FWIW I don’t think he was being judgemental, quite the opposite. Addiction is an illness, and it is exploited indirectly by governments.
FWLIW, I strongly agree with your OP - there are strong arguments for and against, but the clincher remains the fact that no matter WHAT is done, this shit will NEVER go away, so why go-on making people suffer more for their weaknesses than they already do?
Only a sadist and/or someone with something to gain from it would do that…
Legalise and tax it all. Been saying it for years. Mind you with a radically religious country where nipples are more offensive than dead kids leading ‘the free worlds’ policy on these things it’ll never happen.
Yes, I agree. But why even describe drug use or visiting a sex worker as weaknesses? I see both as normal behaviour since we’ve been getting high and trading for sex since time immemorial. It’s our ridiculous hang-ups which have legislated against free choice to do so.
Of course there are consequences and those consequences (as you point out) will continue to exist regardless. Which is why I mooted the idea of tax-funded treatment for addicts (which I’d apply to all addiction) and protections for sex workers.
Makes sense to me. Bloody stupid it doesn’t happen.
Isn’t it possible that legalising the use of heroin might too easily enable some people to become addicted who otherwise wouldn’t? Also having witnessed a family member go through a severe episode of psychosis following what was likely over indulgence in skunk, I’m no longer feeling quite so liberal about the legalisation of cannabis. It’s potentially quite harmful particularly to young people whose brains are still forming.
A few years ago my son also had a psychotic episode resulting from use of cannabis (skunk). Very scary and made me too think twice about liberalisation. In a regulated environment there would presumably be more research and better public health advice. My son knew a lot more than me about drugs but not enough to realise when it was damaging him - the mental health nurses put him straight on that one however.
Essentially you need to start from an outcome rather than dogma for drugs, with the outcome being mimimising harm from drug use (harm being both personal and to society through addiction fuelled theft, gang violence etc.).
We don’t have to look far into the past to note how effective a ‘war’ on substance(s) plays out.
The temperance movement / subsequent abolition of alcohol in the USA failed to ‘stamp out,’ ‘best’ or ‘cease’ alcohol consumption. Some of the ‘Wins’ of the War on Alcohol (Also a drug) was blindness from bathtub gin, violence, exploitation, widespread corruption etc etc.
A different contemporary approach can be seen in Portugal where Drug addiction is viewed as a public health issue as opposed to a criminal issue decriminalization occurred in 2001 - The results of this experiment have been impressive (Particularly as Portugal’s Heroin issue was rampant - 1% of the country used). Drug induced deaths have significantly fallen:
It seems to me the liberal view of Portugal has preserved life (The fall in HIV in Portugal is also significant)
I do not see any of the above as a complete solution. Any individual who views chemicals as a life / emotional ‘solution’ or expresses a need to ‘get out of my head’ without asking ‘what is wrong with my head’ may well be heading for dependency. Manipulating the reward centers of the brain with chemicals can have very severe consequences for the individual and everyone they come into contact with.
I do not believe addiction is a crime and therefore should be treated as a public health issue. I can’t think of another illness that causes such harm to entire family units (See codependency)
Looking at the medical marijuana issue - I do believe science is now showing certain strains can have significant benefits for some illnesses. Cancer patients undergoing chemo, epileptics, severe autism, Parkinson’s disease etc etc. Israel and the USA are doing some interesting trials in these areas.
I find my views fluctuate of drug legalisation. I certainly don’t think that addicts should be punished, but liberalisation may well increase access and hence use. Ultimately I think that drug use (including alcohol) is much better as a social activity, so starting by allowing it in certain licensed premises would make sense.
Sex work is also complex - I think that the vast majority of sex workers are vulnerable people. Legalising it doesn’t solve this problem. That said, it could make things a whole load safer, and didn’t really have the downsides that legalising drug use might have.