Column: All Drugs Should Be Legal in America 

Column: All Drugs Should Be Legal in America 
Posted by FoM on November 18, 2000 at 08:10:12 PT
By Joe Goodson, Daily O'Collegian
Source: U-WIRE
If we had a brother who was addicted to heroin or crack cocaine, we'd probably persuade him to seek counseling and treatment. We would offer words of encouragement and inspiration. We might even help him find a new sense of identity, self-esteem and direction in life. We'd never dream of putting a gun to his head and locking him in a closet for 10 years. Sadly, we have come to believe that is the way to achieve universal love in our global human family. 
We have supported the use of force to keep harmful drugs away from our children and to deter adults from hurting themselves. We attempted to create a healthier, more productive society by fighting an all-out war on drugs to make America drug-free. But despite our good intentions, the war on drugs has turned out to be a war on people. Prohibition has generated an immense black market, multiplying the price of illicit substances more than tenfold due to the effort of concealing them from authorities. Addicts usually don't seek treatment for fear of criminal prosecution so they must commit armed robbery, theft, embezzlement and murder to support their expensive habits. Today, hundreds of thousands of inmates nationwide (more than 35 percent) are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. Another 30 percent are there for drug-related crimes attributed to prohibition, and nearly half of all law-enforcement resources are devoted to fighting this ridiculous controlled substance crusade. Every prison cell occupied by a nonviolent drug felon is a cell unavailable to a murderer, rapist, thief or child molester. These people have actually caused harm to others. They should be the ones in jail. As far as chemical dependence is concerned, numerous scientific studies have shown that nicotine is the most addictive drug of all. 80-90 percent of illegal drug users consume their substances in moderation and do not become hooked -- much like alcohol. It is also estimated that 80 percent of deaths caused by illicit drugs occur because of toxic black market remedies. In addition, about 90 percent of high school students surveyed believe that marijuana was readily available to them -- despite the war on drugs. Many readers may be concerned that society would go under if all drugs were completely legalized without regulation. However, it is important to understand that widespread substance abuse is not the cause of social problems -- it is the effect. When people lose their sense of purpose in life and feel hopeless, they tend to engage in self-destructive behavior. If we look at how much larger our government has grown during the last century, among other things, is it any wonder that drug abuse is so prevalent today? If pharmacies and highly regarded businessmen were selling marijuana, crack, heroin and other drugs, they would have to maintain a good reputation in the marketplace. They would be unwilling to risk it by selling to small children, and if they sold customers toxic substances, the companies could easily be sued. Prices would plummet and gangs would go out of business in a flash. No longer would addicts have to steal to support their habit. They could seek professional help without fear. Why then, do politicians and bureaucrats vigorously support this ludicrous war on drugs? The bureaucrats don't want to lose their government jobs. Ultimately, though, it is our fault. We've tried to control our neighbors through first-strike force and have found ourselves controlled. What do we risk by legalizing drugs? The only possible downside is that drug use may increase. But we must ask ourselves -- is it really worth seeing more of our neighbors becoming addicted and dying just to keep the number of users slightly lower? Do we really want the violence and police corruption to continue just so we can stop a couple of extra people from getting high? So until we can come to respect the peaceful choices of others - even if their decisions are unhealthy and idiotic, and until we can learn to mind our own business and stop trying to run other people's lives, the world will just continue its vicious cycle of war, poverty and strife which has plagued this planet for so long. (U-WIRE) Stillwater, Okla.Author: Joe Goodson, Daily O'Collegian, Oklahoma State U.Updated 12:00 PM ET November 17, 2000 (C) 2000 Daily O'Collegian via U-WIRE Cannabis News Articles - Legalization
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #9 posted by beale bickerstaff on May 03, 2001 at 11:50:57 PT:
if drugs were made legal then there would be more addicts and more money spent how dare even dream of class a drugs being legal
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Smokeless in Seattle on November 19, 2000 at 04:29:25 PT
Step on the Brake Pedal Folks
Easy now. These ideas make a lot of folks uncomfortable. There is no easy one-size-fits-all answer to all of this. As americans, our true talent is in compromise, debate, and protest. Let us use these tools in an intelligent way to effect change. Many see these points as being subversive and dangerous, and me MUST listen to them as well; they may have a good point somewhere in their arguement.Let us abandon the politics of division and adversity, and build a more caring America for the 21st century. Dont' forget - we have over 50 years of government lies and propaganda to fight against, and these are powerful things which have influenced the thinking of 5 generations of Americans. Don;t forget that in 1970, the day after the Kent State massacre, 70% of Amercans *agreed* with what the Ohio national guardsman did. Nevertheless, 3 years later our boys were pulled out of Vietnam.Great Article, BTW!!!SiS
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by Shelley Dobbs on November 18, 2000 at 14:43:16 PT:
Things Are Changing - For the Better
I must disagree with some of the comments posted here. It's true that some politicians ARE begining to listen and to understand that the "War on Drugs" is not only failing, but should never have begun.This past election, California has voted YES on Propisition 36.This propisition states that people who are convicted of possession or intoxication by illegal substances will not go to jail, but recieve "treatment". People who are found trafficing or manufacturing these substances, however, will still be sent to jail.It's begining!People are starting to wake up to the realities of the way the "drug culture" has been treated since this "war" began - and people are now crossing that thin line that sperates the sober from the drug users.Eyes are being open and minds are becoming tolerant and accepting of other people's ways of life and other people's problems and handicaps.Let's not give up all hope, yet.Someday we'll ALL be able to accept the choices made by others, even if we don't choose the same.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by RAS JAMES RSIFWH on November 18, 2000 at 14:00:33 PT
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by freedom fighter on November 18, 2000 at 13:22:23 PT
ras james
The GREED(unholy love) of money is the root of all evil.Money itself does perform important service for any community. I am a builder, I build house for a banker who paid me money which I brought some fish from a fisherman who puts his money in bank. It is all bartering and only when one decide to be greedy when things go wrong.Love ya man!Peace\/
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by ras james RSIFLW on November 18, 2000 at 12:49:15 PT
the question is...why have politicians continued to support a drug war that is both hypocritical and not working? it is THE SYSTEM (aka the shitstem) that has incouraged our politicians to take large amounts of money from the alcohol-tobacco drug cartels which are in direct competition with the heroin-cocaine drug cartels. the heroin-cocaine cartels buy off third world politicians and the alcohol-tobacco cartels buy off politicians in the good old USA. neither group of cartels like cannabis sativa for they know that marijauna is not physically addicting and will not make COMPULSIVE SLAVES out of very many people...which means smaller profits. yes, youth! it is true..."MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL".
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by freedom fighter on November 18, 2000 at 11:51:13 PT
dank is right!
Back in 60's when kids started getting all riled up they used phones and letters. Today, we are using the internet to do this. SPREAD THE WORD! SUBMIT THIS ESSAY TO EVERY MEDIA! Some will not even listen but some will listen.This essay is well written and clearly thought out. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on November 18, 2000 at 10:44:53 PT:
Perception ...
That which we all claim to have, many obviously lack, and this young man shows. I typically steal stories here, copy and paste them into e-mails and send copies to my Senators and JC Watts. I have the unique opportunity since I reside in his district. I also send to the local city editor, I'm gonna start sending to the local TV station, too.This fine essay will be sent to a lot of places ...It MUST be heard ...Peace ...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on November 18, 2000 at 09:10:36 PT:
Impressive, Most Impressive
This was written by a student. Amazing! What insight! What maturity! It is merely a shame that it will have a limited audience who will chalk up his liberal ideas to youthful idealism and inexperience. No politicians are likely to consider these bold and beautiful ideas. Now, there is the pity.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: