Legalize it! All of it!
Don’t celebrate that marijuana is legal in more and more places even without the guise of medical use.
It’s not enough and this isn’t just a question of our civil liberties. Sure, “it’s my body and I should be able to put what I want in it,” is reason enough for some (myself included) but it doesn’t speak to the damage that drug war has done to our society and even more so, to Latin American society.
Drugs are expensive. That’s a problem. I can get benzodiazepines (benzos) for a couple of dollars a week because its totally legal, but if I had a cocaine or heroine addiction, I’d have to spend most of my time trying to figure out how I’m going to get the money. Is addiction really as bad as it seems, or is access to narcotics making addicts lives so difficult that they become a blight on society? I think its a fair question we really need to consider. If we gave an addict what they needed, could they lead reasonably normal and, dare I say it (for I’d rather they be happy), functional lives?
By making drugs illegal and therefore more expensive and inaccessible, we make the actual process of addiction more difficult. I see it anecdotally as well. I’ve never done any drugs except smoke some weed (which just made me paranoid) but I’ve been around drug culture for most of my live. Rich people don’t have drug problems the way poor people do. It never leads to the same problems and they are often able to hide their addiction to the point that they still remain mostly functional. They don’t lose their jobs, they don’t steal shit, they don’t borrow money from everyone they know, they don’t end up in jail. Coke heads are coke heads, but why are rich ones not suffering the same consequences? Access! If drugs were more accessible and cheaper, being an addict just wouldn’t be that bad.
I’ve been to prison, I say that proudly now, and I’ve seen how many people are there for possession and trafficking. It’s sad. It’s stupid. It just doesn’t have to be this way. The crime of selling someone else a product they want to buy, or of putting a substance in your body that you want to ingest, is not the business of the state.
Drugs are a business and the biggest players aren’t the cartels, but the police, lawyers, and judges that are needed to enforce these laws. We’re not just destroying lives for no reason at all, which is bad enough, we’re giving power to the worst people in our society!
The biggest reason my heart aches over these drugs laws is what it does to the people living in Colombia all the way up to Mexico. This war on the supply of drugs has ravaged these nations and kept them in poverty for far too long. If drugs were legal they’d just be corporate scum bags, instead their violent mad men try to control a multi-billion dollar industry. Don’t blame the addict on the corner for it, WE do that when we vote in governments that want to make their friends (bureaucrats) more money instead of easily resolving this issue.
I feel stupid writing this. I, hopefully, haven’t said anything you haven’t heard before, but I guess it was worth saying for the people in jail today, and the homeless living on the street because they can’t afford their addiction, and the Latin American slums that live in fear because we need to hire more police officer and judges. It’s not fair or reasonable trade. It’s stupid and people are needlessly suffering for it.
Fuck the drug war! Legalize all drugs!