Page 1. I think that society should permit the use of drugs for recreational purposes. After all, over twenty years of troop sweeps, police actions and military rhetoric, the evidence is all around us. The war on drugs has flopped.

It has been more then ineffective and has actually made things worse. We as American citizens have to wake up and realize that there will never be a "drug free" utopia that we have been promised. People will always be willing to experiment with their bodies and use drugs no-matter the cost involved in doing so. It is our human nature to want things we can't have and to crave addictive substances whether it is heroin or that addictive chocolate bar in the express lane aisle of your favorite grocery store.

In this case we need to permit new stimulants and legalize illegal drugs so that American companies and tax paying citizens can profit. If all drugs were legalized tomorrow, drug dealers, terrorists funded by illegal drugs, and black market rings would all suffer; if not permanently put out of business. There would be no need for expensive anti-drug commercials and D. A. R.

E. type programs, which have only flooded the minds of children with curiosity. "Also, taxpayers would save billions each year, in fact through the Office of Page 2. National Drug Control Policy, the federal government spends an estimated $17 billion." With the strain of drug related policing removed, serious crimes could be given the resources they deserve. This would free up more space in our already overcrowded, uneconomical prison system, which presently operates today. Also, the of drugs would only further demonstrate the freedom we have in our democratic society.

Let's face it, drugs are harmful whether legal or illegal, but the Pandora's Box is wide open and it is not going to be shut, ever. There is no way to stop something so big and with the range of getting drugged so broad and endless from those drugs grown in the ground like marijuana, produced in the basement like ecstasy or those drugs legally available such as caffeine stimulants, nicotine, paint thinners and glue. Illegal or not, they can be found everywhere. Living in the city, suburbs and rural America myself, I have discovered drugs to be literally everywhere from my place of work, school or on the street.

These drugs are readily assessable and at anyone's grasp with the least craving or desire. The range of drugs that can be swallowed, injected, snuffed or chewed Page 3. is literally endless. We have to remember that whether someone wants to do drugs is there personal choice and in the end; there's alone. In this situation we need to take action by allowing our pharmaceutical companies the ability to produce safer drugs with the same effects as those on the streets, this intern would allow American companies to profit here and around the world, drug dealers to loose their clout and to take the immediate burden of the tax payers of this country. The immediate effect of a legalized drug market would be increased safety for drug users.

All clean and natural drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin are pathologically harmless if taken in appropriate doses and not tampered with in a lab before hand. A regulated drug market would do just this and provide such safety for drug users as consistent doses, lowering the likelihood of overdoses with some drugs. Clear labeling, instructions, and warnings like those listed by the surgeon general on a pack of cigarettes would result in safer usage. The legalization of drugs would allow pharmaceutical companies to profit by allowing them to research and eventually create safer drugs that produce similar side effects to the Page 4. current illegal ones. At the same time there would be significant tax revenues that would be included into the big picture.

Overall these new drugs would decrease the negative side effects associated with dangerous substances and reduce the overall harm caused by current make shift lab created and unhygienic drugs typically used today. The initial addiction to drugs in the first place is brought on by curiosity, pleasure and to fit into society. Society experiments with drugs whether they be legal or illegal in order to experiment with the world around them and to learn for themselves what such substances are capable of achieving. It seems as though teenagers want to try something daring or to prove their fearlessness, or to be accepted.

Older drug users tend to use such substances for pleasure such as drinking at a bar, or to relax with illegal opiates. Some claim to use marijuana for treatment of illness. The depressed will use prescription drugs to ease the pain and try to escape reality. The one thing all these drug users have in common is that they are relying heavily on a drug instead of each other and not allowing nature to take it's course. I do acknowledge that drugs are only a temporary and unrealistic way to deal with life. Page 5.

This is why drugs do not solve real problems and should only be used for recreational purposes only. When a person thinks of a drug user, one usually pictures them to be distinctly different or not associated with mainstream America. What most people don't realize is that drug users and offenders are dressed just like you and me and can be your parents, spouse, children or grandchildren. Drug users come in every race, religion, gender and age.

Everyday people are using drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. Without anyone ever realizing their illness. If all drugs were legalized these people could get the appropriate help they need without having to stop their addiction right away, which is why so many drug programs don't work. Drug users, just like homosexuals would like to come out of the closet and share their addiction without the constant fear of being locked away. Almost everyone in America is already addicted to one type of drug or another and might not even realize it. As Americans, our use of caffeine is a way of life, and is within easy reach.

"In fact, according to the National Coffee Association, nearly sixty two percent of the U. S. Page 6. population over eighteen years of age drinks coffee everyday." This only affirms us that the majority of our population consumes coffee on a daily basis and this is only one caffeine-inhibited stimulant, which is widely used in our society.

Coffee specialty restaurants and do nut / coffee shops are visible everywhere, whether in the city, on the highways, or suburbia. Drinking coffee in many forms of presentation is hip; even being introduced as the "in drink" for young teens. Also, these coffee cafes are fast becoming a new place for people to connect, along with internet and e-mail services for those willing to hang around and enjoy their brew. Coffee is hot, cold, strong, weak, whipped, etc.

Java is presented in every manner from a paper container to a fancier, gourmet porcelain cup. Coffee wakes us up and stimulates us all day just by adding another cup to our busy agendas. Caffeine stimulants are contained in many products easily purchased at local convenience stores, pharmacies, grocers and even department stores. Stimulants such as Red-Bull, Amp, and Jolt Soda are becoming popular with all age groups. People all around the world are using them to keep awake and stimulate their mind and body.

Today's Page 7. athletes think these supplements are actually improving their game and overall per formance on and off the court. "In fact according to the Washington State Journal of Medicine, many medical specialists are starting to get concerned with the over dependence of caffeinated soft drinks, which could pose a threat to athletes later in life." Although such stimulants are now starting to get headline attention in modern media, we must realize that such drugs have always been used. "Coca-Cola with its crisp and refreshing taste has stimulated the American public since its inception in the early 1900's." Next lets look into alcohol consumption. Once again, we find another favorite American pastime -- drinking.

We celebrate any occasion with a toast of liquor, whether it is observing a holiday, or marking the end of a funeral. Wine, beer, shots, or mixed drinks, consumed at anytime or place to highlight almost all social events. Drinking alcohol is both socially correct and acceptable in our society. "According to the Social Issues Research Center, alcohol has long been regarded as a social leveler, and the act of communal drinking is a means of communication between those of different ranks and status in any Page 8. society." Alcohol is given and received graciously as gifts and is imported and exported freely around the world. Alcohol business is brisk at all times, however, most especially at New Year's, which almost isn't complete without a final toast.

For many alcoholics and social drinkers these beverages can become a serious problem and social crutch. However, like all other drugs, we must know our limitations and when to draw the line. Now to the drug addiction of tobacco, which contains additives placed within the refined tobacco leaves, to produce dependence by its user. Tobacco can be smoked as in cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, and cigars, or chewed.

Products containing tobacco with the added main drug of nicotine, are highly attainable and everywhere. These are legal to purchase, provided you are eighteen years old, but readily obtained from anyone at any age. Once you start down the road of using tobacco, most users think that you are hooked immediately. Smoking is a mental, emotional, and physical addiction, which can lead to problems of the same. Tobacco is quite possibly the most addictive substance in our civilization, yet nobody in the government has even considered making it illegal. Page 9.

As accepted and prevalent as smoking is in some areas of society, it is also taboo. Smoking is allowed in some establishments and banned in others. Government legislature, both locally and nationally, is constantly being evoked, to limit and prohibit smoking in designated areas. Recently interest in cigars has been revived in society and has become very savvy.

Cigar bars and pipe shops are more accepted then the typical cigarette smoker on the street. All are equally detrimental to ones health, yet the facts on tobacco and nicotine has at times become magnified, and even twisted by the media. All these facts aside, there is still a great majority of smokers who live productive lives into their eighties. The last subject on drugs that this paper will cover is on steroids.

This drug is also highly assessable and treated with either an acceptable or totally unacceptable attitude. Rather then getting a mind stimulus, feel good emotional high, steroids affect our physical appearances and strength. They help us to achieve physical goals we would otherwise never reach without the aid of such a high potency drug. If we cannot control our competitive nature, egoism and vanity and provided society as a whole, doesn't Page 10.

change the way it demands and rewards the "Body Beautiful", and if people cannot learn to be the best they can be, physically as well as psychologically, without performance enhancing drugs, there will always be the desire to achieve the perfect body no matter what the physical or psychological cost. We as American citizens must come together and realize that drugs are not a beneficial substance in our society, legal or illegal, and both will be used no matter the restrictions in place. As long as we continue spending billions each year towards fighting a losing war against drugs, this will only produce more anger against police, and our government while at the same time hurting hard working Americans. We must legalize all drugs even if this means temporarily slightly hurting our society even more. Those who are already addicts would find themselves with safer less expensive narcotics, while new users would enter a much safer playing ground then even one generation before. Today's hard drugs are fueled by instant addiction and contain harmful additives which lead to death, and money is the only motive.

The problem is not only the drugs, but also the enormous amounts of untaxed dollars Page 11. diverted from the economy to criminals. This only adverts more money towards crime and violence driven by gangs, terrorists, and anti-American groups found across the country, and around the world. In conclusion, the legalization of all drugs has never been more necessary. It would remove the burden that drug charges place on our legal system allowing it to concentrate on real crime.

There would finally be a labeled concentration on all drug products so that users would be at a safer playing level and avoid accidental overdoses. American pharmaceutical companies would be given the ability to research, profit, and produce safer narcotics, instead of the illegal labs that exist and operate today. There would be an instant obliteration of drug crime and reduction of overall theft. Also a break for the taxpaying citizens of America, who would save billions each year, if such a proposal was ever to be passed. Legalization is the only method we have to stop organized drug crime, before it further corrupts our society. It's time to stop the war on drugs and begin the campaign towards drug legalization.

Bibliography: 1. Jones T Stevens. (Page 1. ) "taxpayers would save billions each year, in fact through the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the federal government spends an estimated $17 billion." New Times (CA) - 24, June 1999.

web 2. Morgan, Dr. Jan nell. (Page 7.

) "In fact according to the Washington State Journal of Medicine, many medical specialists are starting to get concerned with the over dependence of caffeinated soft drinks, which could pose a threat to athletes later in life." Washington State Journal of Medicine - Publish Date: 1996. web National Coffee Association. (Page 5. ) "In fact, according to the National Coffee Association, nearly sixty two percent of the U. S. population over eighteen years of age drinks coffee everyday." Coffee Science - 04, April 2001.

web Roy, David. (Page 7. ) "Coca-Cola with its crisp and refreshing taste has stimulated the American public since its inception in the early 1900's." Coca Cola History and Collecting - 02, February 2003. web Social Issues Research Center.

(Page 7. ) "According to the Social Issues Research Center, alcohol has long been regarded as a social leveler, and the act of communal drinking is a means of communication between those of different ranks and status in any society." (Oxford University Archives - Graves et al, 1982). web.