money out of it, that we can put in to health care, education, research for alternative fuel, fight global warming etc.? Why not use those $100 billion that is used annually to fight against our own citizens in a war we can never win, to try to find a cure for HIV and Cancer?
Why send non-violent people to prison, charged with an artificial crime, where they learn to be real criminals or often end up dead whilst locked in?
I could go on for days arguing the benefits of legalization, but I would ask you, if you are skeptical, to have a look at your own society, where drugs are illegal. Is it working? Are there no children in your city that have used or are using drugs? Has the police never caught anyone in your town for possession or distribution of drugs? Is drug usage decreasing anywhere in the world? Is the criminal underground diminishing? Are your tax dollars or yens or crowns or pesetas put in to good use?
I hope I have at least given you food for thought, my goal is not to convince you that I´m right, I just hope you have an open mind and you´re willing to find out more about it.
Why not start with this brilliant documentary;
All the best!