A fellow reader of this blog sent me a link to a short article about the legalization of drugs:
This and the older article it links to brings up the sticky topic of addiction (which can be seen in one way as 'perpetual intoxication') versus legal use. here is the problem: drugs are addicting whether or not they are legal. So, legalization may eliminate some arrests for, let's say, possession or distribution, but will do nothing for the greater social costs of mothers and father who abandon their spouses and children to get high all the time.
Whether it increases or decreases those rates, my bet is that if marijuana becomes as easy to obtain as alcohol, there will be more problems with it... just as alcohol remains the #1 addiction in America. Marijuana is easy to grow if you have the space, but any Alaskan fishing village can show you how much easier it is to make 'homebrew' over growing a self-sufficient pot farm, complete with hot house, grow lights, and hydroponic irrigation.
What will happen is that enforcement will shift towards intoxication. After all, legalization does not mean we will be allowing hazed-up drivers to drive 20mph on the expressway. Heavy users will continue to be on the fringes of society. The question then becomes whether or not there will be more.
My bet is that government-industry is more than willing to have more addicts. Stoned people don't have the time or energy to really fight the state. Like vodka in the Soviet days, an intoxicated people can drown their sorrows and not tip the boat over. We need to be entertained in order to not notice the destruction of so many lives around us.
We are surrounded by wounded people. Recently, a videos have surfaced of children being egged on by their parents to say horrid things. We laugh, then we cry, then we go back to our distractions. There is no sustained outrage because we are all doped up on information, porn, drugs, alcohol, music, text messages...
The problem is not with the drugs or the booze, but the need to get high and check out of life. I sincerely doubt we would have the clowns we have in politics if we were all really sober and undistracted. But, we are not, and so we are pacified and compliant, and thus the suffering of our neighbor becomes a 'welfare' problem shunted over to some bureaucracy rather than our own responsibility. We pass the ball because we are too busy being distracted.
Yes, I am saying that we are intoxicated by more than just drugs. As I have said before, we need to examine why we need to get high, and what it is we are running from.