Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Letter from an Addict on Legalization of Drugs

Dear Editor,

Re: Fight drugs with health care

The headline in the Province states "War on drugs a dismal failure"
Is it really a failure? Does anyone have any insight into what our society would look like if we legalized drugs?
First of all there is no war on drugs, society is simply trying to protect the most vulnerable in our society from the illegal drugs that destroy life. More importantly it is a fight for the perceptions being formed in our children as they form their moral compass. It's no coincidence that the two legal drugs alcohol and tobacco cost society more than all the illegal drugs combined. Fact is, there are still a lot of good kids and adults who don't want to do anything illegal and whether something is legal or not plays a role in their decsion making process regarding its use. Can you imagine legal cocaine or heroin and the the possibility of billboards that encourage it like those that encourage the use of alcohol. Hard to imagine but look at all the ads now for feel good drugs from the pharmaceutical industry, complete with all the warnings of very dangerous side effects, including the possiblity of death from useage.
Granted, due to the nature of addiction and the power the power drugs have to give people a false sense of well being, there will always be an insatiable demand for drugs. However, all the instances I can find in recorded modern history where drugs were legalized, addiction rates soared.
Fact is, if drugs were legalized the big pharmaceutical giants would have another very lucrative revenue stream and taxpayers would pay for many more drugs like Methadone being prescribed to addicts. And much like Methadone where many on it either sell it Illegally while many more smoke crack and do other drugs to get the buzz necessary to get their false sense of well being. Taxpayers would pay not only for a larger variety of drugs and services for addicts, there would still be public disorder and crime that is the nature of drug addiction.
I know the horrors of long term heroin addiction and have lived on the streets and know what it feels like to have a broken spirit and whether one I was on an illegal drug like heroin or a legal one like methadone, I was still a slave to drugs and and all the unclear thinking and self centered behaviour that is the core of addiction.
Hopefully drugs are never legalized. Vancouver with its past free heroin program (NAOMI project) etc. and all the other services and free drugs provided to addcits will provide a glimpse into what it might look like if drugs were legal. If it was a simple problem just giving addicts drugs would be a simple solution but its not.

Barry Joneson

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's also why we shouldn't legalize prostitution. What message would that send to Canada's teenage girls? That it's just the same as being a teacher or lawyer? There's a lot of moral relativists out there...