Friday, February 20, 2009


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.


Anonymous said...

While I agree wholeheartedly with your stance on this issue, I would like to point out one thing.

Those who are on methadone treatment (MMT)are not "addicted" to methadone. While they ARE physically dependent on the medication, that is not the same as addiction. Addiction involves a set of behaviors not present in pts who are taking their methadone as prescribed and not abusing other drugs.

Anonymous said...

i know that coke was big in the '80's and '90's, but if you think crack is not still a widespread problem you need to take a closer look at the neighborhoods around you and wonder why all those guys are hanging out on the street.i became a crack addict for 2 years (from 2002 to 2004) and i know that all you have to do is look for some black dude hanging out checking the cars driving by and ask for some "hard" and you can get some crack any time of the day or night; assuming of course, they dont rob you at gunpoint or "gank"you(sell you fake shit).im not proud of that period of my life, i lost everything i ever owned, but i kept my union carpenter job the whole time and never stole anything from anyone, of course i was kind of the exception and a lot of people took advantage of me for that. geo

Doggie said...

I know crack is still out there. There's a stigma associated with it now even for poor people. It's not as popular as it was in the 80s. Also I stand corrected about methadone, I did mean physically dependent. People do die from withdrawal. I thinks throwing people in jail for these problems is barbaric.

Anonymous said...

i had a thought last night, im NOT dissagreeing with you, im just thinking this out.with the attempt by our financial elite to seperate our society into 2 classes, the elite and their retainers and the poor, the only way to make drugs legal and not advance that cause would be to render the use of pre-employment and random urinalises unconstitutional. otherwise with very little modification of existing laws and employment policies the fact that you use or ever have used drugs could be used to keep you in that service class, no matter your intelligence or other merits.lagalising at least pot and possibly everything else would definately free up funds and make a lot of room in our prisons for the real criminals out there.of course there's a lot of money being made by a lot of people from the current "war on drugs"; lagalization is a very hard sell. geo

Doggie said...

Seems like they have their own lobbyists doesn't it?