All drugs should be legal to possess and use. If you want to make anything illegal, make it the distribution and manufacture. The government has no right to tell us what we can or can not put into our bodies. I would go even further though, and legalize and regulate the production and sale of all drugs. For things like pot, mushrooms, opium, salvia, etc.., drugs that take little to no processing, and that the processing of poses little to no danger to society, I would allow anyone to process and possess small, personal use amounts. If someone wants to sell these drugs, then they should have to get a license. I would even tier the licenses. One for anyone who wants to sell retail amounts (anything between a gram and an ounce), one for low level wholesalers (anything from a quarter pound to a half pound), and one for commercial quantaties (anything a pound or more). This would allow for many small businesses to start up, and it would allow for mult-tiered revenue from taxing each level of sales, and from licensing fees.
As for the mor heavily processed drugs, these should be processed in labs (either government or pharmacy), and sold in state controlled institutions (like liquor stores here in Washington state). Then the quality could be highly controlled, as well as the purity. If Pharmeceutical companies were to be the ones to make the coke, crack, meth, heroine, LSD, mesculine, microdot, and exstacy (under government supervision), they could then use the profits to fund their medicinal drug ventures, lowering the costs of prescription drugs.
If the law also dictated where the revenues from the sales of these illegal drugs went, say to education, drug abuse prevention, police and other social servants, and to create a fund to handle the medical problems that drug addiction and use of hard drugs leads to, then the legalization of these drugs would be a great boon to society. It would cut out the illegal drug trade, and shut down the black market drug trade. The black market can not compete with a mainstream markets prices, they have to figure in legal costs. It would provide state and federal revenue. The money lost by police agencies when they lose there war on drugs funding, would be replaced with revenue from the drug sales. This would also create opportunities for thousands if not tens of thousands of small businesses. One large problem that I see, especially with pot and the softer drugs, is the question of how to keep companies like phillip morris out of the game, because that would compromise many of the benefits of legalizing the drugs.
I have seen this sort of thing too, Keely. I think a large part of the problem is that we don't give our children enough love, compassion, and education. I am sure that many people would still grow up to have addiction problems, because so much of it is chemistry, but if we raised happier, better educated children their brains and bodies would be producing more of the "happy-making" natural chemicals that addicts are seeking to replace.
Instead, our society spends huge amounts of time, money and effort on the un-healthy needs of such adults. This includes even our wars. When you study the history of any war, you will find poorly adapted people acting out their irrational emotional needs.
That's really a tangent to this discussion, however. I agree that many people will find drugs they want, legal or not, but some of those drugs have demonstrated such harmfulness that I can't help but support making their acquisition for non-medical use as difficult as possible.
Marijuana, on the other hand, has been shown to be relatively harmless, and it's criminalization was motivated by racism--not physical harm to the user. A member of Congress actually lied on the floor of the House--on the record--to assure the passage of the Federal act that criminalized it. That tells me all I need to know. Legalize it!
I'm a Liberal so simple answer is yes.
It has been proven that grass is less harmful than any other drug, yet it still remains to be illegal. Grass is less addictive than caffeine, and since when do you ever read or hear about people dying because someone got toked up? Never. If anything that bullshit "Gateway drug" blanket term should be applicable to alcohol. With everything there is always going to be a minority of people who end up doing something stupid, and ruin the image through the news media. I don't care if people do hard drugs or not, but I am all for the legalization of marijuana. If alcohol is legal, then pot should be as well. I love my rum and beer, there's no way I would want anyone taking away that right.
We live in a monetary system, As long as there is a demand then someone will fill it to make a profit and there is a very big profit to be made in drugs. Not just in "illegal" sales but enforcement, government policy etc, basically drugs is big busy on both sides of the fence.
--If i was making money of they way things are my answer is No.
Then there is the fact that all drugs at some point in time are GOOD! otherwise people wouldn't take them, thats not to say that in 3 months your not bleeding and dying in an alley with a needle in your arm but people obviously don't rationally choose that in the beginning.
--If you mean uneducated people should have access to any drugs they please which could harm others then No.
On top of all of this there are different kinds of drugs, some people can smoke weed all their lives, contribute to society and be lovely people. I've yet to hear of a heavily addicted crack head with the same attributes.
--If you mean weed then Yes.
Last but not least there is the concept of "Legal" your specific term was "Legalized". Who is the government to tell me that im not allowed to take a seed turn it into a plant and smoke it after it is dry in my living room? I certainly believe that people shouldn't be allow to hurt others (that includes being responsible I guess) but what you do to yourself should be your own rhelm.
--Let people do anyting they want, but educate them so they choose not to while manufacturing an environment that creates safety. Laws don't work, people still speed every day and speeding laws have been around since cars. (in other words Yes)
So, were the Chinese a less grand nation because many citizens abused heroine? Why aren't you for the prohibition of addictive prescription drugs???
There is simply no "absolute" argument that being stoned all your life is "bad" per se. Homo sapiens have always made use of naturally occurring mind altering substances. There are several billion people on the planet, if a few of the least fit die due to overdose, I prefer that over the thousands who die in drug wars.
Heck, even other mammals have been demonstrated to ingest mind altering substances: bears, elephants, birds, primates.
This cultural obsession with seeing an "altered" mind as a "bad" thing per se is to me an oddity.
Well good for you. But the very definition of addict is that you're never a 'former' addict. It will be lifelong engagement for you. Being an addict is not restricted to a substance, it is a personality trait. Many an addict will leave one substance only to take on another. I do wish you success in that matter.
But surely you're not implying major social violence problems in order to save addicts from the temptation? (not that prohibition stops that anyway).
It only takes three days to get hooked on coffee, too. I know from experience. It also takes three or more days of misery to get off, followed by months of feeling lethargic. Then it takes less than three days to get hooked again. Furthermore, coffee can lead to bad behaviors, though perhaps not as bad as cocaine or heroin.
Not that I am taking the other side here completely. I think marijuana should be completely legal, but harder drugs are more problematic. I think some sort of regulation is needed. Frankly, we already have a system in place. These days doctors are often little more than drug dealers. The problem is that they have financial incentives to push the drugs that make the most money for pharmaceutical companies rather than what the customer actually needs or wants. A discerning customer could get around that if he or she wanted to, however, and if these other drugs were more easily available.