Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Recreational Drugs Will Never Be Legalized Part 2

During last Tuesday’s exciting episode of ‘Why Recreational Drugs Will Never Be Legalized’ I pointed out that since several recreational drug can kill, no company will make and sell them because if they do, they will be sued into oblivion the first time someone dies from their use.
So if the private sector is unwilling, that leaves the Federal Government.
Regardless of your personal feelings about drugs, the Federal Government will never be allowed to manufacture and sell narcotics. If you don’t believe me, just look at California, the biggest user and grower of marijuana in the U.S.  A state that is thisclose to bankruptcy, a state in as much fiscal trouble as Greece, a state, that should pot be legalized, could be fiscally solvent in as little as 5 years, a state that is arguably the most liberal in the nation. Frankly, the proposition to legalize marijuana was clearly a win-win solution for all their financial problems and… was immediately voted down.
Imagine that! California voted down the legalization and sale of marijuana, a substance less dangerous than many of the legal mind altering medications, (Paxil, Prozac, Ambien) presently available on the market.  Unlike its legal cousin alcohol, Pot is not addictive, does not lead to violence, and is virtually impossible to overdose on. It was voted down because people view marijuana as a narcotic and there is no convincing them otherwise. They were indoctrinated with this view since childhood and you will not change it.
The anti War on Drugs people claim that if something is wanted bad enough, people are going to find a way to get it, which is why, they say, Prohibition was such a failure.
But that’s a misstatement. Prohibition was not a failure. It was a rousing success! According to Ken Burns’, ‘Prohibition’ mini-series, (if you haven’t seen it, you should, it’s quite informative) at the turn of the twentieth century America’s consumption of alcohol was wildly out of control, family violence due to drunkenness was rampant. Women were so often brutalized that their death rate from domestic violence was approaching that of death from complications of child-birth. It was the escalating violence on women and children that the idea of Prohibition got its start.
Then after thirteen years of forced sobriety, prohibition ended and alcohol was again legally consumed, BUT at a greatly reduced rate.
What happened was many of the alcoholics stopped drinking because alcohol was difficult to get, they were arrested when their wives called the police when they came home drunk, they were jailed and often lost their jobs if they were in a speakeasy when it was raided. People, like electricity, take the path of least resistance and decided getting drunk wasn’t worth the trouble, and when Prohibition was lifted, they no longer had the habit or the interest. 
Prohibition was America’s rehab. It took the drug away from them, forced the majority of Americans to stop drinking and many were glad it did. Domestic violence dropped considerably, work productivity rose and alcohol related health issues diminished. That’s not failure in anybody’s book.
But that’s only one drug, Alcohol. Let’s take a look at the others and their effects.
Marijuana—less harmful than many available over the counter medications, non addictive, no serious long term usage medical issues.
Alcohol—reasonable consumption usually harmless. Overuse can lead to violence, is addictive and can lead to serious health issues.
LSD—has far reaching effects on the mind. Although usually not physically harmful, it causes hallucinations which can seriously affect the user’s judgment. People with mental health issues can be permanently damaged by its use.
Cocaine—powerful stimulant, gives a feeling of clarity, confidence and self assuredness. Is addictive and can kill with a single dose (see John Entwistle of the Who and Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers.) Can also lead to a stroke and heart attack (Rick James of Superfreak fame) Continued usage leads to severe paranoia and uncontrolled violent behavior, severely damages the sinus cavity, liver and heart. The more concentrated form, Crack, has the same effect only more so and for a shorter period.
Heroin—extremely addictive, can kill with a single dose, put user in dreamlike state, causes teeth to fall out and leaves indentations in the back muscles. Although its use doesn’t usually do serious damage to vital organs, the sharing of needles has increased the spread of the AIDS virus.
Methamphetamine—probably the most dangerous. Extremely addictive, stimulant, causes dopamine to be released into system causing sleep, hunger and thirst centers to shut down. It rots the teeth, damages the heart, liver and constricts the blood vessel to the kidneys causing build up of waste. Continued use leads to paranoia, insomnia, uncontrollable fits of rage, and hallucinations.
And people are calling for its legalization?
Well, the War on Drugs obviously hasn’t worked, they say.
True, but that’s only because there has never been a War on Drugs. There has been a publicity campaign against drugs, public service announcements explaining the dangers of drugs, a ‘Just say No’, campaign, even a ‘Drug are bad, M’Kay?’ from Mr. Mackay on South Park.  But never a War on Drugs, and there will never be one.
I will explain why next Tuesday as our exciting tale of ‘Why Recreational Drugs Will Never Be Legalized,’ continues!
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