Sensible Drug Policy: Ending The War On Drugs

Seth Fitzgerald - Author
By

Sep. 2 2013, Updated 9:22 a.m. ET

There is no doubt in my mind that people are overwhelming unhappy with the War on Drugs, which has primarily targeted substances such as Marijuana which pose the least threat to humans. Instead of doing what it was marketed as, the War on Drugs has placed millions of people in prison for simple drug possession offenses or small grow operations, but neither or those “crimes” pose any threat to the well being of mankind.

Sure, jails are important since violent crimes are definitely a problem and people should be punished for murder, rape, etc. But over the past few decades, violent crimes have only been decreasing in the United States, despite incarceration rates rising higher than ever before.

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This can be traced back to money. Private prisons make thousands of dollars off of every prisoner and as a result, influencing laws to keep more people in jail makes a lot of sense from their perspective.

Without going into detail as to how corporations have messed with the prison system, I’d like to outline some ways in which a sensible drug policy could be enacted.

Drawing The Line: Natural VS Processed

On one side of the drug market you have processed drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, PCP, and LSD, among others. However, the other side of the market is made up of completely natural (but still illegal) drugs such as marijuana, shrooms, mescaline, DMT, Betel Net, etc.

There is a big difference between the natural drugs and ones that are either processed or actually created in laboratories.

We know that throughout history, humans have used drugs such as DMT (in the form of Ayahuasca), shrooms, and marijuana for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Combining recent medical and archaeological evidence provides a clearer picture as to how these drugs were used in societies, and even suggests that they may have pushed along the evolution of the human brain.

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Overwhelmingly, these drugs are not addictive (in virtually every case) and do not pose serious health concerns in the short or long term. All of the psychedelic drugs (Mescaline, Shrooms, DMT) have no addictive properties, however Betel Nut can be harmful and is a potential carcinogen.

On the other hand. We have processed/synthetic drugs. Among these are cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, three of the world’s most dangerous and addictive substances. Outside of nicotine/tobacco, these drugs kill more people than virtually any other substance or group of substances on the planet.

Enforcement Is Key, But Not How You Think

The idea of enforcing laws on any collection of substances is ludicrous in the minds of many pro-drug individuals, but I have taken a different stance. While I have come to the conclusion that the world would be a better place without laws surrounding natural drugs, others, such as meth or heroin are different.

For the sake of public safety and personal safety, preventing the sale and creation of these substances is important. There are simply no benefits to the human mind or body that come from ingesting synthetic drugs, with the one exception being LSD.

As a result, keeping these extremely harmful substances off of the streets makes sense for the good of everyone. This is completely different that the way the War on Drugs has handled enforcement.

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Enforcing these laws takes far less effort than going after naturally occurring substances, since fighting nature is not always easy. Going after drug labs and processing centers is easier from a policing standpoint than chasing down a marijuana or DMT-containing plant.

The Cocaine Conundrum

Cocaine, like many of the other plant-based drugs, has been used medicinally for millennia. People used to–and in some countries still do–chew the leaves of the coca plant for energy, since some cocaine-like effects can be derived from the plant without processing it.

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