Drugs — gateway to ruin or economic upturn?
For decades puritanical thinking has turned drugs into the ultimate enemy. We’ve even fought a war against drugs. As drugs are still on the streets and junkies are still getting high, it’s safe to say that either the war rages on, or we’ve lost and have yet to admit defeat.
Why do drugs have power?
Obviously they are addictive substances, but so are several legal commodities. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol — all are legal products available for purchase. Prescription medications are also drugs and equally as addictive, but they are allowed because of their medicinal value.
Why are some addictive substances legal and controlled, whereas others have become the fictionalized enemy of a “war” that has lasted for several decades?
Some would speculate that religious influences have kept drugs illegal. Many religious leaders state that drugs are the devil’s tools of corruption. In fact most rehabilitation programs involve a religious focus as a means to expel the toxins and remain clean.
Money and control, however, are the ultimate forces behind keeping drugs illegal.
Consider: Most drugs can be made from home with common household ingredients. If Big Brother can’t control whether or not you bake cookies, how can he control you making drugs? More importantly, how can Big Brother get his monetary cut from what you’re making? Simple answer –he can’t. There are too many people and too many variables to control. Ergo, a blanket illegalization controls the situation.
To maintain this control, the government has supported negative allegations against drug use:
- Drugs can ruin your life.
- Drugs can lower your inhibitions.
- Drugs can lead to fatal mistakes.
Sure — these phrases have an amount of truth to them. Nevertheless, they are generic statements based on fear tactics. Furthermore, people aren’t creating solutions to these specific problems– in fact they are deliberately creating pseudo-solutions that avoid the issue.
Avoiding an issue does not solve it. Making rules that outlaw drugs will not stop drug use and in fact will only increase the monetary value of drugs as a commodity. Drugs are expensive because they are illegal and therefore difficult to find. Drug dealers can charge whatever they want because the demand is high and supplies are low.
Instead of avoiding America’s addiction to drugs, let’s embrace it. Hypothetically let’s all accept that drugs exist, that people enjoy how drugs make them feel, and that simple little laws will not work to deal with the problem.
The problem isn’t that drugs are available. The real problems deal with regulation and disbursements.
Currently illegal drugs are made by regular people. There are no regulations and little uniformity with creating different types of drugs. If companies and chemists were able to examine different drugs and come up with clean and safe formulas to mass-market these items, we could solve several problems, such as citizens receiving improperly mixed doses that prove fatal.
Disbursement is a two-tiered process. First of all, disbursing drugs to the populace needs to be done in the light of day instead of in dark alleys. Drug dealers and drug lords only have power because they are the only sellers out there. If we legalize drugs and make them available in every store, we eliminate the influence and power of drug cartels.
The second aspect of disbursement involves the individual. Each person has a different tolerance to every single drug. Most addicts are just looking for their high, and don’t care how many pills or shots they take as long as they get their feeling of euphoria. To safeguard against overdose would require not only proper dosage instructions, but also specific care facilities and staff for drug users.
The fiscal impact of this hypothetical world is not a matter of how much it will cost for these programs, but how much money could be earned if these programs were put into action.
Looking first at commerce, drugs could provide serious revenue in regards to taxes. If drugs are created by companies and licensed chemists, they could be safely mass produced and distributed through retailers, and thus be properly taxed like any other commodity. With so much supply the price of drugs would go down from current street value, but the demand would remain high enough to make the deal lucrative.
Additionally, legalizing drugs creates a new job market niche. Construction personnel would be required to build new factories and new care facilities. Factory workers would find more openings in plants dedicated to production and distribution of the product. Vocational markets in the healthcare industry would expand to deal specifically with creating and manufacturing the drugs, as well as regulating and dosing drug users appropriately.
Drugs are things, they are not the enemy. The only real enemy in this war on drugs would be drug dealers and cartels. Eliminate their power over their product, and you eliminate them altogether. Society needs to take responsibility for what drugs actually are and the problems involved therein. Avoidance is a stopgap that will not solve this problem. Acceptance and action are far better solutions.