Over its short life, the regime made illegal the sale of a drug that Lancet said is safer than alcohol and tobacco, while allowing the sale of drugs of increasing harm.
This makes no sense.
The tragedy is that the end of this regime does nothing to bring the end of drug consumption, so folk currently consuming these harmful legal highs will be thrown on the mercies of gangsters and criminals selling illegal drugs of dubious quality.
Why so? Because however much the War-On-Drugsters think otherwise, recreational pharmaceuticals are not going to go away. They’re not even going away from prisons, the most secure (supposedly) places on the planet, so there isn’t a shit show of having them disappear from the streets. Ever.
And because of the Iron Law of Prohibition, “which posits that as law enforcement becomes more intense, the potency of prohibited substances increase.”
The enforcement of alcohol prohibition resulted in dangerous moonshine.
The enforcement of cannabis prohibition resulted in synthetic cannaboids like JWH-018.
The prohibition of MDMA resulted in party pills with BZP and TFMPP. 1
The enforcement of BZP prohibition has ended up with drugs being bought and sold even higher up the Lancet’s scale of harms. Which is precisely the opposite of the consequence foreseen– yet even a moment’s thought and historical research should have told them in advance it was the consequence we would see. As Milton Friedman once once told Bill Bennett, Bush Snr’s drugs tsar, “You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favour are a major source of the evils you deplore.”
Leading to the obvious conclusion now that the only sensible change the anti-drug warriors should take now, if they really do wish to reduce harm, is to Replace Synthetics with Natural Cannabis.
Not only would harm be reduced and prisons emptied, but as the legislative legalisers in Colorado and Washington state have discovered in recent months, the state’s themselves can actually tax and draw money from the legal sale of a safe legal high – around $70 million in new taxes in Colorado alone, with initial proceeds being used for school construction.
Mind you, a higher tax take is not the ultimate reason to take the sensible step of replacing synthetics with natural. And the harm caused to consenting adults by the products they choose to use and consume should be nobody’s business but their own.
In a proper and fully free society, marijuana would be legal. So would more dangerous drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. Why? Because we are all sovereign over our bodies and minds. … The state – the government – should have nothing whatsoever to do with it. What we put into our bodies is our own business, and our own responsibility, not the government’s.
Of course, those who love to be bossed around by government will drag out the stale old catch-all: “But what about the “good of society?” So what? If we harm another’s body or property while under the influence of a substance, then we’re subject to the same legal penalties as if we were sober [or should be]. We cannot say, “The drugs made me do it,” because we made the choice to take the drugs in the first place. But the choice of how to treat our bodies (and minds) is still completely our own. That’s what “sovereign” means.
Here’s Louis Armstrong and Taj Mahal:
1. Source of the lines about enforcement from a link posted by Michael E. now not extant.