For the purpose of this text, I shall use the word drug to take the third meaning mentioned in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, namely "...an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness...".
Therefore, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, heroin etc are "drugs", while marijuana is possibly not, since, according to at least some studies, it is not addictive.
Of course, they are! So?
Of course it is necessary to do everything possible to reduce drug use and abuse, especially among children. The question is whether the current policy of keeping the drugs illegal does it better than the policy of legalizing the drugs.
The past experience of the Prohibition in the US (1919-1933) and the present situation in the so called "dry counties" (localities in the US which outlaw alcohol) show that outlawing of a substance does not bring down its availability as everyone knows where the local bootlegger is stationed, while the prices go up and thus bring up violent crime, since the bootlegging is extremely profitable, and, by the way, tax-free.
Keeping alcohol illegal was detrimental on the public health too, since many people resorted to poor quality alcohol substitutes (like windshield washing liquid and such-like).
The current war on drugs swells our prisons with non-violent "criminals".
Currently, soft drugs are legal in the Netherlands (you can go to a cafe and order a cannabis joint) and in Portugal, and there are no signs that this increases the drug use, while crime is lower than in neighboring France and Spain (where the narcotic drugs are illegal).
The narco-mafia stands to lose billions of dollars in annual revenues if the drugs are legalized in the US. They will do everything in their power, including bribing the public figures (using, e.g., "campaign contributions") and murdering the opponents, to keep the "War On Drugs" going.
The pharmaceutical industry is to gain moderately, as a new market opens up.
The general population is to benefit in many ways:
Legalisation is the only way to achieve proper regulation.
Fighting drug abuse by limiting drug availability is like fighting diarrhea by limiting toilet access.
I, personally, have never tried any illegal drugs (I cannot even tolerate tobacco smoke), nor do I have any plans to, whether they are made legal or not.
Nevertheless, I respect the freedom of any adult to do so. At the same time I do not recognize the right of children (generally defined as individuals too young to legally marry) to make use (even under the parental supervision) of any substance that influences the functioning of the brain (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine and all the rest of them).
I do not have now and I have never had in the past any connections to any pharmaceutical company (which, in general, might stand to benefit from legalizing drugs), nor to any illicit drug distributor or producer (which stand to lose their livelihood when/if the drugs are legalized).
I have never produced any illicit drugs. I have no knowledge about any related technology. If you contact me with questions like "how do I make heroin in my basement", I will either ignore you or report you to the DEA, depending on how lazy I am at the moment.
|Sam Steingold<email@example.com>||created: 1999-11-22|