Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

Let’s Get Smart

Posted by hyperpat on November 22, 2006

It would seem as if at least a few people in Britain are looking to do something about the drug problem other than just harsher sentences and greater enforcement. While the listed idea of prescribing legal heroin for drug users  is at least a step in the direction of divorcing drug use from criminal activity, it still misses the major point of the problem: why the heck is such use considered criminal in the first place?

The result of the ‘War on Drugs’ here in America has been an abysmal failure, and will continue to be one. You simply cannot legislate and enforce laws which fly in the face of human behavior patterns. You would think that we would have learned our lesson from the Prohibition experiment, but it would seem certain moral blue-noses just can’t deal with the idea of some people getting pleasure from a chemical substance. As long as laws remain on the books that makes it a crime to have, obtain, or use these substances, there will be a market for them – a very price-inflated one, supplied by characters who really are less than upstanding citizens, which drives the consumers into actions that are really injurious to the rest of the population.

When we finally get some sense, we will de-criminalize such use, and set up places where you can legally obtain your drug of choice, with proper quality controls in place, and where the price tag has some relation to the actual expense of making the drug. This alone would probably reduce the overall crime rate in this country to half or less of what it is now. We could remove all the resources currently dedicated to enforcement, the huge number of cases clogging our courts, and the outrageous expense of incarcerating these people. If we would also apply a federal tax to such items, just as we do with cigarettes and alchohol, it becomes clear that America as a whole would reap some large financial benefits.

This is not to say that drug users would be getting a free pass. Any actions they might take while under the influence of same that cause injury to another or that violate other laws should be prosecuted, just like drunk driving. But making criminals out of people who are only pleasuring themselves is not only wrong, it will never work.

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