I guess it was a long time ago that the only "medications" in my folks medicine cabinet were aspirin and cod liver oil. Along with maybe some cough lozenges and Epsom salts, we seemed to make it through life without a lot of pharma. Over my life of, so far, 64 years, I have seen the exponential increase in the number of vials in the medicine cabinets. We are bombarded on every TV channel to try a new drug. We are instructed to ask our doctors for this new prostrate medicine, erectile dysfunction tablet and a myriad of other malady solutions. Yes, we are the "drug" culture so is it any wonder we have a problem with "drugs"?
I recall discussing the drug culture issues many years ago and noticing the term was a mixed bag of understanding. We had "Drugstores" on every corner of America so the term "drug" became nothing more than a generic term to everyone. When the hardcore drugs came into our culture like a whirlwind, the term did not have the impact it should have had. The "war on drugs" was softened because people were already convinced the term was soft. As time passed and the hardcore drug culture of marijuana, heroin and cocaine took hold of so many lives in America, we slowly realized there was a big problem. When meth and crack arrived things got even worse. Addiction to these mind altering substances was rampant and still is today.
Americans want these substances because apparently "real life" is not good enough. Alcohol was the main mind altering substance over the millennia with a few natural items discovered by indigenous people on the planet. But now we see what happens when "chemistry" is used and a plethora of mind altering substances, a cornucopia of pleasure chemicals, are available. As a person whose only addiction has been women in my life, I do not understand why people have to put that crap in their bodies to have a good time.
Humans have sex and food and sometimes conversation to pass the time in a pleasurable way. Why toss into the body something that could be a time bomb of personal destruction? Art Linkletter's daughter jumped off a building to her death after ingesting a substance when I was a kid. That one act caused m to pledge never to ingest that crap. I have been a good boy. Of course, anything in moderation usually will not hurt you but can we say that about meth? Cocaine? Heroin? Crack? Of course not. None of those substances are in your best interest. Except perhaps to ease your cancer pain when you are on your way out of this life. I don't have a problem with that. But many Americans seem to want to be in an altered state most of the time.
The use of illicit drugs causes death. Death by their use, and death to many growing and transporting and selling the poisons. Looks at the streets of America for that truth. Just as "Prohibition" created a boon to the crooks and made murder and mayhem a daily occurrence in the country, these other substances have now replaced Schnapps and Bourbon as the reason for death by gun, knife and bomb. Mexicans at the common border are being killed by the thousands so American addicts can get "high". If there was no market for these poisons, if Americans had the courage to say "NO", then these people south of our border and the ones in South America and places like Afghanistan would have to start growing potatoes rather than coca, poppies and marijuana.
But it seems America has a large number of spineless addicted wimps who have no self control. Anything goes. That is probably the cost of their personal freedoms we all expect in a free country. Sure, we are individuals and we can darn well put into our own bodies what we want, right? If we want to get high and experience "nirvana" on the planet then who can keep us from that? But, as I learned from my folks and the other people I had a lot of respect for in my life, with that freedom to shove that poison into my brain, I also have some "responsibilities">
The reason we have responsibilities and should practice those is simple. It is the "Golden Rule". Do unto others as you would have them d unto you. That is not necessarily a religious comment. It seems like common sense to me. If you want to do a destructive behaviour to your own brain and body, fine, just don't impact me. Hell, that argument was used to force motorcycle riders to wear helmets and to force cigarette smokers 25 feet from the outside doors of buildings. That was done by the same leftwingers that want unabashed rights to smoke marijuana, drop acid and shoot heroin and crack. So what gives?
In my opinion we have become a "too lenient" society with acts that undermine the culture and the country. The values that cement a country into longevity on a planet known for short stays of people and institutions, we have to get some things straight about where we want America to be going. Illicit drug use consumes hundreds of billions of dollars and costs America more than money as well. It means crimes galore which causes the country to spend more on police and courts and prisons. We have to realize that there is a bigger reason than just allowing a person to get high than their "right" to do so. If we want to stay a country we have to fix this mess.
So, there are a few things we can do. If we want to legalize all these illicit substances, perhaps that would get the crime out of it. Perhaps not. Cigarettes are legal but the politicians have taxed them so high that a "black market" now exists just as one did for alcohol in the 20's and 30's. So maybe that could be curtailed if there was no tax? Or maybe just a small fee to place a warning label on the MJ pack? Or like the Netherlands, have some "shops" everyone over 18 can go to and smoke and shoot up? I think we see how that has worked out in Europe though. It hasn't.
Then we have the other side of the coin and that is law enforcement. As a people we can decide if a substance is good or bad and legal or illegal. We can then place penalties on the use of those things we say are bad. Over time America has tried to "understand" the reasons of addiction and in that quest, the society has allowed for the removal of individual responsibility and shame from the use of bad drugs.. We decided to "treat" these people and not hold them to their own failure to deal with addiction. We have tried to let them off the hook by claiming addiction is "genetic" and not really their fault.
So we see how that has worked in California haven't we. We have "diversion" programs for those arrested selling, using and growing or cooking illegal substances. The recidivism rate is huge though. These people can go rob, steal and murder to get their drug of choice and we try to "understand" them. I have decided this is a failed policy. In this "free" country, these people need to be held to the highest standards of compliance and accept their punishment for their part in the "drug culture". We need to toss these people into the prisons and throw away the key if they are selling to minors. If they cause a death they should be taken off the planet. (same for child molesters). We need to ensure they cannot get back on the streets to do their dirty business. Chicago sees hundreds of murders every year because the gangs there are fighting for control of the illicit drug markets. Maybe if the bad guys were off the streets the regular hardworking folks there could experience a calm, wonderful life?
When Nancy Reagan did the "Just Say No" to drugs she was laughed at by the liberals and the criminals of America. But in my view, Americans have the choice to do exactly that. Say no. Experience the beauty of the planet without being addicted to a substance that changes that green tree into a dragon trying to eat you. Start saying no to drugs and take up art, help our community clean up its streets and empty lots. Gain some personal pride in yourself and your neighborhoods. Get an education and help your community to become a safer place. My goodness all you smokers, injectors and snorters, get a grip! Life is too precious to live in an altered state while you have all this wonderment surrounding you. Remember, we are the only place in the universe we know has life and that we have the ability to know that.