• embo66

    Well . . . DUH.

    U.S. drug policy has rarely been rational. Not to mention our longstanding “puritan” urge to judge and punish behavior not countenanced by those at the top (or at least denied to those in the “lower orders”). Thus we legalize alcohol but not marijuana, don’t punish prescription drug abuse but do heroin, etc. On top of that, sentences for illegal drug use by non-whites are far harsher than those given to whites.

    But perhaps the real tragedy is our entire “war on drugs,” period — which for over 30 years has focused almost solely on enforcement of laws, treating drug abuse as a criminal rather than a public health and social problem. This unenlightened approach, favored so by conservatives (who were in ascendancy when the drug wars began) has very predictably yielded ZERO progress in getting people to stop abusing, much less merely using drugs. It has also been a colossal waste of money.

    But of course that mere “use” of drugs is also under attack. Mostly because Americans are compelled to deny ourselves pleasure, rather than admit that drugs ARE often very pleasurable and therefore very, very interesting. This judgmental attitude further reinforces a criminal focus on drugs and often prevents us from engaging in serious examination of why people wish to take drugs, period.

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