Thursday, January 12, 2006

Drug Legalization

I'm not certain if I've covered this before, but I may as well post on it again. I was originally going to post this in response to one of Cranky Weasel's posts, (Cranky Weasel's site is a very good read, btw) but decided it was off topic. However, I thought it was well written enough that I could post it here. So, here it is.

As to drugs, I am convinced that more progress would be made were drugs legal. In other areas, this would mean less money would be needed for policing that area, and less outrageous profits would go to those that sell the drugs--you cut off the primary source of funds for gangsters, terrorists, and unlawful organizations of all stripes. Alcohol Prohibition created Al Capone. Drug prohibition has created the very large, very powerful, and very violent street and prison gangs we currently have.

But on top of it, by making it illegal, we bury the stories of actual users. We ruin the credibility of the anti-drug movement when they spread scare stories that don't jive with the stories people can get from actual users, and we ruin the effectiveness of *actual* scare stories since the transmission of such information is limited to the black information market. I am well aware of what Meth can do to a person because I have numerous second-hand stories, and a single firsthand story, to back it up. Suffice to say, it's some really bad stuff. However, people who don't have these kinds of connections don't have access to this kind of information. All they have is the stories of the anti-drug warriors--who's credibility is almost nil in many circles.

Were drugs legal, a genuine culture might grow up around their use. People would know what to do and what not to do, what's dangerous and what's benign. And the longer such a culture was allowed to exist, the more accurate and long-term its information would become. It's a sort of "evolutionary psycho-pharmacology" I would like to see.

In the short run, because drugs have been illegal for such a long time, legalization just might cause some real problems. The gradual legalization that seems to be occurring just might do the trick (cannabis is making its way to the legal zone). In the long run, however, I think legalization would be far better than what we have, in all areas.


Cranky Weasel said...

Thank you for your kind words regarding my site. I appreciate the feedback.

I was very surprised to discover your article, "Legality and Morality". For a moment I thought you had lifted the idea from one of my articles, one called "Is it Legal, Right, or Both?" - and then I discovered that your article predated mine by several months!

So lest you think me a plagiarist, I think we can chalk it up to "great minds".

Very good site. Interesting viewpoints all around.

Cranky Weasel

Cranky Weasel said...

I think that drug legalization is facing one major obstacle. Senior citizens grew up in an uninformed era when drug use was opposed by fear and vilification. Senior citizens also vote in tremendous numbers.

A strong platform of drug legalization is not politically reasonable. In fact, it would be political suicide.

As the baby boomers age, the societal acceptance of the use of drugs like marijuana will gradually allow for the promotion of legalization. You have to change out the old guard before the values of the new become the average. It'll come... just slowly.

Tarvok said...

It was that very article that drew me to your site. I was just wondering if my own site searchable, and so I typed in some very specific words, and lo and behold, my site was there! So was yours, and I've been visiting it periodically ever since.

By the way, your comments mechanism doesn't seem to work for me. I've had much to say about much you have said, but haven't been able to say it on your site. :( Perhaps you could look into this.

Cranky Weasel said...

Should work... just tested it. Let me know if it doesn't.

I don't generally read blogs, and I'm not sure if anybody actually reads mine. Comments are sporadic. But I'll be poking around yours I'm sure.

Smoke said...

Drugs are just bad, you should try to use Herbal Alternatives as a temporary replacement to loose the dependance!

Tarvok said...

See, this guy (smoke) just proves my point. It is rare to find a commentary on the question of "whether drugs are good or bad" that does not have a commercial motive behind it (the comment is obvious spam, but I let it through for my own purposes). I'd be willing to bet that if you were to trace the money behind the drug war back to its source, it'd come from none other than the pharmaceutical industry.

After all, you can't have good medicine in people's back yards. There's no money in that.