Saturday, September 27, 2008

The problem with the conversation about drugs

Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive drug that has become popular for recreational use in the last few years. If you search on YouTube for "salvia" you can find lots of entertaining videos of people tripping on it. The drug produces intense hallucinations that last for about a few minutes. There are apparently no long term effects or any other detrimental health effects.

When people discuss the drug with people who have never heard of it, the first thing they mention is that it's legal to own and use. Of course, as it has grown in popularity, politicians have sought to criminalize it. Assuming that it's legal though, and in most places in the United States, it still is, there is something desperately wrong with the conversation. It seems people are conveying this mentality that hallucinogens should be illegal by default, that salvia is so astounding and special because it's legal, as if it's somehow natural that these drugs used recreationally are meant to be illegal. How did this happen? Why is this so entrenched now in American culture that it is considered proper, or at least expected, that governments will criminalize these drugs? Now is the time to raise our consciousnesses. Banning recreational drugs is not a natural state of affairs. This is a recent phenomenon.

On a related night, last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, Ralph Nader expressed his contempt for Obama and Biden. Nader brought up that Biden was one of the architects of the war on drugs, summing up how insane our policy is. Our government don't throw alcoholics in jail, but happily destroys the lives of drug addicts.

I trust McCain would be for more of the kind of nonsense that threatens Charlie Lynch, and I had hoped that Obama might stop this poisonous war on drugs, but I wasn't aware of Biden's evil. Now, I'm not sure that electing Obama would matter at all. The debate last night provided more evidence that this election is only going to end badly, with authoritarians who want to control your life.

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