I Support the Decriminalization of All Drugs

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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 ... ... middle of paper ... ... 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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