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Drug Legalization: Global Perspectives IGCSE group portfolio work

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Sam Somers

on 12 February 2015

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Transcript of Drug Legalization: Global Perspectives IGCSE group portfolio work

Drugs
To what extent will the decriminalization of drugs reduce the drug trade
Existing solutions
Governments for a long time have only focused on making the drug trade illegal taking civil action against offenders
The world drug trade is a source of international concern and many different methods have been explored to stop the illicit trade. We however are looking at a new idea: What if drugs were legal?
This method doesn't seem to be working because drug cartels are just getting more sophisticated and are adapting to countermeasures
Cracking down on dealers
Extending jail times and severity of punishments
Government Campaigns and smears
Cracking down at the source, the farms
Performing raids and patrolling streets
The possible solution of legalizing drugs
Money
In some country’s drugs, e.g marijuana, is sold for sometimes very high prices. A “weed planter” makes about $230000 a year however it is illegal marijuana meaning it does not attract a lot of people. However an average corn farmer earns about $61,000 and a farmer with a much bigger farm earns $107,000 a year. This shows that most marijuana growers are living a better life therefore continuing to show that if the drug was legalized a large majority of farmers would attempt to grow the drugs so as to earn more money.
How would legalization affect
the Kenyan economy?
How will legalization affect the amount of drug users globally?
I think the legalization would help the Kenyan economy but not much as there are not many producers and/or users in Kenya as opposed to some MEDCs like USA or UK so the impact might be limited.
Would it help?
The rich people in Kenya might not be affected that much though besides having a new pastime and thing to spend the money on. This however might help the economy as then more money would be in circulation, meaning more goes back to the poorer people of the country.
Would richer people be helped?
Would it last?
No I don't think it would last beyond the first few years and spike in drug usage (that economists predict), the price and users of drugs would radically decrease (as has been shown in Portugal’s 12 years of legalization) and then the farmers would be back where they started. Also very poor subsistence farmers in Kenya would not be able to start growing these drugs as if they stopped making subsistence goods then they will starve.
The soils in Kenya are very fertile so the production of marijuana and other plant related drugs might be possible in Kenya. This might help low income farmers as they would be making a high value product and therefore make more money.
Would poorer people be helped?
Conclusion
Therefore I can conclude that I think that legalization In Kenya would be beneficial to the Kenyan economy.
People for drug legalization
legalization will take away the cool/rebel factor to the drugs that currently pressures people especially the youth to try.
cool/rebel factor gone!
legalization with restrictions will also make it harder for minors to access the drugs as ID will be required to access them.
Restrictions.
Success in Portugal
some will also point to the example set in Portugal where after legalization the amount of people consuming drugs decreased after legalization.

How will the legalization of drugs affect agriculture in Kenya?
One of the main areas that the legalization of drugs will affect is agriculture. The main reason for this is MONEY
doing this would mean that there would be an excess of the drug in the market meaning that prices would go down and farmers who would have transitioned to growing drugs would probably earn less than when they were growing other products
However
Also, if it was made legal the government would be able to tax growers meaning that there is a chance that there would be loosing money.
In conclusion, legalization of drugs would help agriculture to a certain extent but it will eventually begin to work against them.
People against drug legalization.
More people will be willing to try it.
Legalization/decriminalization will cause people who would not have otherwise tried because it was illegal might be encouraged to try.
increased accessibility to the drugs
Legalization will cause the drugs to become more accessible as well as cheaper this means that more people to get their hands on the drugs as they will be being sold in shops and cafes like any other pack of cigarets or bottle of jack Daniels as compared to the underground, dodgy and illegal market now..
Poll Results
Poll: Would you do drugs if they were legal?
Year 11 group
Would you do "HARD" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
7
:
44
Would you do "SOFT" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
23
:
26
Alcohol and Nicotine are hard drugs and legal (18+). Should they be legal?
Yes
No
11
:
1
Also
If it was made legal there would be some advantages, for example it could help boost economies. For example, Africa is full of areas with fertile soil which could be used to grow the drug, and if it was grown it could be sold to other countries while under the control of the government. This would increase international relations and also reduce unemployment
Year 12 group
Would you do "HARD" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
11
:
48
Would you do "SOFT" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
15
:
31
Alcohol and Nicotine are hard drugs and legal (18+). Should they be legal?
Yes
No
3
:
2
Year 13 group
Would you do "HARD" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
8
:
29
Would you do "SOFT" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
21
:
12
Alcohol and Nicotine are hard drugs and legal (18+). Should they be legal?
Yes
No
31
:
2
How will the legalization of drugs affect health care systems
Drugs have been used in some countries or states as a source of medical assistance. Drugs such as Marijuana (weed) are used in some states in USA to treat patients with diseases such as cancer as they see it as a better source of treatment because it works faster and is more effective.
However
Overall results
Would you do "SOFT" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
59
69
Alcohol and Nicotine are hard drugs and legal (18+). Should they be legal?
Yes
No
9
1
if it was legalized this would affect health care systems because they would have to deal with more addiction problems meaning rehabilitation centers would be full of people who could afford to pay for them and for those who couldn't afford it would end up trying to feed there addiction through crime.
Would you do "HARD" drugs if they were legal?
Yes
No
26
121
:
:
:

National Perspective
Global Perspective
Personal Perspective
Conclusions
Take for instance, the case of Colorado, the law for the first time approved

marijuana for recreational use at a state level on December 30th
The idea of this legalization, is to consider marijuana an equal to alcohol. By the

legalization of marijuana, this means that users of the drug can purchase it

from authorized retailers, and growers of it can also produce it for commercial
use.
How will legalization of marijuana affect families?
Families are affected if one or more members uses drugs! These problems

involve; the risk that younger siblings may often develop the same drug

problem, costs too high for supporting the member’s problem, the drug user

may steal items from the house as to gain money and buy the drug which is

also a problem, also always being worried about the government since it is illegal.
Therefore in conclusion I have discovered that the legalization of marijuana will affect families that have a member hooked on the drug in a positive way rather than in a negative way; this is because with the drug legalized, the users may not have to be worried or scared to confess their problem since it is not illegal but can rather fess up and receive treatment. Legalization of marijuana will bring down the crime level. Also with the legalization , parents may be able to understand the members problem rather than the member lying or stealing to feed this habit, and for those that continue to use the drug may purchase it in peace and not bring harm to their families ( due to gang dangers, drug dealer violence etc )
How do drugs affect society now and in the past?
In the past, there were just like now, many different types of drugs, these include; Blue lotus, Pythia Gases, Tobacco and Psilocybin ( a.k.a mushrooms). Just like now, drugs were used as to change the mental state of the user. As far back as we can go, all cultures have had mood altering substances that they used Alcohol has been around a long, long time in a variety of fermented beverages. Other forms of intoxicants such as plants, mushrooms, seeds and roots have been known to have medicinal and mood altering effects. Like; in the Stone Age, they would drink the juices of berry mash that had been exposed to airborne yeast. Or like 4000 years ago, the Sumerians used opium which they called ‘the plant of joy’ , as to change their mental state, it was found pleasurable.
Drugs have been around for as long as can be recorded, although drugs didn’t affect the society in such a negative way in the past as it does currently, in fact in some situations it may have been useful, such as back in the early 20th century, world war one, ; fighter pilots were given amphetamines (a drug that makes you very alert as to keep them awake during long flights e.g speed ) , also in 1950 the government started giving LSD to the combat soldiers as to enhance their skills in combat. In the past there wasn’t really much drug related problems, even though people weren’t really educated enough on drugs. As of now in this time, drugs affect the society massively, with drugs being one the top causes of death with drug abuse killing 200,000 people each year. Drugs are a much bigger problem now than they were many years ago, from being used in the military to being a top cause of death.

How will legalization of marijuana affect tourism?
The international drug trade refers to the global black market for drugs, all sorts of them, marijuana included. The international drug trade is a global problem that affects tourism greatly. May security conditions have been taken in order to try and stop the drug trade. These include; before entry, thorough searches are conducted before entry, searches are continuously conducted through out the whole process, these also involve security dogs to sniff out drugs. All these actions may cause a massive inconvenience for normal civilians that aren’t involved with this, for example, if you are slightly suspected of being involved, all other plans are postponed until the security forces are certain that you are clean, even if it means missing your boarding. People who smuggle marijuana, have to under go a lot of problems to get it from one destination to the other. Sometimes, they are unsuccessful and are caught, then therefore arrested most probably for life, even if they are just simple drug mules that are not involved in this majorly. With the legalization of marijuana, this may make it a lot easier and safer for the commercial transporters of the drug to carry out their tasks. This may make the tourists feel a lot safer since what they are smuggling is now legal, and there are no more worries of suspects. The legalization of the drug will rather than decrease, increase tourism as the tourists feel much safer. Although some tourists may be disturbed by the fact that it is now legal, but in general it makes it easier for everyone.
How will the decriminalization of drugs affect health care systems?
Drugs have been used in some countries or states as a source of medical assistance. Drugs such as Marijuana (weed) are used in some states in USA to treat patients with diseases such as cancer as they see it as a better source of treatment because it works faster and is more effective.
Medical reasons
However
If it was legalized this would affect health care systems because they would have to deal with more addiction problems meaning rehabilitation centers would be full of people who could afford to pay for them and for those who can’t afford it they would have to deal with their problem on their own which in some cases would mean trying to feed there addiction by resorting to crime so as to buy the drugs that they need.
There would also be an increase in infection because of people are using needles to inject drugs into themselves. Drugs such as heroine are injected into the body and are normally done in the company of friends meaning that they normally share the needle meaning that they exchange blood samples which means a spread of infection and disease such as HIV. This would mean that hospitals would be treating more patients most of which would not be able to pay for the treatment meaning more people would be stuck in hospitals and there would be more congestion in hospitals which means people with serious injuries would sometimes not be treated because of negligence, exhaustion or a lack of enough doctors.
How will the legalization affect prison systems?
How will legalization affect the Kenyan economy?
Therefore I can conclude that I think that legalization In Kenya would be beneficial to the Kenyan economy.
In conclusion the health care systems in my opinion would have the least gain from the legalization of drugs because of all the problems it would cause
How will legalization of marijuana affect families?
Therefore in conclusion I have discovered that the legalization of marijuana will affect families in a positive way rather than in a negative way; this is because with the drug legalized, the users may not have to be worried or scared to confess their problem but can rather fess up and receive treatment. Legalization of marijuana will also bring down the crime level. Also with the legalization, the member lying or stealing to feed this habit, wont need to lie or steal and for those that continue to use the drug they may purchase it in peace and not bring harm to their families ( due to gang dangers, drug dealer violence etc )
How would legalization affect agriculture in Kenya?
In conclusion, legalization of drugs would help agriculture to a certain extent but it will eventually begin to work against them.
How will it affect health care systems?
The health care systems in my opinion would have the least gain from the legalization of drugs because of all the problems it would cause
How will it affect prison systems?
In my opinion the legalization of drugs will help reduce the amount of people in jail for crimes such as sale and growth of drugs . Therefore if the drugs were legalized the amount of people in jail would decrease but what about the people who already went to jail?
Poll results
The poll results therefore show us that the majority of people would not do hard drugs if they were legal as they feel that it would endanger them. However half of our poll felt that it would be okay to do soft drugs this is possibly due to less addictive effects of soft drugs. In our third poll it was an interesting result as a large amount of people felt that alcohol and nicotine should remain legal. This possibly due to cultural norms.
Drugs have been used in some countries or states as a source of medical assistance. Drugs such as Marijuana (weed) are used in some states in USA to treat patients with diseases such as cancer as they see it as a better source of treatment because it works faster and is more effective
Currently, 1.5 million people are arrested every year because of drug possession, sale and growth. This means that if drugs were legalized the amount of people in drugs would decrease because people would not be arrested, for in my opinion, for such petty crimes
These arrests of petty crimes have increased the amount of people in jails in UK and there are currently 80,002 people in jail but in the Netherlands, where it is de criminalized there are only 21,003 people in their jails. However we can not blame the drug trade for everyone in jail because some people are sent to jail because of crimes such as murder or theft.
SO
How will legalization affect criminal activity in east Africa?
Eastern Africa has struggled with high rates of criminal activity for a very long time with problems ranging for frequent mugging and violent robberies to poaching and even to a growing problem with terrorist attacks. Of course to participate in criminal activity such as terrorism and poaching you need a steady source of income to be able to fund the operations and for a long time it has been suggested that the illegal trade in drugs has been a major source of the finances the organizations that organize these operations use to finance the operations. So, how will the legalization of drugs affect criminal activity in east Africa?
One thing that will most defiantly happen is that legalization will definitely cause a significant drop in the price of these drugs. This fact as well along with the fact that there probably will be major taxation on these drugs means that there amount of income that criminals will be able to obtain. It will also reduce their market as there will be legal stores selling the drugs meaning that more people will want to buy it there due to the guarantee of quality and the fact that it is a legal option. All these things could lead to a drop in major/large scale illegal activities due to a reduction in funds available to criminal organizations such as Al Shabab.
HOWEVER
Legalization on the other hand could lead to increase in petty and smaller scale crimes such as petty theft, pickpocketing, cons and things like that. This is because the legalization of drugs might have the negative impact of causing more people to become addicted or dependent on these drugs. This dependency could force people to engage in crime so as to be able to fund their addictions causing a possible increase in the amount of small scale crime.
How will governments regulate the amount of drug use
If governments put regulations, restrictions and controls on the drugs such as how much one is allowed to possess at a go or the amount one is legally allowed to consume it will give us some kind of control on the consumption and trade of the substances.
Some people however argue that putting restrictions in place will be futile and a waste of time backing themselves with the simple argument that if certain people are already doing it know when it is illegal then they do not have enough respect for the law to obey the restrictions before they won’t do so after legalization. They also point to alcohol and how even with the restrictions that have been put on it most people still consume way past the limit so why would they not do the same with the drugs.
How will legalization affect the spread of disease in east Africa?
Legalization could has the potential to affect the spread of disease in both a positive, negative, small and large scale way especially in a less economically developed area like east Africa which is very sensitive and susceptible to spread of disease due to things such as inadequately sanitary conditions, lack of education and a generally inadequate amount of and quality of medical facilities.
Legalization of drugs will mean a larger risk of spread of diseases such as HIV& Aids, harpies and other diseases and infections being spread due to sharing of needles and blunts as saliva and blood will also be mixed if sanitary precautions are not taken which they probably won’t be in less economically developed areas such as East Africa.
However the money that will be gotten through the probable taxation of the drugs if they are legalized could be put into improving medical facilities and sanitary conditions. These improvements could lead to a significant decrease and slowing down of the spread of disease as people will now be educated enough to know how to take care and how to do things as well as understand the things around them. Improved medical facilities means that diseases will be treated better, detected faster and contained more effectively meaning that the spread of disease will be more limited.
Thank you for taking your time to review our global perspectives project
The poll results therefore show us that the majority of people would not do hard drugs if they were legal as they feel that it would endanger them. However half of our poll felt that it would be okay to do soft drugs this is possibly due to less addictive effects of soft drugs. In our third poll it was an interesting result as a large amount of people felt that alcohol and nicotine should remain legal. This possibly due to cultural norms.
Poll conclusions
It would also reduce the risk of people overdosing on certain drugs as well as keeping people safe unlike now where we have no real control over any of these aspects due to the fact that it is an underground trade and no legal standards have to be followed.
It will also make it harder for underage minors and children to get their hands on the drugs as there will be legal restrictions placed on the people selling them that restrict them from selling to minors. This has been shown in how most students between in the age of 16-18 in some sampled schools said that they had an easier access to the illegal and unrestricted marijuana the legal and restricted alcohol and cigarettes.
due to
Drugs Will become cheaper
Due to the fact that the drugs will be legal the drugs will on sale without the cost of illegal production and will be sold in a competitive market rather than one where the dealer decides the price. This will lead to cheaper prices and as a result more people will be able to afford the drugs which they will believe will increase consumption.
In conclusion I think that drug legalization is a good idea and that it would decrease the international drug trade
Full transcript