The Harms of Drugs Versus the Harms of the War on Drugs

It’s very difficult to have a war on a noun the war on poverty, the war on terrorism, the war on drugs. To go to war successfully, a nation must first identify the enemy. Drugs are not the enemy. Drugs are pills, powders, and liquids. So who is the enemy, the people growing the plants, the people manufacturing the plants into harmful substances, the people taking the harmful substances and selling them, or the people taking the drugs?

I only ever hear two constant reasons as to why drugs are illegal and it’s either a.) because they are harmful to the people taking them or b.) people under the influence of drugs can be harmful to others in their resultant drug-induced behaviors.

First, people have many self-destructive habits: excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, speeding, driving while tired, staying with an abusive partner, poor eating habits etc. but you can’t regulate every behavior an individual may do to hurt themselves. You can’t save people from themselves, so why make drugs illegal for that reason?

Secondly, I certainly don’t want some coked-up addict driving down the road and hitting me, or robbing a store for money to support the habit but the crimes there are driving under the influence and theft; already illegal and agreed upon by most of the populace to be bad behaviors.

As for going after the users, it’s not uncommon for people who use drugs to be in trouble with the law. But if you are caught using, most often you are just sent to a rehabilitation program. You only go to jail if your drug use is coupled with a more serious crime stealing, DUI, murder, etc. So if using drugs alone is not enough to send the average person to jail then it’s not really illegal. Rehab is not a deterrent, jail is. Jail is also punishment for people who hurt someone else physically or financially. Doing drugs in the privacy of your own home doesn’t hurt anyone except yourself, but unless suicide is declared illegal you can’t really argue it for drugs. You can’t be punished because you could have hurt someone.

So who does go to jail? The traffickers go to jail. But that’s not fair because they wouldn’t be doing it if people weren’t buying products from them or would people not do drugs if the dealers weren’t selling? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Who else goes to jail? The suppliers to the dealers go to jail. But again if people weren’t doing drugs, then they wouldn’t be buying them from dealers and the suppliers would not have anyone with whom to supply drugs. It’s a self-licking ice cream cone.

Can this nation survive the legalization of drugs? If the trade becomes regulated, the government rakes in the revenue from taxes. Sure, people die but that’s just natural selection. The only real problem I foresee would be the additional weight on our already overburdened welfare system from people who can’t hold a job down because of their drug habit. Or, Will companies be sued for discrimination if they refuse to hire a drug addict?

Then you have the lawsuits against the drug companies because some heroin addict overdosed and the warning label didn’t strenuously enough explain that injecting heroin into your veins could cause death. What if someone is already high when they try heroin and they OD from the combination? Drugs will have to come in some huge ass boxes in order to fit the warning labels. Do our stores have enough shelf space for these large boxes and bottles will access to other items be restricted because of the logistics of it all? Will stores be sued if they refuse to carry drugs?

On second thought let’s just keep them illegal. Unless we are going to allow people to kill themselves with drugs, it’s too much of a bother to regulate it in our hyper-litigious society where no one is responsible for their own problems.