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Benefits of Legalizing Illegal Drugs

Updated on December 8, 2010

Drugs should be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the United States. The outlawing of drugs clearly promotes organized crime by providing revenue generating avenues such as drug production, trafficking, and distribution. The demand for illegal drugs within the United States is extremely high. This high demand assures an endless drug supply that the United States government has been ineffective in stopping. The government spends tremendous amounts of money each year in efforts to stop illegal drug activities. The legalization of drugs provides tax revenue for the government, ensures drugs are safer, and eliminates a major source of organized crime revenue.

Legal drugs can be taxed and regulated; illegal drugs cannot. Illegal drugs are similar to the days of Prohibition when the “cost of enforcing prohibition was high, and the lack of tax revenues on alcohol (some $500 million annually nationwide) affected government coffers” (“Prohibition,” 2006). The cost of enforcing drug laws is extremely high and very ineffective (Abadinsky, 2003). Taxed and regulated drugs provide income for the government and assure the drugs are safer due to government regulation.

Government regulation over the production and distribution of drugs assures drugs are safer than they would be if produced in an unregulated, illegal manner. Like with Prohibition, government regulated production of safe drugs prevents problems that stem from illegal production such as the “cases of people going blind or suffering from brain damage after drinking “bathtub gin” made with industrial alcohol or various poisonous chemicals” (“Prohibition,” 2006). As with tobacco and alcohol, the potential for abuse of legalized drugs will always exist. With government regulated drugs, however, the chances of a ‘bad trip’ or death due to poorly manufactured drugs are reduced.

The legalization of drugs reduces organized crime. Many organized crime groups depend on revenue generated from the production and distribution of illegal drugs (Abadinsky, 2003). Government taxed and regulated drugs remove this revenue generating opportunity from organized crime. Without opportunities for financial gain, organized crime groups will not be able to sustain themselves.

The demand for drugs, legal or illegal, will always exist. The supply of illegal drugs does not always have to exist. The legalization of drugs removes the need for illegal drug suppliers. Organized criminals demonstrate little success making money off legal activities (Abadinsky, 2003). Taxed and regulated drugs generate revenue for the government, are safer, and reduce organized crime.


Abadinsky, H. (2003). Organized crime (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth Learning.

Prohibition (2006). Retrieved from Wikipedia:


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    • profile image

      blake 4 years ago

      If your Giong to legalize one drug you must leglize them all. But first educate people on how to use those drugs, there is recreatonal use and every day use. Then there is how much to use so you don't OD. If you take away the stigmata asiocated with hard narcotics and educate people how to use them then it's more socialy exceptable. Then people are not hidding in the bathroom at the grocery store shooting up. There In desiignatedspots were that kind of Behavior is ecepted. Then the real problem is addiction and crime.

    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 4 years ago

      Very concise and a good article. I definitely agree with you about drugs. This "War on drugs" is simply a stupid, terrible policy that has been badly implemented by the federal government. Hopefully, more and more states will begin to ease restrictions on these drugs.

    • profile image

      Chloe 5 years ago

      Sure there would be revenue and organized crime wouldn't be as wealthy but illegal drugs are addictive. The main cause of death is OVERDOSE. At the moment you generally need to be in the wrong crowd to be involved with drugs but if they are legalised then almost everyone will be involved with drugs just as heavily as alcohol and cigarettes. Legalise a drug like Marijuana, but not all of them. Drugs like heroin are way to dangerous to put the hands of society.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 6 years ago from Seven Seas

      Yes, if those drugs are regulated, it's effects will be lessened. Even prescriptive drugs can be abused, too. A review on legislation regarding drugs and its limitations should be made, not only in the US but to the government of every country.

    • kea profile image

      kea 7 years ago

      @Gypsy Willow - thx for dropping by and for your great comments!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      There so much commonsense in your hub. The prisons in the USA would be almost empty! People would be less wary of seeking help too if they were legal.

    • kea profile image

      kea 7 years ago

      @James A Watkins - Hi, James! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      I certainly agree with you. Your article is spot on. Thanks for the good read.

    • kea profile image

      kea 7 years ago

      HH - thx for the comment!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for writing this hab and putting it like that; I think you got a good point.