Who Wants A Drug Free Society?

Who really wants a drug free society? Are they serious? Would they eliminate all drugs or just the ones they don’t like? Would alcohol and tobacco be included in the drug ban? What about pharmaceutical drugs that only add value to life and have no curative properties such as Viagra or Celebrex. Would pain medications be forbidden? Should all drugs be given under a doctors advice? What about all the over the counter medications currently available for a myriad of different maladies? Don’t we have the right to self medicate? Isn’t that what over the counter medications are all about?

It is almost impossible to watch television or read a magazine without seeing an ad for some kind of drug. We live in a society where almost any medical complaint we may have, has a drug available to either cure it or at least control the symptoms, drugs to grow hair on our heads and drugs to cure athletes feet and everything in between. It is hard to believe anyone would want to eliminate drugs from society and I do not believe that is the intention of organizations such as. http://www.drugfree.org/   The Partnership at Drugfree.org is a drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resource, existing to help parents and caregivers effectively address alcohol and drug abuse with their teens and young adults. A noble cause I would say. Why would anyone want to give recreational drugs to children? The problem I have with drugfree.org is that they are also prohibitionists who advocate for the elimination and criminalization of all recreational drugs and they consider any use as abuse. All drug use is not abuse. People have been using alcohol and other drugs to celebrate life and self medicate for thousands of years. As long as we can do so responsibly, what is the problem?

One of the problems with prohibition is that it removes the regulatory process where drug sales can be limited as age appropriate like alcohol. With no legal outlet for a product that many Americans want such as marijuana, a black market emerges to supply the demand. This will always happen when things are forbidden that people want. Laws that people believe are unjust will always be ignored and respect for law enforcement is eroded in the process. Crime increases as respect for unjust laws decrease. It becomes a society polarized by public desires and a prohibitionist attitude. Hatred, fear and mistrust grow as each side struggles for the upper hand in this conflict. Prisons are built to house those that are unfortunate enough to get caught and families are torn apart in the process. An honest educational health based prevention process would likely be more effective. When our government says that marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical use, their credibility comes into question. Reality paints a much different picture where 18 states and Washington DC have medical marijuana programs and 2 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. The people who use marijuana are harmed more by society at the hand of our judicial system than the harm caused by marijuana. I am not saying that marijuana use is harmless, but the harm caused by prohibition far outweighs the harm caused by marijuana use. As adults that choice should be ours. As adults we should be able to celebrate life on our own terms as long as we do so responsibly. To take away that right is at odds with the principles of freedom that our country was founded on. We still have a long way to go to prevent drug use by underage users but I believe honest, health based education is the key. Our children are smart enough to know when they are being deceived.

Randy Johnson