The Drugs debate has raged on for centuries and can be directly attributed to the high rates of crime in 1st world countries. Yet the question remains; What exactly is the problem? And what exactly is the solution?
Now, I should start by highlighting that I’m by no means a stranger to drugs, though it should also be highlighted that I’m far from a drug taking maniac along the lines of 1960’s Keith Moon or, more recently, 2011 Charlie Sheen. I’ve always been able to find the line between recreational drug use and abusive drug use, and I fully understand the difficulties behind approaching the subject in the right way.
With this in mind, I can honestly say the criminalization’s of drugs has never been much of a deterrent. It’s not like I don’t take heroin because it’s illegal, I don’t take heroin because I understand was it does to you and the dark path it can lead you down. There comes a time when the government needs to appreciate the general population can make calculated decisions about what they do to their own bodies. The idea that I can be arrested for smoking something that grows naturally, does no harm to myself, makes me laugh more, allows me to appreciate things more and occasionally makes me want to eat myself into a coma, is more than just an abuse of justice, it’s an invasion of civil rights. The main problems with drugs are caused by one thing and one thing only, the fact they’re illegal.
Historically, people believed that drug use is a result of an individual’s personality and mentality when actually it’s a by-product of the environment. A test was undertaken years ago where Rats were placed in a cage and given the option of water laced with heroin or cocaine, and just plain water. Every time, the Rat would drink the laced water until it ended up dying of an overdose. Repeat the experiment in a cage full of other Rats, coloured balls and tunnels (Basically Rat paradise) and pretty much all of them avoided the laced water. A human parallel can be found when investigating the Vietnam war, where around 20% of American troops were taking heroin, with 95% kicking the habit when returning home. Drug abuse is a means of escape, with nothing to escape, there’s no reason to abuse drugs.
One of the main issues I have with the discussion is that many of the people who campaign for keeping drugs illegal will go home on a night time and have a few glasses of wine with dinner. Think about it this way, if Alcohol was a new drug, it would never be allowed to become the mass produced, commercialised business as it is today. I’m not saying make it illegal, I’m just highlighting the hypocrisy of people’s argument when drugs like cannabis remain illegal.
I don’t see the argument for keeping drugs illegal. Crime rates would go down, prison populations would fall substantially and it would allow the government to better regulate the flow of drugs. Regardless of this, I don’t ever see a time where the UK government legalises weed never mind anything else. It seems we’re stuck in the past, stuck in a time where people seriously believe prosecuting people for smoking a joint makes the world a better place.