Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rough Week

I've been neglecting everyone, not just here, so don't feel too personally offended.

This week I began my new job as office wench at a large home appliances outlet. It was also week 4 of a migraine that just isn't interested in going away.

After debating and ignoring and distracting myself for quite a long time, I dragged my sorry bum to the Emergency Room, where I was given a shot of morphine, a prescription for some outrageously expensive medication that causes birth defects and 'occasional loss of consciousness', and told to smoke more pot.

No joke.

While it is not necessarily typical to hear this from a doctor (no, not even in Canada, though I'm sure you've all heard stories) it didn't seem like horrid advice. I might have taken it if I was the type to smoke a joint in the evening and still wake up for work the next day.

It did leave me wondering, however, why drugs of any kind have been made illegal to begin with.

We obviously know that many drugs have harmful effects, both physical and otherwise. They can be dreadfully addictive, and cause us to make poor decisions, or leave us unable to drive and function safely.

There must be a thousand prescription medications (not to mention alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes) that fit these criteria as well.

Not that I'm advocating the use of any or all drugs, just questioning how the problem became a lawful one.

A 'Crime' is something that has been designated unacceptable behavior.

How far should that label stretch?

Assuming that drug use/possession is an unlawful act just because it always HAS been concerns me a little.

Any input?

8 comments:

Mahendra said...

Eryn,

The problem became a lawful one for several reasons.

One, the negative effects of drugs don't affect the individual only, but affect others too. It leads to greater crime in society. From stealing money for drugs to sexual abuse, drugs are a menace in many ways.

Second, our legal system doesn't always accord free rights to let one do as one pleases. Why is gay marriage illegal in most states? Why is online gambling being now made illegal?

Third, there are rogue terrorist nations surviving on the economy of farming and producing drugs. Do you want our government to support a practice in our society that supports such countries? Each time someone smokes pot, someone somewhere in Afghanistan or elsewhere gets dollars in return, from which his community buys arms.

There are many complex issues involved...

Braveheart ( Ela) said...

we live in the world of hypocracy, one can and another not. The power struggle and money enters my mind also, but most likely I am prone to say the world is a big chaos.
the question of 'genocide' remains, should we kill the plant because it is too widely spread and doesn't make money for the specific group of people, so they can live financialy secured, and far away from the rest of the plebs.

I don't know, lately nothing make sense..

have a good day

amuirin said...

Sorry you've been feeling poorly, and I hope the headache improves.

Jonathan Blake said...

mahendra,

Yes, the issue is complex, but the reasons you cite are more often the rationalizations that we have applied after the fact. We go to far in demonizing a small set of drugs and prohibiting them even under a doctor's care.

Why is marijuana illegal in the U.S.?

Illegal drugs and how they got that way (1)

Illegal drugs and how they got that way (2)

I'm convinced that many of the evils of drugs are a result of their prohibition. Legalization and regulation would ameliorate those evils.

Paul said...

Eryn, I hope your migraine ceases soon and you are back to normal. I would seriously consider the doctor's advice about smoking some pot. Just don't get caught.

David Rochester said...

It strikes me as interesting that violent crime is fairly low Amsterdam, where everything imaginable is legal, and where drug addicts get heroin from the government; the good stuff, with clean needles, so they don't spread disease. While certainly at the other end of the spectrum from the US, I don't think it's a worse solution.

Drug-related crime results from the drug trade, usually, rather than from the drug itself. You might as well blame all the Prohibition-related mob crime on alcohol. Sure, alcohol causes problems, but not nearly as many problems as Prohibition encouraged.

I would like to see drugs legalized. If cocaine were easier to get, perhaps people wouldn't turn to things like meth. I'd say cocaine is the lesser of the two evils, especially considering the toxic waste from meth production.

And for the record, I have never tried any illegal drug, rarely used prescription drugs, and have never been drunk. So my opinion is not a matter of desiring greater recreational freedom-- I genuinely think we'd have less crime if drugs were legalized and people were able to obtain safer, cheaper forms of substances now deemed "illegal."

David Rochester said...

Oh, I forgot to say -- I hope your headache improves; that must be absolutely frightening.

decrepitoldfool said...

Sorry about your headache - ouch!

People who think the drugs are to blame for crime, terrorism, etc. need to answer one question: Why aren't criminal and terrorist organizations funded by the sale of alcohol? Sure, it's profitable, but nothing like the margins you can get on illegal drugs.

Apparently we learned nothing from prohibition. Or for that matter, from Vietnam. Our country is really at the bottom of the class.