The Case for the Legalisation of Drugs in the UK

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Examples of users needing £15,000 to £30,000 a year to fund drug habits have often been given. To make such amounts of money from stolen goods police often suggest multiplying by three – on the basis that stolen goods will fetch about one third of their normal value. There are estimates of between 130,000 and 200,000 problematic drug users in the UK. That is a lot of theft, burglary, fraud or shoplifting if all are stealing to pay for things. This has led some people to suggest that well over half of all acquisitive crime is drug-related and that the market value of goods stolen involved could be between £2-2.5 billion each year.

In terms of understanding how much the de-legalisation of drugs actually costs the state, we have to think about the total amount of man hours the police and other government bodies spend on tracking the trade and it’s users. It is a tricky policy to impose in a legally conventional country such as a UK when compared to it’s European counterparts. The fact that the legalisation of certain substances takes place in Holland and euthanasia is legal in Switzerland, there is proof of liberalising some of the stances posed my the UK legal system could produce positive externalities for both the consumers and society.

The legalisation of drugs will firstly enable those who are suffering due to misuse or drug dependency to seek treatment without fear of prosecution from the state. It will also make help to vulnerable users more accessible. Giving this aid to users will reduce the amount of drug-related crime in the UK, which can range from petty crime to gang crime. This problem really has been highlighted by the quote above.

Another point would be ability to control the supply of drugs in the UK, legalising it will mean that generic drugs can be produced legally by legitimate pharmaceutical companies hence reducing the tendency of the drug being laced with harmful substances. The strength and standard of there drugs will also be standardised by the legal drugs industry. This will undermine and bankrupt the black market almost immediately. Drugs such as weed really have lesser effects on us as alcohol does, both cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are discouraged and have warning signs on their packaging so why can’t the same be done on some illegal drugs.

This point also aids the fact that most of the drug producing countries are the ones suffering from conflict internally. Mexico and Afghanistan can easily be traced to the western drug trade, supplying both Europe and America. For those delusional to the idea that the Taliban is a religious terrorist government rather than a massive drug cartel. The sheer fact the  Heroin is being sold for 80 cents per gram in neighbouring Pakistan and even cheaper in Afghanistan may pose questions on how that stuff is so cheap.  By legalising drugs and bankrupting the black market, the demand for drugs consumed in the west will decrease and through the free price mechanism stop the incentive for organised gangs to produce.


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