Response to William Bennett’s “Should Drugs be Legalized?”

    I have always held the view that the U.S. War on Drugs was a war that could not be won. It is in my opinion that this war has created more jobs for Americans then any other. Because of the war on drugs there are more prisons, judges, DEA agents, police, and drug treatment facilities; more jobs and more money for state government, police department and new prisons. In 2004 Police arrest 1.7 million people nationwide for drug-law violations — 22 percent more than in 1995 (Katel 2006). Like any other war it has created its own industry.

The question should be: is America really trying to win the war on drugs? The Author reveals weak statements about how legalizing drugs would be worse than what it is already, “legalization might cause a five to six fold increase of cocaine use” (Bennett 28). Granted its going to get worse before it gets better, but the legalization of drugs will reduce crime, reduce the forbidden fruit dilemma, people wanting what they are not allowed to have, and allow the government to finally have a clear picture of actual drug use in the U.S.. Lets face it, if someone really wanted to use cocaine, do you think they would wait until it was legal to do so, I just don’t buy it. Legalize drugs and crime, murder, the prison population will decrease. The illegal drug trade would cease. The argument that the author makes about increase drug use is irrelevant, people are going to use drugs regardless if it is illegal or not. Should drugs be legalized? My answer is yes it should.

Works Cited

Bennett, William. “Should Drugs be Legalized?” The Mercury Reader. Ed Janice Neulieb, et al. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2005. 26-31

Katel, Peter. “War on Drugs.” CQ Researcher 16.21 (2006): 481-504. CQ Researcher Online. CQ Press. Union County College Libraries, Cranford, NJ. 15 Sept. 2006 <;.


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