SPE 1330: Effective Speaking

Persuasive Speech

(Question of Policy to gain passive agreement-

Monroe’s Motivational Sequence)

Steven Rodriguez (Fall 2011)



Decriminalization and Regulation of Drugs

Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that all drugs should be decriminalized and                 regulated.


Central Idea: Today, I will discuss the reasons why all drugs should be decriminalized                  and regulated, how we can regulate drugs, and the benefits of regulating and    decriminalizing drugs.




  1. How many think we are winning the drug war? Today, I am going to talk about why drugs should be decriminalized and regulated.
    1. I am sure most of you here have seen a junkie somewhere on these New York streets. I am also pretty sure if there was a sex offender or murderer around your block, you would want them to lock up the sex offender rather than the junkie.
    2. I think it is important to know and understand the drug war, the reasons why we will never win the war and how can we regulate the drugs to make our communities a better place.
  2. I will demonstrate the reasons why drugs should be regulated and legalized, how these regulations can be applied, and the benefits we will see from these regulations.


(Internal Preview: Let’s start by discussing why drugs should be regulated and decriminalized.)



  1. Drugs need to be regulated and decriminalized.
  2. The first reason for the regulation of drugs is the danger to the youth.
    1. According to a 2009 research study by The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 26 percent of kids between the age 12-17 say marijuana are easier to get than alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs. 40 percent of kids between the ages 12-17 say they can get it within a day.

In this same research study they found cocaine use by kids of the age 12-17 rose from 2% in 2007 to 4% in 2009.

  1. According to a 2001 World Health Organization survey of 110,000 US and European teens, 3% of the Dutch students claimed to be heavy users of marijuana compared to the 9% of American teens who claimed to be heavy users of marijuana.
  2. According to a 2008 American Drug War: The Last White Hope, a documentary. Since Holland has adopted a more organic approach to drugs making marijuana and mushrooms legal, the synthetic drugs like crystal meth are almost nonexistent.
  3. The second reason for the regulation of drugs is the Prison Industrial Complex.
    1. The Prison Industrial Complex is the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies.
    2. According to a drugwarfacts.org article as of 2009 prisoners guilty of a drug offense make up 51% of the prison population. This is over half of the prison population. I would rather have all of the murderers and rapists in jail than drug abusers. Policing is wasted on drugs rather than catching violent offenders.
    3. The legalization and regulation of drugs would help decrease the number of prisoners. Get rid of overcrowded prisons, and increase policing the violent crimes instead of the drug crimes. Drugs are not a criminal problem; it is a medical and social problem.
    4. The third reason for the regulation of drugs is to eliminate horrific drug empires.
      1. According to the CRS Report for Congress Mexican Drug Cartel’s import 90% of the United States cocaine supply a year, and 50% of their profit comes from marijuana.
      2. In the same article there is a map of the United States. The red dots show Mexican Cartel presence in the United States. It ranges from Los Angeles to Boston. Many of them are scattered throughout the country and if someone needs to be dealt with all it takes is one call.
      3. Media outlets in Mexico such as PGR and SEDENA estimate that there were 7,700 drug-related murders in 2009. Which would 21 drug-related murders a day. By legalizing drugs we can save thousands of lives who are viciously and brutally murdered by Drug Cartels.


(Transition: Now that you know some reasons why drugs should be regulated and legalized, let’s look at how we can regulate drugs.)

  1. The ways in which we can regulate drugs amongst society.
  2. First, we should allow each state to choose the age limits to the drugs as long as they are not under the age of 18. The under 18 policy would be implemented by our Federal Government.
    1. By enforcing these set of laws, teens will not be able to have access to these drugs. Helping decrease drug use to teenagers.
    2. We should treat it just like we do alcohol. You cannot drink alcohol in public or drink and drive. You cannot act recklessly in public, in other words public intoxication. All of these forms of law will be enforced on the other drugs.
    3. Reform our educational system to have a class based on drug abuse and the negatives of drug abuse.
      1. This education should be provided to our youth so they can understand the difference between marijuana and crystal meth. I often saw politicians and teachers who would say marijuana is just as bad as crystal meth or cocaine growing up. This can provide confusion for one of young age, because if a kid tries marijuana and sees it is not as bad as they say. Then, eventually he will fall into the loophole of hardcore drugs like heroin and crystal meth. This is where the dubbed name of marijuana “gateway drug” comes from, which is bad education.
      2. It is important that our youth gets this information from a young age. Therefore, they will be to understand the effects of drugs and be able to keep away from drug abuse.
      3. For the people who do abuse drugs, we should take care of them and give proper care.
        1. According to the 2008 American Drug War: The Last White Hope documentary they have a rehab called De Regenboog which houses and treat drug addicts. By giving proper care we can help lead drug abusers into rehabilitation to live a healthy life.


(Transition: Now that you know about some ways we can regulate drugs, let’s look at the benefits from putting these regulation into effect.)

  1. The several benefits from enforcing these regulations.
  2. First, we would generate tax revenue off of the drugs. This would help us in this difficult time for our economy.
    1. According to an Average Value Chart in 2003-2005 in the reference Marijuana Production in the United States by Jon Gettman the largest cash crop in the United States is marijuana by a long run. Marijuana was worth $12 million more than corn.
    2. Second, the regulation of drugs will decrease the drug use by minors as showed in my earlier statements that teens say it is harder to get alcohol than drugs.
    3. At last, the drugs are here to stay. Therefore we should develop a harm reduction strategy to have less of these problems. The Netherlands has proved that with this strategy we can get better results than criminalization.
      1. Not only can we regulate drugs to cause less harm but we can use marijuana for medical purposes as already done in some states.




  1. To recap, I hope you have a better understanding of the reason why drugs should be decriminalized, what kinds of regulations should be implanted, and the benefits we will see from these regulations.
  2. If we see these regulations implemented we will see a better and safer community.



Reference List

Lauren Duran, S. B. (2011). http://www.casacolumbia.org. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Candace Currie, C. R. (2001). Young people’s health in context. World Health Organization, 4(1), 84-90.

West, Heather C.; Sabol, William J.; and Greenman, Sarah J., “Prisoners in 2009,” Bureau of Justice Statistics, (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, December 2010), NCJ 231675, Appendix Table 18, p. 33. ===== http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p09.pdf

Colleen Cook. (2008). Mexico’s drug cartels. Congressional Research Service. 7. Retrieved November 13, 2011 from http://www.statealliancepartnership.org.

Jon Gettman. (2006). Marijuana Production in the United States. The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform. 14. Retrieved November 13, 2011 from drugscience.org.

Booth, K. (Director), (2007). American Drug War [Motion picture].