Drugs are dangerous. It's a nasty toy to play with. And, if you are a parent, I understand your fear that your kid might get carried away one day. Your fear is right on the spot. And that's why I write this.
Not only that prohibition of drugs doesn't achieve almost anything, it's counter-productive. And it is violating human rights. If I was a drug lord, I would finance it. As probably some drug lords do.
The prohibition of drugs actually achieves:
- criminalization of a significant percent of the society
- misinforming the public about drugs, thus raising the dangers of their use
- connecting drugs with crimes
- streaming hundreds of billions of dollars every year to the organized crime
- cutting any chance of control over what appears on the market
- fueling the HIV and hepatitis epidemics
Do we really need all that? And why? Because somebody thinks nobody should hack their brains with some substance that will cause an extraordinary effect? It's their body and their mind. What they do to themselves is their own business. But the things listed above, they affect all of us. And then, that "war on drugs" thing… it just doesn't work. People do hack their brains with drugs. They always have. They always will.
Prohibition won't help. Prohibition will only make things worse by undermining education. Prohibition will only help the kids not to know what are they doing thus leading them quickly into abuse and addiction. Prohibition will also help parents not to know how they should talk with their kids and not to notice the signs that should alarm them.
And then, when the things start getting really ugly, prohibition will help the self-fulfilling prophecy of "marijuana as a stepping stone". That
myth bullshit was invented by anti-drug propagandists and wholeheartedly accepted by every drug dealer in the world. Because big money is in hard drugs, in heroin and cocaine, not in marijuana.
Prohibition will also help those kids take in all the poisons in the drugs they use. You may think of illicit drugs as poisons, some of them really are, but they are hundreds of times worse when mixed with sugar, assorted pharmaceuticals or even rat poison. Prohibition will help push the kids into stealing, burglary and prostitution. Prohibition will also prevent them from getting sterile needles.
Meanwhile, some people will gain so much profit that their weaponry can put a small country to shame. Choppers, airplanes and light artillery included. Those people get their money thanks to prohibition of drugs. And they will do anything for that prohibition to continue. No bribe is too big if you get billions of dollars out of it.
But the propaganda-induced fear is too strong. What will happen if we decriminalize drugs? Will society fall apart and everything go to hell? Will everybody get hooked on drugs and die? Will everybody get AIDS? Well… no. Nothing like that will happen. Actually, we can expect that the number of addicts will fall. Take a look at Czech republic or Netherlands. One can hardly say that they have a problem with drugs. Or even better, take a look at Portugal.
It's not terrifying as they'd told you it should be, is it? You know, they were telling similar prophecies of doom against sex before marriage and even against rock and roll. But those people are either dumb and scared souls, or gain huge profit or political points from what they are saying. None of them is worth taking an advice from, let alone being in position to actually decide anything about the society we all live in.
I'm not saying that we should promote drugs and all get high right now. I'm telling that we should rethink the problem and start acting responsibly and in accordance with the facts.
Having said that, you might want to sign the Vienna Declaration, a statement calling for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies. The declaration was drafted by a team of international experts and initiated by several of the world’s leading HIV and drug policy scientific bodies: the International AIDS Society, the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP), and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.