Legalising Illicit Drugs – The Answer To Controlling A Worldwide Epidemic.
In recent weeks in Australia, the Coroner has advised that testing drugs at music festivals would be beneficial in saving lives.
This has caused much debate on social media, and I have to say I’ve found it extremely hard to read some of the ignorant comments made. Comments like “drugs are illegal, so drug takers should be arrested”, “who cares if they overdose, it’s their choice to take them”, or, “pill testing only encourages drug users”.
All of these comments are very easy to say in a black and white context, but the drug epidemic that is sweeping the World is not as simplistic as the black and white ignorant would like to think!
Authorities have been fighting the ‘war on drugs’ for a very long time, and I have to ask: where has it got them? As one Drug Lord is locked up, another emerges. In fact, the amount of people taking drugs has almost tripled in the last twenty years.
Trying to eradicate drugs and drug dealers is clearly NOT working! So, wouldn’t common sense tell you that if one approach is failing miserably, then perhaps a new approach is very much warranted.
I watched a documentary years ago (I think it was based in Sweden), where pill testing was trialled at music festivals, and the results were amazing. Young party goers who used the service and got a bad reading on their pill, actually abstained from taking it.
However, I believe this idea, although inventive and having some positive outcomes, is really only addressing a very small window of a much larger problem. A problem that requires great vision for the entirety of its reach.
Drugs affect various different problems that impact the community as a whole: crime is one of the biggest areas that has an on-flow from drugs. We have drug addicts committing burglaries on small businesses and frightening home invasions – they need money to pay for their addiction. We have Gangland turf wars over the territory of selling drugs. People committing murder, rape and violence in general because of drugs. There’s people who drive on drugs, putting other’s lives at risk. People filling up hospitals and psychiatric wards due to drugs. Suicide. Ambulance and Police officers are being called to drug related issues, and the list goes on and on!
The problem is so far spread throughout society, that the approach of ‘stopping’ it, is nothing more than an outdated, unrealistic ideal. So, what do we do if we can’t stop it? We need to change tactics and learn to control it, and we can only do this if we legalise all illicit drugs.
Now, before you jump down my throat, please just hear me out. Alcohol was once illegal too back in the Prohibition days, and the powers that be realised the problem was so out of hand that they needed to legalise it in order to control it. You only have to look around to see that alcohol related crime, is very minimal in comparison to drugs these days. Legalising alcohol didn’t take away all of the problems, but it certainly reduced them to a controllable level.
I can already hear you black and white thinkers jumping up and down yelling “Legalising it will send a message that it’s okay to take drugs and will make the problem worse”, and to that I say NO, it will make the problem better!
Legalising drugs will enable several things:
- The drugs can be made safely by trained professionals, saving thousands of lives and creating more jobs in the process.
- The dosage given can be monitored and regulated.
- Drug Lords would almost be wiped out.
- All of the above would lead to a significant drop in crime.
- The lure for kids to rebel against the law by taking ‘illegal’ drugs would be rendered worthless.
- The need for ambulance and police resources would also drop significantly.
As someone who has fallen to the clutches of drug addiction, I’m telling you that ‘stopping’ drugs will not stop an addict from finding a fix, nor will it stop a drug dealer trying to make a quick buck or trade off to support their own habit. Educating kids that drugs are ‘bad’ won’t have much affect either, not on someone who is in extreme emotional or physical pain.
My parents spent a lot of time teaching me that drugs were ‘bad’, and in my early teens I was righteously against the use of drugs – lecturing anyone I could about it until one day… My unprocessed emotional pain became too much to bare. When someone reaches that point of emotional or physical pain, all sense of reason flies out the window. So please people, stop making such simplistic comments like “don’t take drugs, drugs are bad”, that attitude is neither helpful or affective!
It’s time people opened their minds and their hearts. The severity of the problem has spread far and wide, far beyond the realms of being able to ‘stop’ it. A new approach is the only way of reducing the impact that drugs are having on ordinary people in what has become the misery of their everyday lives. You will never stop it, so let’s do what we can to control it!
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