Sunday, August 3, 2014

Legalize All Recreational Drugs

Legalizing all drugs without a plan of action would be drastic but is legalization with licensing and regulation a drastic idea.  The first misconception I would like to address is that I am pro-use because I am for legalization. It isn't the case.  I have a brother who is a heroin addict and it is heartbreaking.  My views on legalization are derived from a very personal question.  "How could my brother have been prevented from being a heroin addict?"

The first thing I realized is that the fact drug distribution possession and use is illegal, it doesn't prevent people from participating in the market on any level.  It is very easy to become a manufacturer, distributor or user of drugs and it shouldn't be.  So, currently the least qualified people manufacture and distribute drugs putting the end user at high risk.  

I realized that regulation could create a safer market.  Drinking a bottle of booze could be life threatening.  Now alcohol is a safe product and the answer is regulation.   Far enough back buying a hamburger at a restaurant could kill you.  The product we consume are made safer because of regulations on food productions and distribution.  The entire success of McD's is that they came up with a consistent product and could reproduce the model across the county.  It wasn't because of the delicious hamburger, it was that the hamburgers were safe and reliable.  It would be better and more cost effective to make sure drugs are as safe to use as possible.

The next thing is that users should be licensed.  This does two things.  When requiring a license you can impose certain restrictions such as users must prove they are using birth control.  That's the big one for me, in this case I am not opposed to forced responsibility.  Either have kids or don't use drugs for awhile.   Just like there are classes of driver's license, classes can exist depending on the type of drugs being used.  The other benefit is that a license really makes the choice to do drugs a thought through process.  Users wouldn't be pressured to do drugs and then immediately have access to them.  They would have to go to a licensing office apply, provided proof they've met requirements to become a user and so on.  It puts at least a few hours between the choice to use and the use. 

People have free will.  Laws can't stop that but if you provide a path to pursue a choice while not making it easy people will be less likely to pursue the path.  By putting the cost of the choice before the action instead of after, less people will end up using drugs and with regulation more safely.  Limit the action and provide a safer market.  Sounds a lot better to me than imprisonment, overdoses and violent crime.

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