ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why It’s Time to Decriminalize or Legalize Laws That Are Exploitative, Irrelevant & Stifle Progress

Updated on July 31, 2018
Van Nchogu profile image

Am a storyteller, thinker and researcher which i infuse in my writings to communicate better to my readers,

In most modern societies the Government is tasked with creating laws or set of rules where citizens are required in adhering to for preservation of order and harmony. They are like a manual whose main purpose is guiding a person on living peacefully with others, the remedies available when seeking redress, limitations of one’s rights, various unlawful acts and punishment accorded to them. In the absence of law chaos thrives and a society is ungovernable creating a failed state. As we move towards the future it becomes imperative those tasked in creating those laws to continually amend them in meeting and solving challenges brought about by changing times.

Hence a law created in 18th century was sufficient in meeting the demands & challenges of that period as it was structured in answering various situations which the society deemed important and relevant in maintaining order amongst them. For example a law created to contain idleness was relevant during that time as they viewed it somewhat as a crime and morally unacceptable. As time passed with globalization spreading, people begun learning new cultures changing their perceptions about idleness and accepting it as a normal behavior amongst them making such law irrelevant nowadays.

What is Decriminalization and Legalization?

So by continually reviewing laws the Government is seen keeping abreast with the ever changing perception of its citizens regarding various issues affecting them and maintaining laws that are relevant. In doing so the Government reduces inefficiencies in execution and enforcement of laws which in turn increases confidence in the judicial process. Thus the onus is on the Government in ensuring the current laws reflect the views and aspirations of its people to avoid being seen exploitative, archaic and out of touch.

Therefore the Government is faced with 2 options; either they decriminalize or legalize some sections of laws which over time the society deem them as irrelevant as their perceptions have changed regarding them and many gradually begin to see them as a lesser threat on their moral standards.

Decriminalization is the lessening of criminal penalties relating to certain acts or to repeal a strict ban while keeping some form of regulation and Legalization is the process of removing of all criminal penalties from something.

For example in 2003, New Zealand decriminalized prostitution meaning its associated acts like escort services, pimping, brothels, and street hooking carried less severe punishment mainly fines. While on 2014, Washington, DC legalized the possession, cultivation of Marijuana which meant that all criminal liability and punishment associated with it were completely removed.

Minor and Non-Minor Offences

In law an offence is either minor or non-minor depending on factors below:-

  • Circumstances of the case,
  • Nature of the offence,
  • Manner it was committed,
  • The likely sentence, and
  • Views of the victim or previous criminal record.

A minor offence is less severe in terms of punishment, unimportant to the society and not that serious in nature while exactly opposite for non- minor varying in interpretations worldwide.

Thus it’s like a scenario where theft has been reported about an unaccounted 100/= from the day’s total sales on a shop attendant who has always been accountable might be considered to commit a minor offence unlike one with a history of unaccountability fails in accounting of 100,000/= which were the day’s sales and hence a non-minor offence.

In most countries especially Third World & Muslim Majority Countries the severity in which some minor offences are taken make them seen as exploitative and unpopular to the society as they are out of touch these modern times. By failing in reviewing such laws the Government has created a conduit for those responsible in executing and enforcing them through bribes or risk of punishment.

Begging the question is it time these Countries consider decriminalizing or legalizing offences which are minor in nature to eliminate exploitation and increase confidence in the judicial process. As the world becomes smaller our moral perception on various issues is challenged by different cultures we come across and gradually learn to accept them as normal. Most of these laws were enacted when globalization was still an idea and based on issues affecting those times hence irrelevant now. Colonized Countries especially in Africa simply borrowed laws from their colonialists which were mainly created in benefiting and extend their stay in the colonies. Oppressive & out-dated in nature successive Governments have continually failed in reviewing them and are used in exploiting citizens especially by those in authority.

Non-Minor Offences that are Irrelevant Today

Touting, Loitering, Rogues& Vagabonds, Drunkenness, Idleness, Begging, Indecent exposure, Failure to pay debt, Prostitution, General offensive conduct, are some of the offences which are minor but failure in reviewing them since their enactment in the 50’s or 60’s has rendered them to be exploitative in nature, irrelevant in these modern times and become a conduit of corruption for those entrusted in enforcing them.

It’s estimated about 70% of inmates especially in Third world countries are petty offenders i.e. their offences are minor in nature like the ones stated above, resulting in over-stretching and over-populating correctional facilities. Resources are strained in enforcing such laws instead of concentrating it on emerging, complex and serious offences like cyber-crime, terrorism, homicide, organized crime, narcotics etc.

Hence its time the Government considers decriminalizing such laws or legalizing them which in turn will remove conduits for exploitation, corruption and free-up resources & personnel to concentrate in dealing with emerging situations. It will ensure our correctional facilities are filled with inmates whose crime fits the punishment and they’re run in optimum capacity.

As globalization firmly takes root in societies worldwide its time those in authority consider either Decriminalizing or legalizing such laws by reviewing their relevance, impact and cost which in turn will concentrate resources on those considered more serious and complex in nature.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)