Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Why a complete rethink of drug policy is needed

For a long time I had few opinions on the issue of illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin (which I thought was spelled “herrawin”) and marijuana (which I thought was spelled “marawana”). My relatives have always been and remain appalled at people who use them, and I for financial and other reasons have never dared to try them.

However, in part because of reading Socialist Alternative (who want a regulated supply of all drugs) and latterly such organisations as the Mises Institude (who prefer an unregulated drug supply), I have come to think that the so-called "War on Drugs" which has its roots in the Progressive Era but which was intensified during the Reagan and Bush Senior Eras, is the worst of both worlds. It does nothing to address the myriad reasons for the use of illicit drugs, and because many people become rich and influence government by means of dealing in these artificially expensive substances, it is very hard for the government to keep a clean sheet of involvement with drug smugglers.

Today, however, Britain's The Guardian has provided the most damning evidence about the failures of the "war on drugs", by showing how the potential therapeutic value of psilocybin as a treatment for extreme pessimism by keeping “unwanted guests” away from the brain. I can relate to that perfectly because even in my most normal moods I tend to be thinking about far, far too many things at once and cannot focus on what I want to because I remember titillating or dramatic details too well - generally so well as to scare me away from ever reading them again. In general, relaxing is especially difficult for me and I often disturb others in public places by being noisy when I am thinking of how to react. Although those near me would be crazy if I were to take psilocybin for this purpose and I would only do so if it were recommended by someone with serious knowledge of the drug and the problems I have, that does not mean that the benefits of taking the drug for other people may not be extremely valuable.

Nonetheless, a plan to phase out the “war on drugs” towards legalisation is a step away frm financially destructive policies that could also prove very beneficial in a medical sense.

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