Saturday, 25 June 2011

The war on drugs and legalisation.

The idea of legalising weed has two sides and a fence separates them. Where people usually sit on the fence and ponder people usually have their mind set on this idea. They both stand there bickering with each other and it's usually opposite generations. Young liberals versus old conservatives. It seems like they both have strong view points but both are misinformed or biased. I'm the sitting on that fence watching both argue restlessly with "facts" and experiences. Both are biased and stubborn but which one is right?

Technically both are right but more wrong than right. They both are ill-informed and pick and choose their beliefs when it comes to statistics. They both use their experiences in an act to win their argument over but who trusts someone who hasn't done them and who trusts a person who could potentially be an addict?

Let's put some weed myths to bed. They do not increase brain power and create brain cells. I have no idea where that idea came from, it's just wrong though. Weed doesn't cure cancer. In fact, it might even cause cancer but then again, what doesn't these days? The whole idea that weed is natural therefore good for you is also wrong. There are plenty of natural things which aren't good for you so why use that moot point? Now for people who claim weed has no side effects is just delusional. Weed has plenty of side effects which are mostly linked to stuff like mental illness but it doesn't really cause it but more brings what lies dormant to the surface.

For example, I know a man who ended up being committed three times to a mental institution and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was because of prolonged drug use. One of the things he did was post rocks through peoples' letterboxes and he took the inside of audio tapes and wrapped his room in them. Then, when let back home, he walked three miles to the same place and back about six times a day; even if it was raining.

That doesn't mean that'll happen to everyone though. The idea that everyone will become addicted is just more propaganda (dude, like, totally). Not everyone will become addicted, heartless and distant from reality. Those are the extreme views when you picture an addict but that's not for all drug users. Usually just heroin because it's physically addicting because the come down is so horrible.

The idea of drug prohibition doesn't work. It just puts money in the hands of criminals instead of possibly maximising profits for the government. Outlawing things won't stop them but switch mouths. Instead of us getting a load of money from taxing, we lose money on health care and free methadone for the people who claim they want to quit. We also lose lives which is a negative thing - even if the human life has now become a commodity. There are drug wars in Mexico, South America and even places in the middle-east. Afghanistan actually manufacture something like 95% - possibly more - of the world's heroin. Which they use to fund terrorist organisations like al Qaeda. In fact, Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia's Federal Service for Narcotics Control, claims that the heroin production in Afghanistan has grown 40 times since NATO agreed to intervene with military force to stop the production.

Let's look like back to the 1920-1933 in the United States of America. The first thing I think of are black and white dark streets, suits and the Mafia. This is because the prohibition laws were enforced then. Nothing really changed though. In fact, it is believed that it was probably easier to find a drink and peoples' alcohol consumption increased. All that really happened was now the government weren't making money but losing money. When you think of no money coming in from it yet it still costing you, that's a big loss. They continued for thirteen years though while people were murdered over control of territories.

The famous rise of one of the most infamous crime lords, Al Capone. Also, a massive chase between Al Capone and Eliot Ness and his team of The Untouchables. They chased down Al Capone to bring down his empire. An empire which amassed to $3.6bn in 1926. No, that's not a conversion to what it would be worth now. He earned $3.6bn in 1926. When comparing that to now it would equal roughly $544bn using the relative share of GDP on the website http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/. Why are we doing that with more than one product? We're handing over money and lives.

I know people only really think about legalising cannabis because it's the most used drug and one of the most safe ones. What's the point in making all drugs illegal? So far, the tax that isn't gained from legalising drugs pays medical bills, methadone bills, vandalism bills, prison bills and pays people to "clean up the streets". You'll never clean up the streets. Especially when the majority of the people who are trying to clean up the streets are corrupt and are gaining money from drugs.

If we allowed drugs we could apply the same amount of tax that we do to alcohol, cigarettes and fuel. Imagine a new 70% profit coming from cannabis alone. We'd earn a load so we could give more money to the NHS and the education system meaning that the university wouldn't need a £9000 tuition fee. Then we'd spend less on our overcrowded prisons. That's just the profit idea. The fact that it won't be illegal means there'll be no criminals supplying people. There'll be shops and caf├ęs opening meaning a slight economic boom and possibly more jobs. That's just cannabis.

We could legalise it all. Although, I think heroin is a bad idea but at least the government will be profiting from the stupidity of people who are willing to die for a cheap fix. The tax on their drugs would pay for their healthcare and more so what's not to like? It's not only about the profit but it's more about the negative things that prohibition creates. I don't understand why the government are anti-choice because, effectively, they chose to not let us to have our own choices. They withhold information from us and don't give evidence out over such pointless things. Why create ignorance? I'm not thinking it's an entire conspiracy but what I mean is that it's true that they withhold things which shouldn't. Classified military stuff such as weapons development and tactics are understandable but they never clear anything up with hard evidence.

Therefore it boils down to something so simple. There's misleading information being thrown around, people losing their mind over addiction because of dealers putting harmful chemicals in and people dying over the supplying of these drugs. It should come down to something simpler. Choice. They should give us a the choice to potentially wreck our own lives because if we don't even control the stuff that we knowingly put into our own body then what control do we really have? It'll stop criminals, it'll stop deaths of innocent people who are slain during drug war shoot-outs and it'll give us money. So tell me again, why are they illegal?