The creaky and still violent drug war benefits Big Pharma and associated industries, including the criminal punishment system, from cops to private prisons, all of the people and corporations that make money from it. That's all.
The war on drugs is not to save lives, since tobacco and alcohol kill way more people, and that's not counting deaths and injuries from drugs prescribed in hospitals. Tobacco and alcohol are dangerous and addictive, but perhaps not more so than sucrose, digital monitors, and caffeine, which are at least opt-in. It's all self-medication, and seems like a right to me, even if you forget to shop.
The war on drugs has never targeted the people who expose us to chemicals and put them in our bodies on the sly. The employees of W.R. Grace, Dow, Union Carbide, American Cyanamid, Monsanto, Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer, Syntex, Upjohn, Lilly, Ciba-Geigy, and others who make and refine chemicals are morally responsible for the stuff their companies produce and could be held legally responsible, too, although that's not an excuse for another law. And yes, I've sold Roundup.
There are foreign chemicals in most flesh, including yours, mine and unborn babies'. We all breathe the same air. To avoid food additives requires constant vigilance at most grocery stores and is all but impossible at some. Many of us suffer from some side effect of industrial chemicals, from low-level allergies to cancer.
And where drugs are concerned, ignorance is not a qualification. Ministers believe in God, coaches have played the sport, judges have been in prison, and the people making drug policy have had the drug they're regulating, right?
Now that the progressive state of California has recognized some health benefits of cannabis, we non-academic experts can use our drug of choice without risk of prison, but only if a doctor approves, so that hasn't changed. Still, I hear some sadists in law enforcement are making busts just for pleasure. Those irrepressible rascals.
I think adults will someday be able to get and use whatever drugs they want, whatever adjusts their reality to their satisfaction. Valium, heroin, Darvon, opium, phenobarbitol, insulin, cannabis, Vicodin, Ambien, peyote, cocaine, alcohol, lithium, caffeine, sucrose, mescaline, nicotine, LSD, anything. We're bound to grow up eventually, just before the revolution.
In Chico, it looks like the City Council may actually do something sensible about collectives and whatnot, especially if they vape first. The law they come up with will certainly have a sunset clause, as any law ought, and a one-or two-year review would keep the stakes low. Personally, I think we should regulate cannabis exactly the way we regulate jasmine. I could get behind that.
December 24, 2009
Chico News & Review