When drugs are mentioned what image does it conjure up in your mind? Al Pacino, with his head buried in a face full of coke with his “little friend “close by his side? A hippie stoner smoking to “pacify” and becoming at one with the sofa? Or maybe it’s a massive professional wrestler with a needle filled with a strange substance, meant for a horse, jabbing it in his overly muscled buttocks. Maybe it’s the single mum of three who needs her little blue pills to get through her day–to quote the Rolling Stones, “mother’s little helper.” Point being, all of these things are DRUGS, and they have different levels of acceptance by the eternally wise public.
Now, the debate is so wide, so vast, so all encompassing and filled with emotions that it’s hard to know where to begin. If I start going through these drugs one by one, this blog would take forever. So I’ll talk about why the War on Drugs has failed, and why there is a whole industry built on it doing just that, from private prisons to the cages someone has to make to store these reckless humans. Or, to quote Joe Rogan, “if you were stranded on an island with one other person and that person said to you ‘if you smoke/eat that plant you’d be put in a cage, you would think that person was mad and would stay away from them”.
This example obviously oversimplifies the issue, but essentially it’s true. There are so many other starting points–I’m sure the well-informed amongst you will point them out. The point is that, well, there are so many points. I’m just going to tell you what I think, and you can agree or disagree. All I ask is that, instead of picking a side, you really try and boil it down to what is realistic, what actually happens in the real world, and from that point of view, we might be able to change something for the better.
So, what do I think? Make all drugs legal apart from meth. I’m not sure about crack either. Making it purer would make it more addictive and making it more readily available would only exasperate the problem when it came to Meth & crack, especially here in the UK.
You might say, “what about heroin? That’s massively addictive and fucks lives up.” I would say this is true, BUT let’s look into this. Pure heroin is so much better for you than what you’ll get from a drug dealer. Why? Because drug dealers are not the most honest of people and will cut your drug of choice for profit.
I watched a BBC documentary many years ago. In it, a government experiment gave an addict pure heroin. The addict looked better, held down a full time job, and functioned well. Does that mean heroin should be one of your five-a-day? No, of course not. But it would be better if addicts got their heroin from the government clean, which would then help stop so many billion pounds worth of crime, so you’re saving money due to fewer police and generally lower crime. It would also take the power out of the drug dealers/gangsters hands. The knock on effect goes as far back as farmers in Afghanistan not being forced to grow heroin for cheap labour.
If I see a drug addict, I see a zombie. Life has been turned into a depressing waiting room where there simply waiting to die. All the while they’re robbing/stealing/begging anything to get their next fix. You don’t need to go and see lord of the rings to see a strange creature obsessed with “the ring”. Just go and have a look around your town centre where there will be, sadly, hundreds of Gollum’s. These PEOPLE NEED HELP! Yeah, I know, they drain society and why should you pay for their drugs? Well, you should pay for the simple reason that it will help them get better, and it’s a lot more likely to stop your house from getting robbed.
A massive percentage of heroin users–I forget the percentage–were abused. Not everyone has the same chances in life. Some people get a shit hand dealt to them, and this is not me being a bleeding-heart, but rather than ignore the problem we need to face it head on. If they want heroin they’d have to come to a centre where they’d take it which would help keep them and their needles off the streets, plus there would be a councillor onsite offering help. “Even more money being spent on the druggies” I hear you say. Yes, that would also cost a lot. We’d get the rest of the money from the legalization of drugs.
Now, here are some of the rules I would have:
1. No advertising or making drugs look cool.
2. Packaging would be plain, with the effects of drugs clearly marked.
3. When you get your drugs, you would see a shaman/council who would advise you on it.
4. 30% (more if needed) or more of the money would go to people with drug problems.
Please, please understand that I’m not saying drugs are good. I’m not saying that at all, just like I’m not saying that chocolate is bad. With a lot of substances, it’s the issues you deal with that make you overeat or plunge a needle into a vein. If you think prohibition works against people, you have no idea about human nature or history. IT DOES’NT WORK. I could go on about socially acceptable drugs like cigarettes, alcohol, etc. but what’s the point if the acts are theirs for all to see? Just open your eyes and look, really look at what’s happening. If heroin is legal, would you go out and shoot up? No, of course not…but your kids might.
Ok, let’s look at this- I have a 14-year-old daughter. The thought of her doing anything like this chills my blood as it should. So how do I stop her? Do I tell her she can’t do it? Well I can, but if she wanted to she could always get it, just like if it was legal, only she’d be getting the dirty cut stuff. And if you took my route, there would be a trained councillor to help her as she’d have to get her legal drugs from a special drugs clinic. What a good Dad I am- I only want the best heroin for my little girl.
The only way to stop people from making bad choices is to give them correct information. Will everyone make the right choice? No, never, but you have a safety net to help catch the ones who don’t. Plus, you’re using the money that drugs make to help people that are ADDICTED to those same drugs. The drugs are clean, so there are less health risks.
You take the money out of the criminals’ pockets or we carry on pretending that the War on Drugs is just, as more and more people suffer. Once you take a look at the REAL issues and stop living in this black and white fairy tale of THIS IS GOOD or THIS IS BAD, then we can get our teeth into the issues at hand.
Another phrase that really does my head in, while we’re on the topic: gateway drug. You often hear that “weed is a gateway drug.” What does this mean? The people who try pot will try other things? Doesn’t that make alcohol a gateway drug, too? What about shampoo? People who take hard drugs have used shampoo before–that’s a fact. I tell what a gateway drug is. A gateway drug is a drug dealer who people are forced to go to get drugs, and, when they get there, the drug dealer says he is out of pills, but here is a good powder you should try, which is cut with God knows what. If we do it my way, if said young adult went to get coke, they’d have advisors, they’d have to back up and consider the decision, and if they still wanted clean coke, they could get it, which is far, far less dangerous.
All I’m saying is that let’s look at what really happens, not what we would like to happen. We can tackle the problems of what’s really happening. We need to stop pretending and start acting like adults. Get educated on the subject and guess what? All of the sudden, it isn’t as frightening. All the people out there who are against drugs ruining lives, all the people who have had their lives ruined and torn to shreds- I’m here with you, I really am. The only way to try and halt this is to help people, not lock them up. But then, when there’s an industry based on locking people up, we hit a big problem, which can’t be solved until people open their eyes and see what’s really going on.
It’s not a case of right or wrong. It’s simply where we’re at now and how we best face it. If you take away the emotion of the situation, you see that drugs have been around for as long as man has, and they’ve always been taken or abused, in one form or another. This isn’t going to change, but the way we handle the situation can. And, in time, it will.
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