Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pax Narcotica

Before I start, I want to state, categorically, that I don't do drugs, I don't smoke, and I only drink alcohol in moderation.
The classification of drugs bears little relationship to their danger, based on physical harm, social harm and dependency. Certainly Heroin and Cocaine are at the top, but so is Alcohol, which is legal. Ecstasy and LSD, both class A drugs are much further down the scale, being even less harmful than tobacco!
I am in favour of an eventual liberalisation of drugs. I feel it will happen, and the time is right to start planning for it. I am not calling for an instant declassification of drugs - that would be premature because the culture is wrong. At present, drugs are seen as a big evil, responsible for many problems in our society, and the use of them, is, due to the legal sanctions, necessarily furtive and secretive. Only when people stop seeing drug use as a moral issue can change take place.
Drugs are natural. Cats have catnip. Elephants get tipsy on fermented berries. We have alcohol, cannabis, opium, khat and magic mushrooms. Used in moderation, and with guidance, they can induce pleasant feelings, and interesting sensations, and alleviate unpleasant emotions. Used wisely, they can be a blessing rather than a curse.
This is the cultural change that needs to be in place before drug laws are relaxed. These drugs will be with us always. We must come to terms with their existence, and use them to benefit society. Reclassification is a very good first step.

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