The Legalization of Narcotics

An overview of the arguments both for and against the legalization of narcotics.

Substances commonly referred to as “drugs”, particularly those with narcotic qualities, have only relatively recently been considered to be socially negative prior to the 20th century. Cocaine, marijuana, opium, etc. were all, for the vast majority of their existence, completely acceptable elements of human consumption and quite legal. Over the past 150 years, approximately, societies throughout the world have increasingly regulated many if not all narcotic substances such that they have become the central legal preoccupation just after terrorism and murder throughout the world. It is the purpose of this paper to examine both sides of the debate over the legalization of narcotics so as to gain some insight into the complexities of this issue.