What would really happen if we did nothing? “Supporters of the drug war argue that drug use would escalate if less vigorous law enforcement efforts were adopted or if less draconian sentences were handed down” (Kappeler and Potter, p. 184). Colorado is a good example of what might happen. In less than the first year of complete legalization, their murder rate dropped by half, according to allgov.com. The city has made millions from the taxation of the drug and the legalization has opened up numerous jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs.
“Despite the arrests, the media campaigns, and the adoption of draconian penalties for drug use violations, one of every seven adult citizens of the United States chose to violate the drug laws in 2002” (Kappeler and Potter, p. 184). That number has only gone up in the last 13 years. They just cannot stop themselves from feeling good, from taking the edge off, regardless of how vigorous law enforcement efforts are. Despite the drug laws or the consequences, people are going to do drugs.
Less vigorous law enforcement would probably lead to more money to take care of the people who need help to get off of the hardcore drugs. Opening shelters, creating better, more successful treatment and care options for drug users with psychological disorders are all options if this nation spent less on vigorous enforcement. Instead, we create long prison sentences as a requirement for drug offenders. “As a result … federal expenditures for corrections increased 861 percent” (Kappeler and Potter, p. 184).