The Case to Keep Drugs Illegal The article, “Don’t Legalize Those Drugs”, by Barry McCaffrey was made to claim that the current United States policy against drugs is indeed successful and should not be abolished. McCaffrey claims, “Drug use imposes an unacceptable risk of harm on the user and others,” then proceeds to provide substantial support for this claim. He also claims “harm reduction”, or the softening of the drug laws, would have a negative effect on our countries well-being.
The strength of McCaffrey’s argument is his ability to support his claims. One of his main supports is that “Substance abuse wrecks families”. He then provides perceived facts about child maltreatment, death rates, and other problems in families with substance abuse issues. He also discusses crime outside of families and how having legal drugs, our crime rate would actually increase because people on drugs are more likely to commit crimes.
He uses the statistic that says “in 1997, a third of state prisoners and about one in five federal prisoners said they had committed the crimes that led to incarceration while under the influence of drugs. ” There are many warrants that connect McCaffrey’s evidence to his claim. The most obvious one is the accuracy of his sources. There are many facts that are based on percentages and surveys but there is not a clear sample size. How many people are being surveyed or where are the statistics being gathered are all valid questions.
He also says that “studies show that the more a product is available and legitimized, the greater will be its use”. This needs many warrants, what study actually shows this and how can it be proven that use will be more common? Finally, he stands firm against “harm reduction” and claims this will make drug use greater, but one could definitely argue that “harm reduction” would help drug abuse. McCaffrey discusses how he believes drug policies can be improved without being abolished as a counter argument to those who believe the current system is unsuccessful.
He talks about how prevention is the true solution to our country’s drug issues. Also, his defense to those who argue for choice, he says that we have agreed consistently against things that can cause harm to us. Fore example, wearing a helmet when on a motorcycle therefore, the drug issue is no different. Overall, this is a well written argument and McCaffrey does a great job supporting his claim and making claims against counter arguments. Works Cited McCaffrey, Barry R. “Don’t Legalize Those Drugs. ” Washington Post June 1999, n. pag. Print.