So I’ve been trying to spend more time reading, and since May of ’08 I’ve been up most nights reading to feed my mind’s frenzied desire for information. One such way I do this is the frequent visits to Reddit, the book store, and so on. One common issue I kept coming across throughout the media world is the viewpoints on drugs (pharmaceutical or not) and the “war” on them. And my mind started to wonder about a solution, and like any internet fanatic and human being, I feel the need to post my idea to the internet [because everyone cares what everyone posts, right?].
Now before I begin my epic rant on the subject, I want to state that I don't believe that any form of education, or college, or age and experience, or reading means someone is more knowledgeable or not than another person on any given subject. It just means they potentially know more, and that's it, and they possibly know more about a subject than you do. Why argue with them? And also, there should always be dissent and questioning, to keep our society stimulated. Both are two sides of the same damned coin. Generally speaking, I’m willing to consider both sides of the argument before summing up a conclusion, as I think it is fair.
When one start researching lists of addictive drugs, you’ll commonly find conflicting results placing different legal and illegal drugs in different rankings. The highest point of interest is when the list shows legal drugs just as addictive as illegal ones, if not moreso [check how much addictive caffeine is compared to marijuana, for instance]. I’m certain people would debate which drugs are and are not more addictive than others, but that’s not my point to my idea. We also need to weigh in other factors before tackling this subject, such as the fact that uses of various drugs are evident throughout human history (and feel free to further probe that subject and research it), and that uses of drugs are found throughout the various other species inhabiting our world. It’s also good to note that 70% of drugs produced in America come from mother nature herself.
So when we realize that drugs also influenced by culture, and tie in the above statements, we can realize that this is subject part of an age-old debate. How to tackle such a scenario? There are arguments on all fronts regarding the uses of drugs: the morality behind them, the extent of these drugs, and so on. Well, let’s analyze the fact that there are abuses of illegal and legal drugs, and not to mention that whether a drug is legal or illegal is deemed by another fallible and imperfect human being such as yourself. And also consider that all drugs have their benefits and drawbacks. Logically, why is it acceptable that caffeine is a popular drug in America and widely accepted, yet generally marijuana [as my cited links above show] is ranked lower in level of addiction than caffeine? Is caffeine more dangerous than marijuana? Considering the fact that we can utilize viewpoints for those two questions, it comes down to a matter of just that: viewpoints.
That’s why we have levels of “acceptable” and “unacceptable” drugs, because someone arguably “told us so”, whether it be the government or doctors. Supposedly, the United States government once used racial profiling to fight the use of marijuana, I was told once. My mundane trip through Google’s warehouse of knowledge didn’t provide me any links, yet that does not disprove the story or not. We also have religious institutions making statements regarding their viewpoint on drugs, both for and against their use.
Granted you may have your own level of acceptance of certain drugs. But before you pass judgment over any drugs, ask yourself this: “Do I have a medicine cabinet?” Granted, medicine cabinets seem a standard household storage unit. Are there any drugs or medicines of any sort in it? Have you ever used antibiotics to fight a cold, pain killers to relieve yourself of a headache, or rubbing alcohol to clean a wound? What about the recreational use of alcohol to relax? Now consider your viewpoints on those drugs: I approve of the drugs in “group A” for “reasons A”, but I disapprove of drugs in “group B” for “reasons B”. Now it’s a matter of subjecting our viewpoints to drugs we do and don’t use. That’s the great thing about having the utmost of civil liberties; the right to chose. By far, it is your right to take these things. Now ask yourself what is the difference between the use of you having a drink of alcohol on the weekend to relax, versus a hit of marijuana? The difference is the effect, that’s it. Yet as one can research the dangers of drugs, alcohol is much more addictive and dangerous than marijuana. So why is one legal, and the other is not? The answer: viewpoint.
Honestly, what gives you the right to dictate over me what I can and cannot do? Now ask that of anybody, really. Having a specific level of acceptance in the same field should be equal, otherwise it’s hypocritical and illogical. Why should the legality of a drug be subjected to a system of a level of acceptance based off of biased viewpoints? Are you not a giant hypocrite for stating that you only approve of one drug, and disapprove of another, simply “because” of “such and such reasons”, even when both drugs have advantages of disadvantages? Let’s also reconsider, as I mentioned up above, that there are abuses of both legal and illegal drugs. It’s not exactly something we could change. If we prohibited use of all drugs, medicines, and minerals, we’d be just *dissolving* the problem, not *solving* it. Also consider the extent the label of “abuse” goes, as users of marijuana are generally labeled as “illegal substance abusers”, yet someone who uses alcohol may get referred to as “someone who knows how to have a good time.” The point of both drugs is both one and the same: recreation. At that point, how can I legitimately argue one over the other? Also consider the fact of the apparent dangers of even legalized substances.
To avoid being hypocritical in standards and viewpoints of the uses of drugs, I came to the conclusion of just legalizing every single damned thing we use. Sure, the use of coke damages your nose, but use of Coka Cola can lead to osteoporosis. It’s all relevant, it’s all the same: drugs have advantages and disadvantages. Those scenarios come are fall under the categories of addiction, withdrawal symptoms, symptom alleviation, symptom inducing, health risks, health benefits, and so on. It’s flat out hypocritical to argue one over the other. It’s also hypocritical to use drugs various forms but only approve of the ones you agree with, and banning the ones you don’t.
Instead, we could promote the responsible use of drugs. Just because I say we should legalize everything does mean I don’t wish to see drugs regulated. And by regulated, I don’t mean dominated. Yes, we should have warnings on products suggesting not using them under the influence of certain drugs [i.e., being issued a DUI while driving under the influence of pot or alcohol]. Yes, we should warn pregnant/expecting mothers not to use various drugs. Yes, we should have rehab clinics to treat/help people of *any* drug addiction. We can be a responsible nation with drugs, and if you argue that, then I ask you to kindly shut your trap and actually research the topic. Why? Well, we already utilize *how many* dangerous substances such as vicadin and alcohol? You’re going to prove to me that we can’t be responsible with marijuana? How so? There are other countries that already have legalized the use of pot, and I don’t see their societies breaking apart in utter chaos, so that argument is null and void. Instead of controlling people, we can educate them on being responsible with drugs and drug use. Time and time again, education versus control has been proven more effective. Still don’t believe me? Research how much more successful sexual education has been in preventing unwanted pregnancies than abstinence only classes. We don’t need a government, or people, or special interest groups dictating to use everything we need to do, do we? Let’s also not forget that our government isn’t supposed to control us, as is brought out in the Constitution. Do you require your mother to show you how to wipe your bottom after going to the bathroom? Of course not, that would be preposterous! So why would you require someone mandating over you what you can and cannot do? And what right does that person have over you to do so? I firmly believe that your rights end with another’s begins, it’s that simple. If you can be educated on how to wipe your butt and you learn that trait for life, why couldn’t you be taught to be responsible with drugs?
If we simplify the problem, we can simply the answer. If we cut off the war on drugs altogether, legalized all drugs [and maybe even taxed them], we could focus our problems elsewhere. Such as? We could learn better ways of curing addictions [after all, addictions are a reoccurring historical problem, and demonizing the drugs hasn’t solved much at all]. If everyone were allowed to use what they did or did not want drug wise, and we didn’t concern ourselves with what other people and don’t do, as well as preach responsible use, we could clear up a great many problems. It’s obvious the current war on drugs is failing, and demonizing or promoting a drug hasn’t really affected much [aspirin is promoted, and it is still abused]. I believe my solution to just level out the playing field, try to handle the reoccurring problem cases, and fixing our minds on education for responsible use would truly lessen the problems our culture faces. If someone disagrees with me, that’s fine. But don’t just post skepticism unless you’re willing to provide, with rationality, a better system for handling drugs. I don’t see how treating drugs as a fair and level subject is somehow unjust, or unfair. We should respect for each substance and acknowledge its drawbacks and advantages. Until I see an idea that sounds more logical, balanced, and fair, I’ll continue to promote this idea.
All I ask is that people think about the matter, and that’s it. Look in your medicine cabinet at the various prescriptions you take. Think about the recreational items you take, such as alcohol or tobacco. And ask yourself why there should be any exceptions to their use or not. Does it seem fair? Does it seem rational? Would you like it if I said what you could and could not take? Of course not... Just think about it.