The “War on (some) Drugs”

I was going to devote this entire entry to fleshing out my feelings on the illegal substance policy of the United States, particularly as it relates to Cannabis. I found a pretty informative and enlightening article at the Dallas Observer a little while back about Barry Cooper, a former Texas cop, who has apparently completely switched sides of the issue and makes it his life’s mission to teach people how to get away with trafficking and using Cannabis without getting caught.

But then I realized that spouting off on this touchy subject which I know just about nothing about (pretty much no matter what I might say) might reflect poorly on me in the future with potential employers, strangers, family members, etc. who may stumble upon this blog. Anyway, as a 100% clean non-user of any sort of illegal drugs or intoxicating beverages, or even tobacco products, the political issues don’t really directly affect me anyway, right? Yeah, sure they don’t… Actually, even that little bit that I just said probably makes me sound like an addled, radical hippie pothead in some people’s eyes anyway. I assure you, really I’m not. It’s just an interesting topic to think about. Okay, I suppose I might as well delve a little deeper. Let’s look at this bit of text that’s currently in the wikipedia article on the War on Drugs:

“Illegal drugs that are less dangerous tend to gain more widespread popularity than dangerous ones. An example would be the relationship of marijuana, a less dangerous drug, and heroin, a more dangerous drug. People are more willing to experiment with marijuana than heroin because the consequences are less severe. But because both are illegal, both require a black market infrastructure for distribution. Because marijuana is popular, it creates a network of people for this black market distribution infrastructure that is larger than would be present if only heroin were illegal, and marijuana were legal. In this manner, the criminalization of multiple drugs serves as a gateway of access to those drugs which are more dangerous.(Slightly modified to make more sense, as is often necessary when citing the wikipedia)

That’s an interesting point. If marijuana were legal in small amounts for personal use (as I believe it might be in Alaska), would the diminishment of the black market infrastructure also diminish the infrastructure as it relates to more dangerous drugs, e.g. heroin? And since there would be no exposure of the casual pot-smoker to the illegalities of the drug trade, would they be less likely to be dragged into trying other, more dangerous illegal substances? Food for thought. Anyway, really, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject… for now at least.

  1. #1 by Mark J. on February 16, 2007 - 10:48 pm

    Wikipedia does have its downside.

  2. #2 by MRhé on February 18, 2007 - 8:28 am

    Magic brownies?