Response to the “Why we should Legalize Drugs” by Benson B. Roe, MD

The issue concerning use of illegal drugs is a very sensitive one, considering that most people seem to believe that drugs like cocaine, heroin and marijuana to be very dangerous and highly addictive. The media, teachers, police and virtually everybody believe that such drugs should remain illegal and their use should be extensively discouraged and constrained. That explains why their use is called “abuse”. Cocaine, heroin, and marijuana are among the hardcore drugs, whose destructive nature no words can possibly, conclusively describe. That is according to most people. But not according to Dr. Benson B. Roe. His argument that these drugs should not be labeled “more evil than legal substances like alcohol” would come as shock to most people. However, it would be quite unfair to condemn the doctor without hearing out his arguments and weighing them on a scale, against what most people believe. Only then would it be possible to see the issue in a completely different perspective; a rather controversial perspective, which is just what this paper will seek to do (Roe, 2010).Roe’s arguments cannot be said to be baseless. Rather, he begins his arguments by giving some interesting background information on how he came to reconsider his belief that such kinds of drugs are “bad, dangerous and destructive”. The article presents some very fascinating evidence: most of the drug users’ deaths are due to contamination of intravenous injections, with only a few fatalities being caused by overdoses. It is accurate to state that not many people will believe that most of the drugs, if taken in moderation, are “pathologically harmless”. But this is exactly what Roe states in this professionally presented article (Roe, 2010).It is important to note the observation that there are few heroin users who are beyond the age of 50 because they had grown tired of using the drugs and therefore been able to quit. While many people may not have ways of verifying this, if true, then it definitely forms a very strong part of Roe’s evidence that they are harmless provided that they are consumed in moderation. Although it is quite hard to believe that drugs like marijuana or heroin, just like alcohol, are harmless as long as they are taken in moderation, there is no reliable evidence to suggest that the drugs considered to be illegal are indeed more harmless than those considered to be legal. This view comes as rather shocking, considering that even the media send the message that these drugs are extremely dangerous and most people believe it (Roe, 2010).By arguing that there is no point of banning some drugs by calling them evil, addictive and poisonous and legalizing others, Roe provokes some fresh look at what makes the drugs illegal and leaves some equally harmful substances legal. For example, he argues that the “evil” label on some of these drugs has no legal basis. Concerning addiction, there are numerous other things that are addictive, like tobacco, yet they remain legal (Roe, 2010).This is quite a strong case because in as much as marijuana and the other drugs are addictive, there is no credible evidence that they are more so than tobacco and other things like chocolate, gambling and sex (Roe, 2010). However, the writer fails to note that the drugs are highly addictive, which is a negative thing. The use of drugs is known to cause users to have impaired judgment and that continuous use results to resistance to the hallucinogenic effects of the drugs, leading to increase in intakes by users and addiction. There is also a higher possibility of drug users causing accidents at work, school, and home which also endangers their lives as well as those of others around them (US No Drugs, 2009).Roe even goes to the extent of terming claims that these drugs are “deadly poisons” a “hoax”, arguing that the medical evidence that sustained, moderate use of these drugs is little, if there is any. His argument goes like this: most of these drugs have been used in large amounts through the centuries, yet there is no clinical evidence that they cause any serious diseases (Roe, 2010). This contradicts the belief created by research that users of these drugs experience many other physical effects apart from the hallucinogenic effect. The effects include problems while driving, flashbacks and unwanted recurrences of their effects even for months after use. Another thing is that some of these drugs also cause users to have little inhibitions when it comes to sexual matters, increasing their sexual activity and eventually increasing their risk of contracting STIs. Also, it is well known that if users stop using the drugs abruptly, they may experience withdrawal symptoms like muscle cramps and convulsions (US No Drugs, 2009).Roe’s argument that most drug users are not addicts and that only a few users fall to addiction, which is the same case with alcohol users, is based on the assumption that the drug market is so huge yet there are only a few users who are known to become addicted (Roe, 2010). These claims cannot be verified, because nobody really knows the exact extent to which these drugs are consumed and there is also no evidence that the users do not eventually become addicts. To prove this point, Roe would have to conduct extensive research to establish the real ratio of the drug users and the addictions resulting from the drug use. Only then would this claim be credible.In conclusion, the writer shows some considerable amount of effort in advocating for the legalization of these drugs, but the fact that other  harmful things like tobacco, alcohol, (and other addictive products) in the market today are legal does not make it right to legalize these drugs. Two wrongs will not make things right. It is important to note that not only are these drugs highly addictive, but also high-illusion causing and should therefore remain illegal. By focusing much on the addictiveness of the drugs by likening them to things like chocolate, the writer greatly underrates the negative effects these drugs have on human behavior and therefore he misses the mark. What he probably should focus on is the banning of other harmful drugs, rather than the legalization of the other illegal drugs. ReferencesRoe, B. B. MD. (2010). Why we should legalize drugs. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2010 from<http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Misc/roe1.htm>US No Drugs. (2009). Effects of Drug Abuse On the Individual. Retrieved 14 Jul. 2010 from<http://www.usnodrugs.com/effects-of-drug-abuse.htm>