Is It Time to End the Drug War?

Drug Use for Grown-Ups by Dr. Carl L. Hart has opened up a whole other world to me. It’s answered some questions, generated new ones, and instigated me to revisit how I how I look at drug use. Unlike the author, I’ve never personally used any illegal drug. Yes. I know. Crazy. I never even smoked any pot before it was legal in California. I have now, but not much. I just didn’t like it, and I’m not interested in spending the time to experiment with dosages and types.

My drug of choice is alcohol, specifically good whiskey and tequila. They lift my spirits and put me in a better mood to socialize. There are times when I’ve drank too much, and I’ve had to sleep it off. I am not an addict, even though I do want that high more often than I drink because I’m a reasonably responsible person.

Since my drug is legal and regulated, I’m not worried about the people or place I buy it being associated with other criminal activity. I also don’t worry that what I’m drinking may contain a poison that I’m not aware of or may be enhanced with something my body isn’t ready for. And I have recourse if something does go wrong from my imbibing. No one will arrest me when I go to the emergency room if I’m sick, and I could sue the company that made it if they did something to harm me.

Unlike other drugs.

The question I’ve always had has been, “Why would someone use heroin? What’s the practical use?” Dr. Carl L. Hart has answered that question; because it relieves pain, makes people feel better, it’s fun, it expands consciousness, etc. And that goes for all the other drugs we have banned.

Studies are showing that almost all the negatives of drug use are due to the fact that the substance is illegal. People are not educated as to the safe use of the drug, they can’t be sure of the purity or amount of what they are taking, and they aren’t aware of the effects that will occur when they stop taking the drug.

Everything we do to stop people from making, selling, and using the drugs only creates more problems.

After all we learned from the prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th century, why do we think banning certain drugs will stop people from taking them? And why do we think it’s any of our business what another person wants to do with their body?

If you think I’m one of those crazy people that advocates for the legalization of all drugs, you’re right. I have been on the track for many years, because government has no place in determining what is good and bad for you.

Like Dr. Hart says, “The point is that whether I use a drug or not is my decision; it is not the government’s decision. Further, my responsible drug use should not be subjected to punishment by authorities. These ideas are central to our notions of liberty and personal freedom. The current punitive approach to dealing with recreational drug users is wholly un-American.”

My issue has always been the negatives of drug use, the physical problems that can occur, safety, and the like. After reading this, I’m angry. The government and the media has lied to us (as they are want to do) and created a mountain out of a molehill, “for our safety” of course.

Please read this book, listen to some of Dr. Hart’s talks, or read his articles. The war on drugs has got to end. It’s claimed enough lives.

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