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Whether Bill Clinton inhaled when trying marijuana as a college student was about the closest the last presidential campaign came to addressing the drug issue The present one however could be very different For the fourth straight year a federally supported nationwide survey of American secondary school students by the University of Michigan has shown increased drug use After at least 10 years in which drug use had been falling the major concern that is already rising is that the large wave of teenagers the group most at risk of taking drugs will be accompanied by a new surge in drug use Gwynne 1 The only logical step for the United States to take is to legalize drugs in essence repeal and trash the current drug policies This can be accomplished in a similar procedure with which America abandoned its brief experiment with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s Illicit drugs should be legalized for the reasons of public satisfaction government taxation reduction of crime and industrial value Although the legalization alternative typically surfaces when the publics anxiety about drugs and despair over existing policies are at their highest it never seems to exit the media for long Frequent incidents such as the heroin-induced death of a young wealthy New York City couple in 1995 or the 1993 remark by then Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders that legalization might be beneficial and should be studied support this The prominence of some individuals who have made the case for legalization such as William F Buckley Jr Milton Friedman and George Shultz also helps Dawsey 73 However each time the issue of legalization arises the same arguments for and against are used repeatedly leaving us with no clearer understanding of what it might involve and what the effect might be Obviously drug legalization is not a public policy option that lends itself to simple or shallow debate It requires analysis and scrutiny of an order that has
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