All addiction is bad.
Why are some drugs legal and some illegal? It seems to me that the worst aspects of illegal drugs are not the poor decisions that weak-minded users make to consume them, but the effects of making them illegal.
Can you imagine what would happen if all drugs were legal but controlled?
Can you imagine how the world would change if Pfizer were to go to the poppy farmers of Afghanistan and agree to purchase their crops legally?
What would happen if those farmers all of a sudden became legal, responsible members of society, and their children could go to university?
What would happen if companies could legally transport crops from those farmers to warehouses, which could legally distribute them to legal manufacturers? Who in turn would need to meet quality controls and could sell their products openly around the world.
Imagine that selling and consuming drugs would be legal? Would any more people take drugs?
Taking a drug like Ethanol (Alcohol), Caffine or Nicotine is already legal. And since there are legal controls on quality and access and moderation, they are kept out of the hands of children and strict limits of consumption in conjunction with machinery are mandated. Many people still suffer from over consumption, but they are not criminals just by the fact they consume. Of course addiction can lead to crimes to feed the addiction, and it’s the act of stealing, driving under the influence or making any other poor decisions that is illegal, not the consumption itself.
Today there are no controls on the quality of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), benzoylmethylecgonine (cocaine) or Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). And the means of production, distribution and consumption are all illegal. This has not limited access, but has fostered a subculture of gangs, guns and crime that actually grows stronger as enforcement and punishment get higher.
Imagine if all drugs were legal but controlled just like Alcohol or Tabaco? That effort could be legitimately taken to create safer drugs?
And think if the tax income.
Imagine if todays drug lords became the CEO’s of legitimate companies, who could be brought back into society. My guess is that many of the current purveyors of drugs would quickly be replaced by a new class of business leader.
Let drug addicts be able to sue drug companies for creating an addictive drug, and quickly (just like alcohol and Tabaco) those companies would look at ways of reducing addiction while maintaining their products “desirable” qualities.
I’m not a taker of “illegal” drugs, and it’s not because they are illegal, it’s simply because I know that I don’t want to ruin by mind. If I wanted drugs today, I know I can get them in any city in the world. Supply actually outstrips demand.
I like that children cannot get alcohol or cigarettes, and I want the same controls placed on all drugs. That can only happen when a sensible legal framework is employed.
Any day I walk around Manhattan I smell the distinctive aroma of marijuana smoke. It’s as pervasive everywhere in the world, and clearly any concept of a war of drugs can be seen as over and lost.
It’s time for a new approach, one that brings the whole drugs ecosystem into a legal framework, and allows the millions (if not billions) of people all over this planet who are part of this drug world to be part of society.
There is no simple answer, but removing violence and any motivation to make people even more addicted or unwell has to be the right direction.
How much of the worlds resources are today consumed in trying to stop the drug trade? Wars only get won when people start to talk. It’s time to think differently.