Last Update: 15 Aug 00
[Reply #7 (two parts)]
[Reply #8 (three parts)]
Tell me what YOU think!
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In reality, a "drug" is any substance that alters the normal workings of the mind and/or body. This includes things that a lot of people take more or less for granted. Caffeine is a "drug". So are nicotine, alcohol and aspirin. Even chocolate contains enzymes that could rightly be considered as being "drugs". But, what I want to expound upon here are what are commonly referred to as "narcotics", "illegal drugs", "illicit substances", or "dope". In other words, "Drugs" (with a capital "D").
Taking a stand against the use of Drugs inevitably brings one up against the question of infringing on personal freedoms. Those who seek to legalize Drug use make the claim that it is a victimless crime and that people should be allowed to do whatever they please in private. On the surface, this would seem to be a valid argument. However, one must look deeper to get to the heart of the matter.
The fallacy in that argument is in the assumption that Drug use is always private. In reality, that is just not the case. Even if one gets stoned in the privacy of his own home, there is no guarantee that he will not decide to leave the home and go out in public while still stoned. There is also no guarantee that he will not operate a vehicle in that condition or do something else where his judgment may be sufficiently impaired so as to represent a great hazard to innocent people. The laws against Drug use, therefore, are not designed to protect the user from himself, but rather to protect others from the potentially serious consequences of his Drug use.
As far as the argument about Drug use being a "victimless crime" goes, the user certainly has the great potential to leave victims in his wake. But, even more than that, Drug use does not begin and end with getting stoned. A great many Drug users are not productive members of society and do not have the income necessary to support their habit. They must commit all make and manner of crimes in order to get the money they need for their next hit. Again, while the actual use of Drugs may be "victimless", the side-effects of that use certainly are not.
Let's assume for a moment that Drug use was, in fact, a totally private issue and did not represent any significant risk to the public. What good is derived from the use of Drugs and how does that compare to the detrimental effects? I doubt you could find a single successful and long-lived person on the face of the Earth who could truly say that their success and long life are directly attributable to their having used Drugs. So, what good does Drug use do? At best, a temporary escape from whatever one's problems are or just a way to "get high". That's about it. But, at what cost? Is it worth it? I can't see how it could be.
Ok, the pro-Drug argument continues, then why not outlaw alcohol and tobacco use, as well? Besides the fact that we tried outlawing alcohol at one time, the problem here is that those two drugs are too deeply ingrained in human (not just American) culture to be totally removed. I have little doubt that if they were two brand new products, however, that the FDA *would* issue a ban on them. That pro-Drug argument has one other hole, however, and that is in the implicit assumption that "drugs" and "Drugs" are equal in their effects. That is certainly not the case. You're highly unlikely to see a nicotine addict mugging someone to get the money for his next pack of unfiltered Camels.
Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign may have sounded corny, but the message was a sound one. It's too easy to get high on life. You don't need Drugs for that.
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