Last week I wrote pertaining to the legalization of Marijuana. A poll was taken regarding whether marijuana should be legal, should be legal for medicinal use, or should not be legal at all. The poll results were 84% felt marijuana should be legal for both medical and recreational purposes, 11% felt the plant should only be legal for medical use, and 5% felt it should not be legal. You can draw your own conclusions from that. Following this, I conducted another Facebook inquiry as to whether hard drugs, opiates, psychedelics, etc, should be legal to possess and use. The input was interesting and informative, and again, surprising. In my opinion, when it comes to these type substances, I think the lines get blurred and a lot more thought needs to go into whether or not all, or some, should be made legal.
In my opinion, the use of hard drugs brings a whole new set of challenges, not only to the user, but to society as a whole. Marijuana is generally not considered to be an addictive drug, whereas the opiates and such are known to be addictive, and in some cases, highly addictive. To my knowledge, no one has died from an overdose of marijuana, but many have died as the result of overdosing on drugs such as heroin. Many have also died as the result of using mind altering drugs, such as LSD, if not from the drug then as a result of the actions of the individual while under the influence of the drug. I think there is no question that the use of these hard drugs provide a much greater risk of death and disablement then does the lesser drugs of cannabis and alcohol. This brings up several questions. Who will be responsible for an individual so addicted they are no longer able to be responsible for them selves? If a person becomes addicted while legally using drugs, will there be costs borne by society that are designed to assist such and individual and again make them a productive member of society. If an individual commits criminal acts to fund their addiction, will it be come a viable affirmative defense since the individual was not responsible while addicted to legally obtained drugs?
Additionally, if a person legally obtains and uses drugs and becomes addicted, who will be responsible for this person. Will they be able to claim a disability and collect Social Security Income? Will employers be able to fire such an individual or will they become protected since they became addicted while engaged in the legal use of the drug? If they cannot be fired, what recourse will the employer have to protect themselves from loss productivity? Will the employer be expected to bear the cost of a replacement worker until the addicted worker is able to return to work? Will the addiction be considered a disease and the cost of rehabilitation have to be borne by the individuals medical insurance? If this becomes wide-spread the costs of insurance increases, will it not be a burden on all of the rest of us to absorb the cost?
As you can see, the consequences of legalizing the possession and use of hard drugs has a much farther reach than that of the use of marijuana. It is my opinion that an individual should not have the right to put what ever they wish into their own bodies until we can be assured that the consequences of their actions will not have any negative impact on others in society. If the rest of us do not have to pay for their decision and if the rest of us are not negatively impacted by their decision then I say go ahead, have at it. But I don’t see how that is possible. The advantage, as I see it, would be that legalizing the possession and use of these drugs, buy commercializing the production and sale of these drugs would certainly impact the criminal component of the manufacturing and distribution of the products. It would seriously reduce our jail populations, and it would lessen the impact on the law enforcement community. There will be those who may say that these same arguments also apply to the lesser drug of marijuana. I cannot dispute that.
In essence, I believe the legalizing of any drugs is a double-edged sword. In all cases, there will be good and there will be bad. The question that must be decided is, will the good outweigh the bad. To this I do not have an answer. You decide. Let your opinion be heard. Please participate in the anonymous and unscientific poll below.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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