The drug war – flubbingly ludicrous results

Hello. Is anybody there? Alcohol continues to be the main drug of abuse in the United States. Alcohol is by far the most problematic and damaging drug available today: physically, socially, and psychologically. The physical results of excessive use are irreversible. If the FDA had to approve alcohol for public consumption today, there’s no way it would get through, discounting huge political contributions.

Nicotine is probably the second most widely abused drug. Nicotine is thought to be the most addicting drug known to humankind. The health consequences from smoking are said to outnumber all other drugs, combined. Nicotine would be another drug the FDA would most likely never approve today, knowing what we know.

The prison population has exploded over the last twenty years. A majority of prisoners today are charged with drug related crimes, from sale to relatively minor possession. Drug dealing is today seen as a major crime, in many cases with automatic, mandatory sentences. The sale of drugs could just as easily be seen as a socio-economic phenomena. In much the same way as excelling in athletics has proven to be a way to improve one’s social status, so too has the selling of drugs. It is pathetically unfortunate that it works out this way, since it never works out. You seldom, if ever, see any of the white businessmen hauled in for million dollar purchases or money laundering. Somehow they elude our vast network of drug war personnel. Most be luck.

Marijuana is once again being criminalized. Fairly minor possession is seeing increasing fines and in many cases, jail time. Like any drug, excessive use can become problematic. But as a drug, marijuana has no known overdose level. (In fact, a recent estimate put the overdose level at 100 lbs.) The drug war has been somewhat successful at curtailing the supply of marijuana. The end result is that marijuana users move on to more dangerous and addictive drugs. But law enforcement is seen as really kicking butt, which pleases many a right-wing crusader and keeps the prisons filled with cheap labor, helping their corporate sponsors.

Prescription drug use is on the rise. Doctors have seemingly never understood the potential damage that can be done by the drugs they prescribe. Today, one of the most potent, addictive drugs available anywhere is the prescription drug oxycontin. It sells for about $10 per pill on the street. Hardly ever, anywhere, do we hear any talk about what needs to be done to curtail the misuse, mis-prescribing and almost automatic approval of prescription drugs by the FDA. Today, we have a drug for almost everything. Just watch TV for an hour, you’ll see.

Since the beginning of humankind, humans have attempted to alter their consciousness. It seems almost human instinct to want to do so. Drug use happens to be one of the easiest ways to do so, but not one of the safer. As the government closes the door on any one particular drug, another, usually more potent, often more dangerous and addicting drug, takes its place. What we are doing is clearly not working. Drug use has not gone down. We need to put our heads together to find a more humane, effective, comprehensive solution. What we are doing is flubbingly ludicrous.