Pubdate: Wed, 20 Sep 2006
Source: Lake Cowichan Gazette, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Lake Cowichan Gazette
Author: Chris Buors


EDITOR: Tom Fletcher is on to something with the notion of giving 
so-called drug addicts free shelter and drugs too boot: Discerning 
bums prefer ocean views, in the September 6 Gazette.

No doubt it would cut down on all the so-called "drug-related crime." 
Tom is right that the public is not quite ready to surrender.

I propose a compromise solution that seems to appeal to the Canadian 
notion of fair play. How about we restore our natural right to drugs, 
all of them, and sell them on the open market just like Nobel 
Laureate Milton Friedman has been advocating for over 40 years?

Heroin Heaven, Coca Palace and LSD Psychonautics could open to 
provide the same service Opium Dens provided for thousands of years. 
The model already exists. We call them bars.

Alcohol is the ceremonial and ritual substance of Western Christian 
based civilization. Opium and cannabis served that role in the Middle 
East and Asian cultures, coca still serves the people of South 
America in those roles.

It is Western civilization's preoccupation with subliminally 
conquering the planet that is at the root of drug prohibition: "He 
turned the water into wine."

The popular notion of drug courts resonates with our Christian-based 
culture for the same reason forcible conversion of others appealed to 
our ancestors. Deep down inside Christianity indoctrinates the belief 
in demonic possession; the Devil has been blamed for getting a hold 
of people and making them do things for thousands of years.

That notion manifests itself into the firm belief in demonic 
chemicals from the periodic table getting a hold of people and 
overriding their moral senses. The truth is drugs act on our bodies, 
not our morals.

Addict is a stigmatizing term that is culturally conditioned. 
Addiction is not a disease, it is a choice people make to cast 
themselves into the role of the downtrodden. In short, addicts are a 
social construct just like alcoholics are.

Alcoholic mean the person drinks too much for their own good in the 
judgment of the person doing the labelling and addict means the 
person uses the wrong social drugs, no matter the amount. Needless to 
say, any coercion of these individuals is doomed to failure.

Self help, the saving of one's own soul as Thomas Jefferson would 
have phrased it, cannot be achieved with legislation that is immoral 
and unjust, to say the least.

All manner of beating, torture, jailing and death have been tried in 
the past and not one of those methods has ever built a single moral 
fibre into humanity.

Restoring our natural right to drugs and letting the forces of caveat 
emptor (the principle the buyer alone is responsible if dissatisfied) 
that served our ancestors well for thousands of years rein again.

The ancient Roman sensibility served us right up until we medicalized 
drugs and life along with it 100 short years ago.

Perhaps it is time for Canadians to reconsider the folly of absolving 
ourselves of our personal responsibility for what passes our lips. 
Passing the buck to medicine serves the state and medicine, not the individual.

It's time to separate medicine and state and deal with the moral 
issue of ceremonial and ritual substance use in a truthful and 
educated atmosphere. The press ought to call on the anthropologists 
and the pharmacologists, not the police and the politicians, if they 
want the truth about drug issues.

Chris Buors,

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