Pubdate: Tue, 30 Sep 2003
Source: Signal, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2003 The Signal.
Author: Alan Randell



Why do governments prohibit certain drugs? Is it to protect users from

No, that can't be the reason because users suffer more (adulterated
drugs and jail time) when a drug is banned as compared to when it is
legally available. 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 program 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 fig leaves 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. Why do we
put up with this loathsome program?

Because the media support it with accounts such as this that do not
include the views of those who oppose these ridiculous laws.

Alan Randell
Victoria, B.C.

Editors note: It is not editorial practise to contact individuals
being charged, or those participating in criminal behaviour for
comment on such issues as drug seizures.
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