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Enforcing Drug Laws

Post 308 of 708

If you would look up “silly laws” on the Internet, you would find a host of disregarded laws that are still on the books. There is the “Dominoes may not be played on Sunday” law of Alabama, and the “You must contact the police before entering the city in an automobile” law of Chicago. If a law isn’t enforced, it really loses all of its power.

There is a new law in Honduras that says that family members can call the police on people who smoke at home. The law is part of a widespread ban that prohibits smoking in most closed public or private areas. This law, no matter how well-meaning it is, will most likely not be enforced. The law is very vague, not actually saying it is illegal to smoke in the home, and police in the country are busy battling a huge crime problem. Opponents to the law call it ineffective and even pointless.

Drug Laws that are Hard to Enforce

Other laws are also hard to follow through with. Among the most common unenforced drug laws are marijuana laws. Sometimes it is because police and authorities look the other way and do not try to enforce the law. Other times, law enforcement is so busy arresting other offenders. In some areas, pot users are simply not afraid to light up in public because they know from past experience that nothing will happen to them. Is this really the message we want to be sending people about an illegal drug?

California Drug Laws

There have been many discussions about states like California and their marijuana laws, and how they impact the rest of the country. California allows marijuana to be sold and used for medical purposes. That means that there are a lot of people in the state in possession of this substance at any given time. If any of these people cross into another state, however, they could be charged with drug possession. Likewise, if the federal government wanted to, it could step in to California and prosecute those it finds with marijuana. This causes headache and confusion for those who want to legally use marijuana for medical purposes, as well as for law enforcement. The situation would get a lot stickier if California or any state would completely legalize pot, something that some people are pushing for.

Many people would argue that with any drugs, if we make them illegal, we need to follow through with that. Having a law that is deliberately broken serves no purpose, other than to make people think they don’t have to obey the law. In some cases, it might even make more sense to officially decriminalize the substance, rather than let offenders slide by. States are low on money, law enforcement has many other problems to focus on, and our court systems are jam-packed, but making futile laws or keeping unobserved drug laws around may be hurting our country’s anti-drug strategy in the long run.


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Bethany Winkel

This article was written by Bethany Winkel

Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.