By Tom Quiner
One of my favorite bloggers is JuwannaDoRight (http://juwannadoright.wordpress.com).
On occasion, I reblog one of her gems here at Quiner’s Diner.
I seldom disagree with her. If I do, I need to think long and hard as to why. You see, she tells her stories and makes her case with a rare combination of heart and intelligence.
She made a very credible case for the legalization of drugs in a recent post (“Who is killing off the drug cartels of Mexico?”).
She points out the problem:
“The United States of America spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year fighting a war on drugs which are presently illegal. The reason for this battle is that we are the major consumers of these products and they regularly find their ways across our southern borders and are distributed throughout our nation. Precisely because they are illegal – they are expensive – which makes their providers very wealthy people.”
Legalization, she says, could reduce our drug problems:
“If they were legalized and dispensed through government outlets, they would sell for a small fraction of their current cost – making the business of being in the drug trade far less lucrative. Instead of continuing to pour hundreds of millions of dollars a year into a black hole fighting a battle that we are obviously not only not winning but not breaking even on, we could find a new revenue source to help out our failing recovery and regulate (a word my liberal friends like to use) the dispensation of this commodity.”
It’s a fair argument. But I’m still against the legalization of new drugs. I guess I was really affected by a speaker I heard many years ago at a breakfast club I was in.
I don’t even remember his name, but he was a rich guy. He had the world on a string. Beautiful wife. Beautiful kids. Fancy cars. Huge house. Country club membership.
He got hooked on crack cocaine. He said the high was beyond his ability to describe. He simply wanted to experience it again. And again. And again.
His addiction was immediate. His life began spiraling out of control.
It didn’t take long, maybe a year or two, and he was ruined.
His wife left him. He was broke. He was broken.
He lost everything.
He went through rehab and eventually weaned himself off the drug.
That didn’t mean he didn’t still crave the drug.
Here’s what haunted me about his talk. His final line was this: “If you were to give me a choice and say, ‘you can have your wife back, your family, and all your wealth, or you can get one more hit, which would it be?’ I am sorry to say, I’d take the hit.”
The high was too deliriously high for a mere mortal to handle. And the carnage left in its wake was devastating to him, his family, and his community.
Some people are more susceptible to drug addiction than others. Would we run the risk of ruining even more lives by easy access to drugs, even if they became controlled substances?
That is my concern.
JuwannaDoRight addresses my concerns:
“Of course the fear is that if they were available at a smaller cost, wouldn’t more people want to start taking and using them? There is certainly that possibility. But I would argue that many people take drugs simply because they are illicit and because there is, in their minds, a certain sexiness about them for that reason only. Take that away and they might lose their interest in them entirely.”
That guy I heard speak put the fear of God into me about drug use in our society. I have seen first hand how good kids from good families got into such hot water by their dependence on drugs. The addiction happens so fast.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Let’s keep drugs illegal.