An issue that seems to polarize a lot of my friends is the legalization of drugs. I think all drugs, no matter how dangerous, should be legal. Our approach should be education not criminalization.
Legalization would end a lot of the criminal activities associated with drugs. I was listening to a woman on the radio a few weeks ago talking about the possible legalization of marijuana. She said public acceptance was no excuse for legalization. I know mob opinion isn’t necessarily justice but this is ridiculous.
We live in an incredibly puritan society. In heroin treatment centers we have junkies trade that addiction for an addiction to methadone. “The addiction’s fine as long as there’s no fun.” People do die from methadone withdrawal.
I’m not sure where the analogy lies but a few of my republican friends tie it in with gun control. The conversation will start with something along the lines of, “Do you believe in a right to bear arms?” I’ll say something like, “I know a lot of people cling to their guns who get their ya yas off shooting at animals in the woods,” Some of them think you’re not being a responsible parent if you don’t have a gun in the house to protect your family from intruders. In spite of the fact that statistics prove most gun fatalities in the home are accidental. I know they’ll never change and we just have to accept it.
But, I argue, we should have licensing and limits on the kinds of weapons people have. For instance assault weapons that can kill several people at once or if you take the argument to the extreme, what about nuclear weapons?
A friend of mine actually countered my argument. “Okay then, legalize marijuana but not heroin.” He was drawing an analogy between assault weapons and harder drugs. The problem with that argument is harder drugs still only affect the single user. “But what about crime committed by desperate junkies?” There are already laws against these crimes.
Crack cocaine was epidemic in this country into the mid 80s. Once it became clear what a life destroyer it is usage dropped dramatically. This is an example of public education. It took a while because the problems had to become obvious enough for the masses.
I heard an interest theory though. Roe V Wade made it possible for women to stop having unwanted babies. Unwanted babies grow into the biggest crack demographic.
Good parenting isn’t available for everyone unfortunately. I for one feel safer knowing my kids are aware that not all drugs are equal. There are drugs that benefit people as well as bad legal ones. They can make their own informed assessment of each of them.
Throwing drug abusers in jail just creates a market for criminals.