Pubdate: Sun, 26 Aug 2001
Source: Inquirer (PA)
Copyright: 2001 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: Katie Wright


Crispin Sartwell presents an important argument for drug legalization: That 
which pertains to an individual -- certainly to his or her body -- is no 
one else's business (Commentary, Aug 17).

Almost everyone self-medicates: coffee, sugar, cigarettes, chocolate, TV, 
alcohol.  While some may seek only mild chemical adjustments -- or none at 
all -- others run the gamut of stronger substances, legal or illegal.  It's 
all about physical chemistry and physiology -- healthier organisms vs. 
unhealthy ones -- not good people vs evil people.

Drug users find their drugs, not the other way around.  The prevailing 
resistance to drug legalization is based on the notion that people will use 
a drug simply because it's legally available.  This rationale is alarmingly 

Most violent crime is drug-related.  What else do we need to know? Legalize 
all drugs and decriminalize the situation.  The drug use itself if not 
criminal behavior (except to the body!); what desperate people will do to 
obtain drugs or make money off of them is creating an environment of 
horrific violence.

Predicating this situation, oddly enough, is our (legal) drug culture, 
which teaches children to rely on drugs instead of listening to, and 
working with, their own bodies.  Having a real feeling?  Experiencing a 
symptom?  Drug it away!  Then they are told to "just say no."  To whom?  To 
what?  Drugs are drugs to the body.  Where is the bottom line?  What is 
really going on here?

Sartwell's main point, however, is the most important one.  What one 
chooses to ingest is not the government's business.  It's up to the individual.

Katie Wright
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