Source: Arkansas Traveler, The (AR Edu)
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jan 2003
Address: 119 Kimpel Hall, University Of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Fax: (479)575-3306
Copyright: 2003 The Arkansas Traveler
Author: Rom Hashemi


Is it me, or is the war on drugs just silly? There are only advantages to 
legalizing drugs (and not just marijuana, but things like speed, MDMA, 
cocaine, heroin etc.). And there are only disadvantages to keeping illicit 
narcotics illicit.

I call this "The Prohibition Effect" which comes from the amendment to ban 
the sale of alcohol. When alcohol was illegal crime ran rampant and 
criminals became extremely wealthy. And wealth, in turn, influences 
government. So we would have criminals moving our legislation in directions 
that would most benefit them.

Prohibition was a campaign to impose morality on the citizenry of America. 
It is not the government's responsibility to dictate morality to its 
citizens. In fact the only real institutions that implement morality as 
"party line" are the various organized religions across the globe. Because 
there has been a long history of the separation of church and state in this 
country, drugs should be legalized.

It isn't just the dissolution of the criminal element that would benefit 
United States, but think of the boon in capital. A heavily regulated and 
taxed industry would keep the products clean and the dosages would be 
monitored. The "War on Drugs" is a drain on our economy, so let's turn that 
frown upside down. Not only would we not be wasting money on a fruitless 
endeavor, we would turn it into a profit. We could pump this money into 
education, urban development, decreasing the budget deficit and destroy the 
enemies of the United States.
A terrorist can't blow up a plane if he's chillin' eating Twinkies. Or you 
could try addicting whole populations of the third world in order to impose 
your will with less resistance. It is capitalism at its finest (SCREW YOU 
HIPPIE!) in spite of it actually supporting liberal interpretations of our 
personal freedoms. We should have the right to harm ourselves if we so 
desire. If the government really cared about keeping us healthy, they would 
pay our medical bills, socialize medicine (like most every other 
industrialized nation) and ban food advertising. Besides the people who 
wish to use drugs may have personal problems or live in social and economic 
conditions not conducive to happy living. No one can tell another person 
how to live their life or how to express their pain. If the only means of 
means of coping with their situation is a pleasurable distraction then do 
the humane thing and let them do what they want. Come on, if you do enough 
living you're going to die too. So, in fact, life is a terminal disease.

And then there are stupid people who decide on things without really 
thinking them through.

Wouldn't it be grand if we could come up with something to help wipe out 
the weak-willed idiots of America? Oh, wait a minute, it's called heroin! I 
have no sympathy for burned-out supermodel rockstars with lots of money who 
think they've got it bad. Commercials work on many people and if hard-drugs 
were advertised like alcohol think about how beautiful the utter 
destruction of the Stupids would be. You would never be cut off in traffic, 
or be asked how much the 99 cent movie rentals are, or how late a 
24-hour-a-day Wal-mart will stay open.

Ultimately, the legalization of drugs would make ardent capitalists and 
weed-smoking hippies come together in an unholy union. Free money AND free 
love? Who knew it was possible? And don't forget the virtual disappearance 
of gang-related and drug-related violence. America would finally be a safe 
place for children to grow up and become productive ... junkies.

Rom Hashemi is an editorial writer whose column appears on Thursdays.