The War on Drugs
The "war" on drugs and the opinion that we as a nation are winning, bears close resemblance to a fantasy make believe Oz type land, with a yellow brick road leading to a bleak and desolate landscape.
It has become an of out of sight out of mind type culture and mindstate. Just like when a child misbehaves and is sent to their room if for no other reason than to just give the parent a brief respite. Addicts also get banished, if for no other reason than to pad statistics, wallets, and wipe hands clean. They are castigated and thrown in a cells where access to drugs is simpler and easier to come by. They emerge more dependent, a less desirable member of society, and a hardened criminal to boot.
If this is the standard of winning then the Clippers should be working on championship number ten this upcoming season.
From the Reagan era we have pumped up ourselves up with rhetoric, and as a nation, wrapped ourselves in "just say no" catchphrases (which had about as much social value as a catchphrase you might hear on Raw Is War) , and D.A.R.E programs. Both amounted to a waste of breath, and a
squandering of of tax payer money respectively, in which the unrealistic message wasabandoned once children graduated to the test axioms age.
A personal experience harkens back to the early 90's, as under the watchful and giddy gazes of my peers I took my first toke of herbal stimulation. Nobody pulled a Bill Clinton on that night, and what once had our palms sweaty in peer-pressure induced anxiousness, soon became an afterschool ritual. It's a typical story of mis-spent youth and experimenting. A growing up process for anyone who isn't attached to their parents' hip.
Most arrive at that experimentation crossroad where you either head down the path that allows a vice to consume a life and motivate your every movement. Or you travel down the road were a drug of choice simply serves as a recreational tool to unwind, have a little fun and let a mind float through the clouds for a bit.
Shouldn't that be a right living in a free society? Why does this country continue to obsess like a lovestruck teenager over personal choices and trivial matters such as buying a dime bag, or easing problems with a puff puff session in personal homes. Why do we harshly criminalize non-violent offenders who need assistance not prison cells, if it doesn't infringe on others' rights, and directly hurt anyone else? Why do only celebrities get the help they need, and chance after chance?
The drug war has simply become draped in typical red tape politics, where people do not want to think outside the box, changing an obviously flawed system for fear of looking bad. Marginalized addicts have become pawns in an exploitative political game, that actually flies in the face of supposed American Ideals.
The line between a war on the actual drug, and a war on American citizens has become blurred beyond recognition.
Currently, the public consumption of legalized drugs such as alcohol and the health disaster known as cigarettes, which has destroyed more lives than anyone cares to count is contradictory, puzzling, and mind-boggling. Well, maybe not when you consider both are billion dollar industries. While untouchable drug lords who are most responsible for the flow of poisonous drugs remain just that. Nickel and dime street hustlers and two bit junkies feel the brunt of self-righteousness, and police quotas.
When the American people speak, hands are placed overears. All across the country propositions are consistently passed in order to allow terminally ill patients the right to have access to Marijuana in an effort to alleviate their pain. Which can be interpreted as our roundabout way of saying we can't understand why this stuff is illegal in the first place. The resistance has been Herculean. Double talk is issued as "state and federal laws conflict", and the tired "we need more scientific evidence" excuse is given resulting in handcuffs still being slapped on, ultimately rendering the votes meaningless.
Amazing, since this is a country that still clutches to killing devices known as the 2nd Amendent, rightsthat were created during our infant stage relating to he protection of Militia's. We can't fathom the degredation of a nation by allowing Americans to smoke a joint while walking down the block. But buy a gun so you can star on Ameica's Most Wanted next week, well that's an American Right! Don't screw with the Constitution! Everyone deserves the right to pack heat, so simple arguments can turn to tragedies, children can make horrible life-altering decisions, lunatics can arm themselves and go on a reign of terror, the depressed can have lethal quick fix options, and jealous boyfriends can exact the ultimate revenge.
An open-minded, honest and diplomatic discussion combined with a willingness to admit this heavy- handed approach is not working is a must. Maybe in the wake of the horrific events of September 11th, America will be able to figure out what is truly important and what has become morality based legislation that is hurting far more than helping.
We hear ya, Nancy - Just say no. But saying no to what?