Currently, a heroin epidemic is sweeping through many parts of the country. Taxpayers are losing millions and millions of dollars, and most frustratingly, people are dying.

Of course everyone wants to fix this problem and offer solutions, but frankly, when it comes to drug policies, I'm a little at odds with myself. I definitely think the War on Drugs has been a huge waste of resources that is largely responsible for America's inflated prison populations and sky-high recidivism rate. However, I have also seen first-hand the damaging affects hard drugs can have on individuals, families, and even entire communities. I'm torn between wanting people to turn away from heroin for their health and safety, and realizing that government efforts to curb this problem have so far proven mainly futile.

There's no easy solution to the widespread addiction we're seeing now, but I believe if we can bring the conversation about drugs back to the forefront of our schools, our communities, and even our national discourse, we can at least make people more aware of the physical and psychological realities of drug addiction. I don't wish to see a return to the fear-mongering and outright lies of anti-drug campaigns of the 1980's (smoke one marijuana and you'll have a heart-attack!), but nor do I enjoy seeing people make decisions without being fully aware of what the consequences to their actions might be.

Like I said though, I don't claim to have any definitive answers to this epidemic. I'm just another person who's frustrated with the current state of affairs.

Comments (4)
PanayiotisT
PanayiotisT

In Seattle, they are actually enabling the problem

TobiH
TobiH

i add some information from the above book: <snip/>... The helpful Preface to this 1992 collection of essays by both the late Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman, and "anti-psychiatrist" Thomas Szasz states, "we have juxtaposed their arguments in this book because both men craft their arguments from widely different points of view. Friedman argues principally from statistics and the standpoint of the market, whereas Szasz discusses moral principles and the effects of scapegoating on human laws and language." (Pg. xi)

Friedman makes the point, "Had drugs been decriminalized seventeen years ago, 'crack' would never have been invented (it was invented because the high cost of illegal drugs made it profitable to provide a cheaper version) and there would today be far fewer addicts." (Pg. 4) Later, he adds, "No doubt there have been some favorable effects of the war on drugs. There does appear to have been a considerable reduction in the casual use of drugs. But it is hard to believe that the good effects come anywhere close to being large enough to justify the human cost of the war on drugs in terms of lives lost and lives destroyed." (Pg. 47)

Friedman admits in an interview the possibility that "more people could get (crack) and stay on it for longer periods of time," saying, "Well, maybe. Nobody can say with certainty what will happen along those lines." (Pg. 66-67)

Szasz wrote, "Why did the framers of the Constitution not explicitly guarantee the right to take drugs? ... because there was no conceivable danger of an alliance between medicine and the state." (Pg. 116-117) Asked if legalization might increase the number of lives "devastated by drug use," he replies, "People have wasted their lives. Lives don't get wasted. I believe in free will... if people would have more options in life, then some of them may use them unwisely." (Pg. 166)

These essays constitute an excellent summation of the views of these two thinkers of the subject....</snip>

TobiH
TobiH

Hello Roaming,... probably some interesting comments about the war on drugs were written in a book by economist Milton Friedman and Thomas Szasz: ->> "Friedman and Szasz on Liberty and Drugs: Essays on the Free Market and Prohibition" ->> https://www.amazon.com/Friedman-Szasz-Liberty-Drugs-Prohibition/dp/1879189054/ . they were both free choice and about liberty.