Every now and then, I get rather irritated by drug hysteria. I have to deal with the fallout every time I get my prescription painkillers renewed, because even people who need that sort of thing are considered to be hopeless addicts. Given the choice between pain bad enough that I can't function well, and being dependent on something, I'll go with the no-pain option, thanks. I know many people who feel the same.
Personally, I don't think using drugs should be a crime, though underground distributing, selling, and growing/making the damn things should be. Committing crimes to get money to pay for drugs - well, that's already criminal. Meth labs that explode and hurt people - well, exploding random things is illegal, unless you're in the armed forces. And shooting people because they're on your drug turf - well, it so happens we have a law against that, too.
Who'd have thought?
I think people would do much better if some illegal drugs were not illegal and much, much cheaper, like all the other substances that are legal which can kill you, but I am aware of the fact that not everyone is the staunch non-voting libertarian I am proud to call me.
See? The drugs have had no effect on my coherence, none at all. I'm as phlurblebit as I angdenew phloop.
(By the way, I'd vote, but they have this silly rule here about how you actually have to be a citizen of the country to vote.)
I am under no illusion that drugs are not very bad for you, as are cigarettes, alcohol, Cheetos and mistaking the top-loading washing machine for a whirlpool tub. I just think that a system that punishes anyone and everyone with the merest association to illegal drugs (including everyone who watched the scene in "Scarface" where Al Pacino goes face down in a *mountain* of coke and thought "wow. I wonder what that feels like") misses the point, somewhat.
There are jobs where past drug use is an automatic disqualifier (such as, you know, prison guard), but there are jobs where epilepsy is an automatic disqualifier. You don't want a chronic addicted drug user taking care of your kids, but then, you don't really want an alcoholic taking care of them, either.
It's just not a rational demarcation, that's all I'm saying. I don't mind paying an outrageous tax for cigarettes, and I'm sure the government could make a bundle off drug taxes.
Sadly, it doesn't work so well in real life, in part because people tend to see things in black and white. There's very little sense of proportion in the way that most people approach their lives, as the college students that die from alcohol poisoning every year and the millions of drunk drivers can attest.
Despite laws and admonitions and deaths, people still drink too much and in some cases compound the issue by getting behind the wheel of a car. If we can't trust people to obey laws and common sense when using a legal substance, I don't think we'd have much hope with drugs. Most people are simply too stupid to use recreational drugs responsibly.
We should have a government office on drug policy. Heck, I'll head it up (non-citizens can work for the government, they just can't vote for it). I propose that we skip the whole "war on drugs" thing, and only give the drugs to people who are responsible enough to enjoy them safely. People can take a test (200 question multiple choice section and a five-page essay), and if they pass, they get a license to use.
I envision it to be like a hunting license; you get four hits a season, and if you go over the limit or do something stupid like kill someone (even accidentally), your license is revoked and you pay a whopping fine and/or go to jail (unlike your hunting license, so I suppose it's not an exact analogy) .
In certain states, if you grow your own and don't sell it, but keep it for personal use on your land only, you can grow a private stash.
I think it could work. It would also give us something to do with the tons of drugs the US confiscates every year besides burn them. If we get a surplus, we can ration it out, like surplus cheese.
"National Drug Policy and Licensing Office; this is the Angel of Death, how can I help you?"
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.