I have come upon 2 interesting articles on drug decriminalization while perusing Slashdot: Portugal Decriminalizes Drug Use (Guardian, Jul 2001) and The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal (Salon; Mar 2009) that covers the apparent success in dealing with drugs after decriminalizing it. Now, drug use is a consensual crime and the book Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society this topic in great depth, so I will not go into it here so much.
This has again had me to write and article on my thoughts on how to deal with the drug issue. Portugal’s method of dealing with the drug issue is very similar to mine, but my thoughts in some cases may be more draconian.
My theory on drug legalization shows a bias and goals as follows: drug use is inherently harmful, addictive and promotes crime due to addiction and desperation to get the next fix; protecting the eventual educated consent of minors, which is of vital importance so that they can decide whether drug use in their lives is right for them; as well as individual responsibility for the direct and indirect effects of their drug use.
Dealing with Drugs
Perhaps the first stage would be to decriminalize drugs. If people choose to take drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin for non-medically prescribed usage, it is stupid and devastating to their lives and the people that love them, in my opinion, but it is really their choice. If they choose to do recreational drug use in a responsible manner, then I say go ahead. It is your choice to engage in recreational drug use as long as it does not endanger others. As I have mentioned before, drug use is a consensual crime and the book Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society covers this topic in great detail.
After decrimnalizing it we will want to regulate it in a manner similar to alcohol.
- to sell a drug you will need to get a license and have appropriate protections around it.
- to sell a drug the drug will have to fall under certain specifications and cannot contain poisonous things like Drano and so on.
Then you will want to tax it heavily in order to provide a deterrent for those to do it too much by increasing the price and to provide funding for social, rehab, and support programs for those who abuse it. Now, this will of course end up with those who will sell or trade it illegally, but that is something that is visceral to restricting somethings availability, such as prescription pain killers.
Criminalize Abuse of Drugs
Ok, so this is where my method of dealing with things may be a little more draconian than others that support the legalization of drugs. I break down drugs into 2 groups:
- Primary Effect Drugs:
- drugs that only directly affect the user such as any internally administered drug like cocaine or alcohol
- Secondary Effect Drugs:
- drugs whose use directly effects more than the immediate user, which primarily constitutes such drugs as cigarettes and marijuana which are primarily smoked and whose smoke may be taken in by others
Primary Effect Drugs (PED)
It should be illegal for the usage of any PED while pregnant (as determined by doctors/Surgeon General, etc), as well as giving them to children at all due to the fact that if you get children hooked on them when they are young and influential (especially by parents and elder relatives), and do not have real understanding of the ramifications, then you are effectively removing from them the ability to make an educated choice once they are an adult. From a more legal standpoint they are unable to give consent and parents are not allowing them to decide if they shall start their adult alives addicted to a drugs.
Of course, this method does conflict with hte parents inherent right to raise their children how they like, but does protect their eventual ability to make their own educated decision before addicting themselves to something and potentially ruining their lives.
Secondary Effect Drugs (SED)
It should be illegal for the usage of any SED in public spaces or in the presence of minors or those they have guardianship over, or while pregnant.
Parents have the right to raise their children however they want, but this right should not include unnecessarily harming their children’s health or pre-addicting them to drugs without them ever having a choice to it. An addiction and health damage being forced upon them without their consent is much to their detriment and removes much chance that they have of not having these substances in their lives. Children cannot give consent until they are of age and parents have a conflicting interest, especially when prevailing studies and knowledge shows that such drugs are inherently harmful on a plethora of levels.