Wesley Leonard: The prohibition against recreational or non-medical drug use must end | TheUnion.com

Wesley Leonard: The prohibition against recreational or non-medical drug use must end

You have no right to use force against someone because you disapprove of what substance they put in their body. Nor can you classify all dealers as predators. There are lines not to be crossed and ugly gray areas … but the idea that no one consents to buying drugs ignores reality.

Among the motivations for the war on drugs, there is concern for people’s well-being and desire to protect the innocent. There is also prejudiced hatred for users and dealers, and toxic pity for addicts. If we can keep and develop the intent to protect but throw away the hatred and pity, our society will dramatically transform for the better.

The war on drugs is a war on people who make, sell and use drugs without permission. Today, only medical use is legal … and the medical police will inform you of what qualifies as “medical” use. Why does the government have divine rights like this? It’s medicinal to me if I say it is: Mind your own business.

Isn’t medicine’s role to advise? Did doctors ever ask for or want guard duty over America’s supply of desirable drugs? Scrutinizing patients for drug-seeking? Is that what they trained to do? Is that how exams in medical school are? “OK doctor, you have six patients this afternoon. Three of them are lying about their symptoms because they want dope. Ready … begin …”

I have a plan. If implemented, it will: 1. Remove some stress from doctor’s shoulders. 2. Strike a major blow to the cartels. 3. Reduce opioid overdose deaths in this country.

It is a multi-step plan:

1. Withdraw from all our U.N. treaties concerning international drug prohibition and U.N.-managed opium cultivation.

2. Establish a regulatory framework for the following steps and then grant business licenses to capable applicants.

3. Grow all our own opium and manufacture all the opium derivatives we need. Develop a small handful of standardized products for the (former) black market and then devote all attention to the more complex needs of medicine and research.

4. Set up a single federally run website that can only be accessed by typing in the url that contains a national directory of opiate supply retail locations so that users who previously had to flip a coin on their life several times a day can now buy a clean, standardized product. The business locations must be completely unobtrusive, and nobody is allowed to advertise anywhere ever, except in their slot on the website. Mail out a single letter to every house stating the web address and apologizing for a century of persecution.

This way, doctors will never have to deal with “drug seekers” … and they can go back to helping people who have medical problems. Everybody knows alcohol can be dangerous, but adults drink without a permission slip certifying that they are drinking for the right reason.

With alcohol, we have DUI laws, drunk in public laws, child endangerment laws, workplace safety codes, legal age of purchase laws … but we also acknowledge the existence of non-criminal drunkenness. No one is forced into treatment or jail simply because they drink, or drink too much. Nor do we incarcerate the liquor suppliers. We tax, regulate and contend with the Leviathan of advertising — but we allow a legal market. Our alcohol policies are grounded and sane.

When it comes to other drugs, we have a long history of being insane and cruel, especially with the school programs. In the past these programs were horrible (and some of them still are). They actually taught that drug use is wrong (wrong as in immoral … like stealing and murder). They mixed facts with lies and brainwashed kids into tribalistic hatred towards drug users. They distinguished use from abuse strictly by deferring to authority: “Always take drugs your doctor gives you; those drugs are good for you. Never do illegal drugs; that’s drug abuse.”

Result: Blind faith in doctors and extreme ignorance about drugs. That’s part of the reason we have this opioid epidemic. How could people (especially doctors) not have known that OxyContin was super addictive? It’s an opiate; they’re all addictive. That’s one of the most basic facts about the most abused class of drugs.

Opiates: 1. They are addictive. 2. It is easy to overdose and die. 3. Regular use produces physical dependency. 4. They are extra dangerous when mixed with alcohol and many other common drugs.

Dear cops, I would like updates on fake pills. Any more found? Very scary. Not cool.

Wesley Leonard lives in Grass Valley.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User