Most drugs are illegal in the United States. While people are often dead-set against drug use on the grounds that they are illegal alone, do you ever stop to ask yourself why that is?
After all, alcohol is legal. So is nicotine. So are many prescription drugs that, in any other setting, would be illegal. Why are you allowed to use some drugs and not others?
Insights from the opioid epidemic
The biggest argument for the illegality of drugs is the problem of addiction. A quick look at the opioid epidemic shows just how dangerous some addictive drugs can be. People can often get opioids from doctors for medical use, they get hooked on them, and they start using them illegally. This can lead to all manner of health problems, including long-term addiction, and it has taken many lives.
This epidemic has even changed the minds of some experts who used to support legalizing every single drug and allowing people to make their own decisions.
But does this reasoning hold up? Not quite. After all, both nicotine and alcohol are also highly addictive. Both of them take many lives every year, through overdoses, cancer, car accidents and many other events. If the goal of making drugs illegal was to protect people from their own behavior or from addiction, both of these drugs would need to be illegal, as well. The United States has tried this with alcohol during Prohibition, but it was a resounding failure.
Your rights after an arrest
Regardless of the reasons for their illegality, many drugs are still prohibited. If you get arrested for illicit drug use or possession, be sure you know your rights. A drug conviction can have serious consequences for your life, so take all the steps you can to protect your future.