Damien on… The War On (Recreational) Drugs
…is one of the most POINTLESS exercises of our time. And it has now been going on for some FORTY YEARS – which is longer than most REAL wars.
Pointless? Hear me out…
First, there is the whole CONCEPT of Prohibition. It has been said that a man who makes a mistake is not a fool – the man who makes no mistakes makes NOTHING – but a man who makes a mistake, then repeats his actions while expecting a different result – IS a fool.
And since, fifty years earlier, America had introduced Prohibition of alcohol – resulting in chaos, many deaths and the empowerment of organised criminals – you could be forgiven for wondering what possessed them to REPEAT that fiasco, with recreational drugs.
But repeat it they did – and four decades on, the fiasco continues.
Oh sure, every now and then, they proudly display their latest haul of confiscated product – and occasionally, an arrested drug baron.
But another baron will immediately take his place and up the output by enough to cover the ten-percent-max product the DEA manages to intercept.
And even if they DO manage to make a significant temporary dent in the supply, the barons cannot lose. A shortage on the street will simply drive up prices. The barons will still be able to afford to drive their Lambos and pay for their bimbos.
Likewise when they nail yet another “mule” – the rewards are so high, they are merely creating a job opportunity.
And what of the enormous WASTE of resources? Cops, the DEA, Customs and the Prison Service. In America, most prisoners are incarcerated – either directly or indirectly – over drugs. Indirectly, being petty crime that was only undertaken by those trying to support a VERY expensive habit.
Those who speak against legalization and regulation of recreational drugs are quick to point out that said action would result in an increase in resources needed to handle addicts. But they conveniently forget the FAR greater cost of the War.
Then what about the PUBLIC that war is directed against? If drugs were legalized and regulated, they would get “patient information” leaflets, to allow them to gain the important knowledge required to handle the substances – rather than receiving it from friends and pushers.
Furthermore, they would know the strength of said substances – which would drastically cut the number of over-doses – and be able to rest assured that the substances had been prepared in proper laboratories, not cooked up in some back-street factory where contamination was rife.
Not to mention they would no longer be at the mercy of guys trying to move them off “safe” drugs like hash and Ecstasy – to FAR more harmful (and ADDICTIVE) substances.
Again, those who favour retaining the current system (and who are SUPPORTING the drug barons) will claim that legalization and regulation would BOOST the number of users. Really?
I would counter that if you walked down the street offering passers-by FREE crack cocaine and heroin – almost all of them would tell you where to STICK them.
The average person would be more than happy to stick to hash and Ecstasy – and leave the other stuff to those desperate individuals who will get the stuff anyway.
In other words, little would change – except we would save BILLIONS in money – and our jails would have HALF the number who currently languish there.
Plus our society would be TRULY free.
Footnote: this writer lives in a land where – thanks to pressure from America – DRACONIAN drug laws exist. And since he does not need the aggravation, the strongest substance HE enjoys – is the STRAIGHT cigarette he is smoking right now. But if things were different, he would LOVE to try the hash that exists today – it is WAY stronger than that which existed in HIS day!