Should we Legalize all Mind Changing Drugs?
Mind-altering drugs have undoubtedly been a controversial topic in United States history. From medical to religious to traditional uses and from child neglect to homelessness to rising health care costs, mind-altering drugs have been at the forefront of America's concern in the war on drugs. All this in a country that prides itself on the pursuit of happiness and honoring the rights of the individual over the good of society. Should mind-altering drugs be legalized? This question, which must be answered to the satisfaction of the majority of society, prompts numerous valid points that must be examined without the influences of political agenda to protect the welfare of the country's citizens as well as society as a whole. First, a brief history of United States drug regulations will be presented followed by a description of what United States drug regulations are today and lastly the pros and cons of legalizing all mind-altering drugs will be discussed.
Hallucinogens, narcotics and other mind-altering drugs have a long history of use within the medical field and religious traditions around the world (Ksir, Hart, & Ray, 2006, p. 336). Today in the United States, unlawful possession of a mind-altering drug, even one that is commonly found in nature, is considered a crime and is punishable by imprisonment and or fines. However, it is important to point out that there is some flexibility given to traditional religious use by members of ethnic minorities such as the Native American Church or in government-approved research (Ksir, Hart, & Ray, 2006, p. 341,352).
In the United States, The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the sale and manufacturing of drugs following a series of laws enacted over the past century. In 1820, the first set of legal standards for composition and preparation of drugs was established in the United States when eleven physicians meet in Washington, D.C., to create...