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The Most Deadly Drugs are Already Legal

This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Fried egg is probably the most influential commercial of our generation. We feared it, we laughed at it, some of us stopped eating eggs, and we made a lot of t-shirts about it. And who was scaring us? Who was so concerned about our health? Our loving friends: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA). We used to watch those commercials and get all warm and fuzzy inside, someone out there cared enough about us to spend a lot of money on those frightening ads. Those good people down at the PDFA really don’t want us using drugs. Or do they?

The truth is, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America demonizes illegal drugs to protect the legal and profitable ones that kill more people. And this delicate maneuvering of the spotlight serves one purpose: to put a lot of cash in to the pockets of a few pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco corporations.

The tight-knit relationship between corporate drug peddlers and the PDFA is borne out most clearly by the organizations impressive list of funders. From 1988 to 1991, 54% of the $5.8 million the PDFA took from its top twenty-five contributors came from pharmaceutical companies. The other 46%? Largely tobacco and alcohol. Why are these huge corporations donating such large sums of money to the PDFA? Because they know that the PDFA strongly influences our conception of acceptability: Whatever drug the PDFA chooses to attack becomes a taboo, while drugs the PDFA chooses to ignore become a spotless joy.

Because of this funding structure, even if the PDFA wanted to criticize the profitable drugs, it couldn’t. Former Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters Mathea Falco explains, It would be suicidal if the Pa…

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…s, One of the reasons young people have no faith in what we say about drugs is because of the lies by people like the Partnership. (St. Petersburg Times, 1990)

Corporations are making big bucks and children are dying. Instead of spending a billion dollars to spit nonsense into young minds, the Partnership should be informing them about the dangers of all drugs, illegal and legal, worthless and profitable. And instead of convincing kids that everyone who smokes pot is a crazy murderer, they should differentiate between drugs and admit that heroin is not the same as marijuana. Without the children’s trust, the entire message is worthless. Next time you see an Excedrin commercial, a Just Say No commercial, and then a Miller Lite commercial, realize that they are all the same.

This is your brain. This is your brain on the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

I Support the Decriminalization of All Drugs

When societies finally become comfortable with reality, they begin to abandon the murderous laws that impede their growth. Currently, the social stigma and legislated morality regarding the use of illicit drugs yield perhaps the most destructive effects on American society. Drug laws have led to a removal of non-violent citizens from society- either directly by incarceration or indirectly by death – that is genocidal in quantity and essence.

I base my support of the decriminalization of all drugs on a principle of human rights, but the horror and frustration with which I voice this support is based on practicality. The most tangible effect of the unfortunately labeled “Drug War” in the United States is a prison population larger than Russia’s and China’s, and an inestimable death toll that rivals the number of American casualties from any given war, disease or catastrophe.

Every indicator demonstrates that U.S. drug policy is irrational, which leaves us no option but to assume that the severe anti-drug sentiment fulfills psychological needs, specifically those that operate independent of rational thought. Just this week, an Atlanta Judge sentenced Louis E. Covar, a 51-year-old quadriplegic who claims to use marijuana for medical purposes, to seven years in prison. Because of his condition, Covar’s sentence will cost taxpayers more than one-half million dollars, five times the cost of the average prisoner. I am not attempting an emotional appeal. I would simply like to know how we could willfully incarcerate an “offender” like Covar for seven years, how we could forfeit such potentially constructive taxpayer money merely to restrict a harmless individual’s freedom.

We claim that we need to “set a good example,” but the …

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… our problems, attack particular populations, and ease our insecurities through displacement.

Ideally, I would not have to persuade my readers with facts. I would prefer a society in which a person is free to do anything that does not infringe upon the rights of others, in which socially constructed moralities do not hinder individual freedom. Often, drug use is an extraordinarily bad choice, but it is a choice that the individual must make. Now, regressing to fit the false conception of moralists, I will cite a rally cry from popular music, by a man who died because of his bad choices, and because of a bad law: “Load up the bong. Crank up the song. Let the informer call 911. And when security police force want to arrive, don’t try to run, don’t try to hide. Just pull out the nine, pop in the clip and let one slip.” (Well, maybe just invite them to join you.)

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