Originally Posted by Drek
I'd say this post is a perfect example of why the war on drugs is a failed cause.
No one wants to be a junkie. The reason people use is the same reason you're on this board. Escapism. Something to do. Most people can balance work, family, and recreation appropriately. Some people can't and those people turn into alcoholics, chronic smokers, pot heads, and addicts to other harder narcotics.
To underscore my point - I was watching A Football Life - 1995 Cleveland Browns on replay yesterday and my wife asked me why the hell someone would get so upset over losing a football team. My response to her was how upset would she be if she couldn't decorate for Christmas? A tradition she has had her whole life with her mother and grandmother. People build attachments and crave something to break up the day to day cycle of our lives. For some that day to day cycle is something they're actively looking to forget for various reasons.
This is how drug dependency starts. People looking to forget their problems for at least a short while getting hooked on that feeling of freedom, then getting hooked on the drug itself. Hard drugs like coke, crack, meth, heroin, etc. are especially dangerous because of how physically addictive they are and how destructive they are to one's ability to function without them. The later makes you run back to it from a mental standpoint more and more frequently, the later makes quitting something that is physically painful, even life threatening.
Portugal's former Estado Novo regime allowed rampant heroin use in order to keep the masses docile. When Estado Novo was overthrown and democracy returned to Portugal the nation spent nearly 30 years with some of the harshest criminal penalties for heroin use. The rate of use never showed significant decline.
In 2001 they decriminalized small amounts of any narcotic, turning it into an administrative penalty where you choose between rehab and jail time. Needless to say most choose rehab. They have since seen MASSIVE reduction in heroin addiction, from the high 30/low 40 percent range among young people to now down in the teens.
Junkies don't want to be junkies. Throwing them in jail for becoming a junkie is like throwing someone in jail for getting HIV through unprotected sex. Both result from bad choices and both result in a treatable ailment. We should instead focus on that treatment and making these people effective parts of society again, not sacrificing them to the penal system.
A good post and will briefly respond before moving on to other posts in the thread.
Mostly you are correct.
But you offer no solutions for the issue. Just like booze you have to have limits and control so it is not abused.
For drugs (hard in particular it has to be zero) and we have to figure out a way to stop it.
As for weed I do not have one. Can't stop morons from being morons other than jail. Even that is a joke in some areas with bribed guards and such.