- Tobacco is one of the UK's biggest killers Between 1950 and 2000, 42 per cent of deaths in middle age (35-69) in UK men were caused by smoking, peaking in the 1960s when tobacco caused half of all deaths in middle-aged men.
- The Number of alcohol related deaths in the UK has doubled in the past 20 years, In 2005, the number of deaths reached 8356, [source 1]
The number of deaths from "illegal drugs" is correspondingly much smaller. Although, this is partly due to the fact less people take the drugs.
Arguments for Legalising Drugs
1. Government could regulate the quality of the drugs. This would prevent dangerous varieties of drugs being offered to unwitting consumers.
2. It would Reduce criminal activity. Organised criminals can make profit from the trade in illegal drugs
3. Government can collect tax revenue from the sale of drugs. It will also save money from vainly trying to stop the illegal sale of drugs
4. The government have been helping to reduce tobacco consumption over the past 2 decades, even though it is legal. Illegal drug consumption, however, has been continuing to grow.
Arguments against legalising drugs
1. Making them Legal would encourage consumption.
2. People still underestimate the dangers of illegal drugs. Legalising drugs may give wrong signals. See ecstasy dangers for just 1 example
3. If it was legalised in the UK, drug addicts may be attracted to the UK. Like, for example, the cannabis tourists in holiday. - This is a strong argument against legalising drugs.