Original post: http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=110966
To put it simply, our government seems to me to have taken on a rather neo-fascist persona with its radical outlook on drug use, coupled with its inability to trust the public with decisions that affect only themselves as individuals. This "War on Drugs" has become a crusade against innocent people for excersizing their naturally given right to alter their consciousness as they choose and I say it's time we're given back our freedom to think for ourselves!
When it comes to drug policy, we need to stop outlawing the use of drugs and continue to strike at the heart of the societal problem...focusing on taking out the illegal manufacturers and distributors of potentially harmful substances, and better educating our society on the matter at hand. We need to start avoiding all of these propagandistic scare tactics and meet the issue head on. Use unbiased research studies, with actual results. If there is a problem we shouldn't try to burry it. We should work to understand it, so eventually we can correct the source of the problems at hand (e.g. what psychological processes make adolecent kids so prone to start drug abuse and what measures can be taken to get through to them?). With all the lies we make up about drugs it's no wonder teens don't believe us when we tell them cocaine, opiates, and hallucinogens (amongst, literally, countless other drugs) can destroy their lives if they abuse them. What people don't understand is that these aren't substances that are there to get "fucked up" on. Some of them are, however, drugs that certain people can benefit from if used responsibly, on occasion, as needed.
I say it's time we be honest and explain to people how these drugs work and affect the mind/body. Give them an understanding of how these drugs create their effects and what the dangers and benefits of those effects are, and with that knowledge they'll know how the drug being used should be used, if at all...and from there people can make an educated decision for themselve on what drugs, if any, they put in their body (like alcohol, a horrible drug when abused...but because it legal, lets indulge...right?). Now that's not to say there doesn't need to be medical practitioners to offer professional, educated advice on treatment, as well as for the legal prescription of medication, but any option would be open for discussion (particularly in certain special cases where experimental measures may be the best option). It would also be easier to conduct professional experiments with volunteers to further our knowledge of neurology and various other branches of physiology, as well as psychology.
Lets face it, this "War on Drugs" is doing nothing but hindering the progression of our society. Not only are we throwing billions of dollars annually into a counterproductive campaign, but we're arresting hundreds of thousands of people each year who are merely victims of the sickness of addiction, and likely hundreds or even thousands more who are more responsible with their drug intake. We are throwing good, innocent people in jail for using drugs that are only detrimental if abused. And the people who suffer the most from this senseless "zero tolerance" campaign are the people who have abused these drugs and need help getting clean, but are instead thrown in jail or prison with theives, violent murders, and career criminals where they still have access to the very drugs they were locked up for. These addicts have lost control of their lives, and more often than not, feel miserable and just want to quit destroying their livelyhood, but instead of helping these people we're tossing them to the curb as worthless street scum; throwing them in with the shit of society, and almost forcing them to adopt their customs. Now what kind of person do you think they'll be when they get out of prison?
People wonder why things are so out of control in this country? People have been using mind altering substances since before the dawn of history, now all of a sudden we've made it illegal to use them because our lack of understanding of these drugs frightened us into regulating them, when in reality we should've been studying them to know why they should or shouldn't be taken...figuring out how each substance interacts with the individual components of our bodies, and using that information of the system's altered state to better understand the over-all biological workings of life and consciousness. And now that we've started regulating every mind altering substance possible to the point where a bag of cannabis is a major offense, it's no longer so horrible to commit a crime...after all, it's just so easy to be a criminal these days.
People start down this road towards drug use and get introduced to career criminals, and recruited as foot soldiers in the market of illegal drug sales due to this "zero tolerance" crusade that classifies harmless people in with real criminals...giving the upper hand to individuals with greater propensities toward violence and anti-social behavior at the expense of those who are more generous and sociable. It just seems a little hypocritical when the War on Drugs is more detrimental than the actual substances being outlawed.
Tell me, why is it we live in the Land of the Free, yet we don't even have the freedom to decide what we put in our own bodies? I can understand outlawing the illegal production and distribution of drugs that are detrimental to society, but you can't take away the individual citizen's right to live their lives as they choose. It seems to me like nobody understands that people will do what they do, regardless of what the government tells them to do. Therefore, in my world, the laws that the government creates and enforces should only have a negative impact on the people who's actions are detrimental to other people!
Well that's about all I have for now. Just to make the point clear, I don't want people to think that I abuse drugs, or anything like that. I do not drink, smoke cigarette's, pop pills that are not otherwise prescribed to me, or anything like that. I am not a "druggy", or an abuser of drugs. I simply think that having a government that babysits its society results in a society dependant on regulations. It's like raising kids...if you shelter them from the world for too long, they'll grow up to have a incomplete understanding of social norms, often resulting in a distorted view of the inner workings of the world and life itself. In other words, society has to make mistakes before it can learn from them....just like people.
Now finally, allow me to end this blog with some of my favorite related quotes...
"Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it."
"The War on Drugs imposes economic costs on large numbers of non-drug-abusing people in a failed attempt to save a relatively small group of hard-core drug abusers from themselves. It's absurd to force some people to bear costs so that others might be prevented from choosing to do harm to themselves."
~ James Ostrowski