There has been a long debate over the legalization of drugs in the United States. Over the last couple of years, marijuana has been decriminalized and legalized in multiple states. However, marijuana’s legalization is due to its medical benefits and being at the same danger level as alcohol and cigarettes.
The same cannot be said when it comes to hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. Yet, there has been a push to decriminalize and legalize these drugs. In fact, it’s already being put into practice in the United States.
Drug Decriminalization in the United States
When Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, announced that he would legalize cocaine and fentanyl people were horrified. After all, these drugs are known to have high addiction and death rates. Surely, people would not be crazy enough to do something like that. Sadly, some parts of the United States are already going through the discrimination process for hard drugs.
Starting in early 2021, Oregon’s Ballot Measure 110 went into effect. As a result, Oregon police officers could not arrest individuals that were in possession of small amounts (or personal-use amounts) of hard drugs. These drugs include:
Instead, those found in possession will face a $100 fine or a health assessment that could hopefully lead to drug recovery. Apparently, other cities such as Boston, New York, and San Francisco are considering similar measures. But why? Why are legislators even considering these types of policies?
The Road to Ruin Is Paved With Good Intentions
Kassandra Frederique is the executive director that spearheaded the policy. She stated that Ballot Measure 110 was the “first domino of our cruel and inhumane war on drugs that has fallen, setting off what we expect to be a cascade of other efforts centering health overcriminalization.”
Most people agree that the war on drugs was a disastrous policy that led to the imprisonment of innocent people. However, it is clear that this policy is supposed to be a correction. Many also believe there is nothing wrong with transitioning some drug crimes to prevent overcriminalization. In fact, it feeds into another argument for these types of policies.
Thanks to the Prohibition Era, the United States learned that making recreational substances illegal leads to unattended consequences. After the United States made alcohol illegal, criminal organizations profited from distributing it. This led to violent gang events like the Bloody St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The same approach is happening with hard drugs. So, people believe that legalization or discrimination of these drugs will reduce gang violence, especially with Mexican Drug Cartels. Furthermore, the government can regulate the purity of these drugs and hopefully prevent deaths from contaminated drugs.
All of these ideas have good intentions behind them. Yet, that is not what is happening at all. In fact, the decriminalization of hard drugs has made things worse!
Failed Policy Leads to Disastrous Consequences
Sixteen months after Oregon’s Ballot Measure was enacted, the drug addiction problems became worse. In 2021, there was a 41% increase in drug overdoses compared to the previous year. Portland has become an ‘open-air drug market’ with many addicted-homeless people selling, buying, and using hard drugs in broad daylight. Portland is now paralleling San Fransico. In addition to having its own ‘open-air drug market,’ fentanyl has made its way into other hard drugs. As a result, there have been record-setting fentanyl deaths in this California city. Other cities like New York and Boston are dealing with similar problems as addicts are now promoted to indulge in their addictions.
This open-drug use has been increasing in Democrat-run cities that have been decriminalizing crimes in an effort to correct systemic racism. Without a doubt, these new policies are now increasing addiction and death rates of hard drugs. The decriminalization of hard drugs has allowed addicts access to these drugs with limited efforts to enforce recovery.
A Path Forward
While these policies are supposed to be for the benefit of the American people, the decriminalization of hard drugs has led to increasing drug addiction and overdoses in a short period of time. There is a reason why these specific drugs are banned. Marijuana began legalization after it was proven that it is not deadly and addictive like hard drugs. Addicts do not need more access to these substances.
They need restricted access and to be in a recovery network. Fortunately, there are organizations like Mike Lindell’s Lindell Recovery Network. The website and support system connects addicts to mentors that can help them through the recovery process.
There is a path forward for people that need help. However, the statistics show that we should help fight, not help feed their addictions.