Pubdate: Sun, 27 Jul 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail, The (Cyprus)
Copyright: Cyprus Mail 2003
Author: Alan Randell



Re: 'Police seize over 11kg of cannabis in raid', Cyprus Mail, July 11.

Why do governments prohibit certain drugs? Is it to protect users from harm?
No, that can't be the reason because users suffer more (adulterated drugs
and jail time) when a drug is banned as compared with when it is legally

My wife and I became well acquainted with this aspect of government policy
when we lost our 19-year-old son to street heroin in 1993. Many more people
died from the effects of bad booze during Prohibition than when alcohol was
legally available. The harm argument is moot in any event because two of our
more dangerous drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are legal.

Is it to reduce the crime associated with illegal drugs? No, that can't be
the reason because banning a drug always gives rise to more crime (drug
cartels, petty crimes by users as prohibition makes drug prices much higher,
violent disputes between dealers) than when the drug is legally available.

Is it a brutal, Hitler-like pogrom to distract and entertain the majority by
ruining the lives of the innocent minority who ingest or sell certain drugs?
Bingo! In short, drugs are highly useful, functional and beneficial
scapegoats. They provide a ruling class with figleaves to place over the
unsightly social ills that are endemic to the social system over which they
preside, and they give the general public a focus for blame in which a
chemical 'bogeyman', or the 'deviants' who ingest it, are the root cause for
a wide array of complex social problems.

Alan Randell,

Victoria, BC, Canada
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