They (i.e. apparently everyone else involved in drug policy) want you to focus solely upon the drugs, so not the underlying unhealthy stress prompting their abuse?
The last time the U.N. General Assembly held a “special session” (UNGASS) on drug policy, it was organized under the slogan “A Drug-Free World…We Can Do It.” Pino Arlacchi, then executive director of the U.N. Drug Control Program, insisted “there is no reason” the world’s supply of cocaine and heroin “cannot be eliminated in little more than a decade.” That was 1998.
I remember that frustratingly challenging moment with its abhorrently obviously predictable consequent 2008 failure to resonate the fact (preferably to a caring public) that no concrete evidence proves even a slightly more “Drug-Free World” results from the literally horribly demonstrable devastation of prohibition.
With a new UNGASS on “the world drug problem” scheduled for next month, a group of 22 experts organized by The Lancet and Johns Hopkins University is hoping to inject a little more realism into the proceedings, including an awareness of prohibition’s human costs and the benefits of “mov[ing] gradually towards regulated drug markets.”
Sensibly better than outright prohibition, but another frustratingly challenging experience remains within pure realism.
The report of the Johns Hopkins–Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health, published in the medical journal last Thursday, faults U.N. officials for conflating drug use with drug abuse, a black-and-white, all-or-nothing attitude that leads not only to vacuous slogans but to highly punitive, violently repressive policies that do far more harm than good. “The authors of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2015 annual report concluded that, of an estimated 246 million people who used an illicit drug in the past year, 27 million (around 11%) experienced problem drug use, which was defined as drug dependence or drug-use disorders,” the commission says.
Prohibitionists’ “magic sauce” is indeed the unethical swapping of use and abuse merely for their convenience.
But so too is pointlessly avoiding the hard-line between use (always harmless) and abuse (always harmful).
Notice how even the supposed protagonists here state “problem drug use” and “drug-use disorders” (which is even the professionally mentally acceptable formal term), instead of the simpler and sensible “drug abuse”.
As long as use and abuse remain muddily defined, so too will resulting law — and therefore our liberty, so inevitably our (and posterity’s) health.
Now what’s “black-and-white” and “all-or-nothing” is judicial regulation is good (opposition to it is bad) — basically again leading to vacuous slogans (e.g. “Tax and regulate!”) and highly punitive, violently repressive policies that do far more harm than good — e.g. punishing publicly good, very busy, and usually financially challenged small business owners by terribly expensive licensing and burdensome requirements ensuring the wealthy optionally abusively control the market, damage from regulatory bribery and/or incompetence, and other typically publicly unseen (due to being broadly unreported) devastation against justice.
Always remember that behind the spun civility of judicial regulation is the (ultimately violently repressive) force necessary to ensure compliance.
The Great Hypocrisy (if you will) continues to discriminatingly rule humanity to obvious corruption, but (clearly on behalf of oligarchical convenience) there’s no (even proposed) law against that form of reason abuse leveraged severely against public health.
“The idea that all drug use is dangerous and evil has made it difficult to see potentially dangerous drugs in the same light as potentially dangerous foods, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances for which the goal of social policy is to reduce harms. Harm reduction, an essential element of public health policy, has too often been lost in drug policy making amid a dominant discourse on the overwhelming evil of drugs.”
Now it will be lost in the obscenely complex set of judicial regulations inevitably structured by agendas that not always (if ever) conform to harm reduction for public safety.
In other words, this is largely (if not completely) about the sadly traditional and complexly tumultuous battle of judicial leverage to control the public for (direct or effective) profit — cushier lives for the regulators and their fellow oligarchical constituency.
Why does humanity refuse to learn that constantly repeated lesson (as agonizingly revealed throughout history)?
Most (if not all) oligarchical participants want power for their comfortable dominance.
Do I really need to strongly bold that last sentence to hopefully help firmly press that most serious of human-internal messages into humanity’s understanding?
When does that terribly common power motive publicly sink in (at a young enough age nonetheless) prior to ugly judicial growth (generally, if not always) to satisfy that dominance?
What’s critically missing (nonetheless within a nation violently established against abusive law, for maturely crying out loud) is potentially dangerous law.
As a powerful and naturally coincidental example of dangerous law, we focus upon the war on [arbitrarily some] drugs itself — several decades and strongly counting of thuggish response with badge and gun (backed largely by public fanfare) roughly against the people non-violently (and never conclusively harmfully) using certain drugs.
“Policies meant to prohibit or greatly suppress drugs present a paradox,” the report says. “They are portrayed and defended vigorously by many policy makers as necessary to preserve public health and safety, and yet the evidence suggests that they have contributed directly and indirectly to lethal violence, communicable-disease transmission, discrimination, forced displacement, unnecessary physical pain, and the undermining of people’s right to health….We believe that the weight of evidence for the health and other harms of criminal markets and other consequences of prohibition catalogued in this commission is likely to lead more countries (and more US states) to move gradually towards regulated drug markets—a direction we endorse.”
Importantly understand that list of seriously destructive outcomes ignited by law, and how it ironically leads to rampant unhealthy stress against millions of people.
One of my favorite memorized quotes comes from the equally ironically prohibitionist United States National Institute on Drug Abuse [emphasis mine]:
“Researchers have long recognized the strong correlation between stress and substance abuse…” (1995 stress bulletin)
There’s either legalization, or some form of prohibition — so factually no other option.
Each regulation inherently must prohibit some activity, because otherwise there would be no actual corresponding amendment of law.
Regulation is a euphemism for prohibition.
It’s a terribly powerful euphemism, because nobody can sanely briefly (so effectively publicly) argue against the value (and expressed intention) of regulation to keep society balanced (so stable).
Some of the damage done by drug prohibition can be ameliorated by harm reduction measures that fall short of legalization, such as needle exchange programs, safe injection spaces, greater availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, and prescription of heroin or other replacement opioids to addicts. The commission recommends those steps, along with decriminalization of possession for personal use, a policy it says has proven successful in Portugal and the Czech Republic. But some problems are inherent in any attempt to forcibly suppress drug use. Although prohibition-related violence can be reduced by dialing back the war on drugs, for instance, it cannot be eliminated as long as production and distribution of certain intoxicants are criminal activities.
Impossible to emphasize enough that falling short of legalization is always some form of (at least based upon the proper cost/benefit analysis in terms of health and other resources, questionable) prohibition.
Therefore another illusion of reason provided by demonstrable con artists (to sell books, etc.) is the ‘middle’ approach to drugs.
Not legalization, and not prohibition, but some supposedly reasonable middle ground that doesn’t possibly exist (e.g. “treatment” as a euphemism for jail, drug courts instead of regular courts, age-related prohibitions that push relevant demand into the same problems as outright prohibition, etc.)
Based upon reality, harm reduction is prohibition (law) reduction.
The listed positive outcomes against drug abuse in the last block quote (not to mention adding the use of the still-illegal MDMA or Ibogaine to sometimes successfully beat addiction) can exist without any prohibiting law.
“Weakening” drug laws has only contributed to that positivity, as evident by the obviously missing ‘See? We told you so!’ campaign by prohibitionists desperately needing that campaign for any actual legitimacy for public safety.
There’s no correlation between drug laws and drug abuse, but since drug laws are inevitably harmful, it makes perfect sense to remove all such laws (end prohibition outright).
Real harm reduction comes from reducing unhealthy stress (synonymous with harm).
We don’t even live in a world where stress is hard-line defined to be unhealthy or healthy, so even that critical term (basically health itself) is muddied.
If we can’t accurately define health (especially without selfish/harmful conflicts of interest), then how can we accurately define harm, so accurately define civilized liberty?
Healthy stress is a positive workout at the gym, or any form of conclusively harmlessly meeting of a challenge to improve survival, if not “thrival”.
I have nothing further to quote from the prompting (or any other) source, because for no selflessly good reason, there’s no proposition for a ‘war’ (i.e. law applied upon causing conclusive harm, and completely honest education to manage risk) to minimize unhealthy stress — the actual cause of abuse of all kinds.
Such a ‘war’ would necessarily include prohibiting job entrapment (inevitably against oligarchical favoritism, so unlikely), where wages are low enough to shove way too many people into being overworked or unemployed (and the likely serious rise in drug abuse from those widespread unhealthy tensions).
Note that raising the minimum wage doesn’t work, because (inclusively greedy) business owners then fire people (and/or place more burden upon remaining employees, and/or raise prices against us all) to compensate — so exacerbates the problem to cause more unhealthy stress for oligarchical strengthening.
No law has impacted the greedy (whom generally have the money to influence law), but they have terribly impacted (and continue to painfully impact) the rest of us.
What about that harm reduction?
That question is especially directed to the traditional (so not really progressive) political leftists passionately firmly believing the right combination of complex regulations (despite the many obvious conflicts of interest against public safety) form the path to civility (with only — usually statistical — spin questionably as their basis for that belief).
Regulation (law) addiction is demonstrably more problematic than drug addiction (law abuse is logically the worst form of abuse due to its mainly broad scope of destruction), but the public at large is powerfully seduced to constantly get their regulation fix (at terrible cost expected from any addiction).
It’s time for the law to be greatly simplified (sharply focused upon harm, which can be concretely defined, but not risk, which is purely subjective, so unfair, so unjust) for better public understanding, so significant public leverage against an abusive oligarchy spanning the private and public sectors and effectively governing us all can be righteously achieved.
That necessitates a linguistically concrete barrier to judicial entry — one even working against the wealthy influence of law. That means a concisely (objectively conclusively) defined self-evident and unalienable right to liberty — synonymous with responsible flexibility.
That right must be non-discriminatory without exception (e.g. on the basis of race, gender, sexual preference, recreational drug preference, likely consciously self-aware computers “without a soul”, etc.)
Liberty is either unalienable or not. Any exception (even to “protect the children”) unavoidably prompts the slippery slope eventually complexly spiraling into the same monstrously messy oppression of personal agendas that selfishly grows to critical mass and consequent explosion of revolt — that sadly merely resets the oppression meter to similarly rise again ad infinitum.
Conflicts shouldn’t always be resolved by law, because law abuse is powerfully conflicting (as anyone understanding the United States Declaration of Independence can clearly firmly grasp).
The conflict between drug (and/or similar) abuse and that abuser’s survival is clearly sanely a health — not criminal — issue, unless (of course) that abuser actually conclusively harms someone else.
That conflict can only logically be resolved by adapting the relevant individual’s stress signature to reasonably dominant balance (stability).
Given the high degree of uniqueness between billions of lives, individualism (not one-size-fits-all coercive collectivism) is necessary for proper stress management. A healthy individualism is naturally a healthy collectivism.
Yet humanity dominantly presses hard to continue down the destructive road of oppression “to protect the children” at oligarchical influence and command, while embarrassingly low approval ratings towards government indicates the foolishness of that paradoxically preferred societal press.
Drug (or any other form of self-destructive) abuse forms a legitimate demand for genuine health products and services (those perhaps custom designed to secure individual balance), so would be a healthy stress improvement for (at least) our struggling economy.
Consumer watchdogs (testing products and services for safety and effectiveness, and publicly sharing their results) are every bit as effective as regulators for worst through best (corruption is almost always about sufficient exposure), but the flexibility of avoiding taxpayer-expensive and deeply entrenched law (legal precedence) is a wonderful advantage matching our fundamental rights nonetheless — and allows law to be solely respectably leveraged upon harm (e.g. conclusively tainted products for more profit).
Risk would then be purely an educational matter to prevent harm.
As long as humanity excessively aims for positivity (e.g. win the game, achieve happiness, get laid, more money for comfort, etc.) by neglecting the equal importance of balance, and refuses to understand reality’s (only possibly scientifically concluded) need for balance (actual and naturally governing regulation) — which means all positivity (e.g. drug-assisting euphoria, victory, etc.) has a balancing negative (e.g. drug-withdrawal-assisting agony, loss, etc.) — then the problem of abuse will continue unabated on behalf of reason abusers and their muscling thugs.
Tragedy is inherent in reality, and (at least due to unintended consequences applying usually publicly invisible unhealthy stress) there’s no way to concretely (so reasonably) prove an overall net reduction in tragedy from judicial regulation.
Judicial regulation doesn’t reduce overall risk by any concrete measure, but such regulation does press unhealthy stress against at least one person (and usually the public at large — at least via taxpayer expense).
Suffering is clearly a part of life.
Civility (responsible toughness to uphold responsible liberty) demands that suffering be experienced by reason abusers and thugs — not everyone else suffering under the literal and/or metaphorical feet of one or more of those immoral asses (as is clearly the overwhelmingly dominant case these horrible days in that global light).
Comforts will be achieved without respect for the inevitable and painful (if not agonizing) cost for reality’s necessary balance — destabilizing humanity’s stress signature (a macrocosm of bipolar disorder) with similar demonstrations of abuse experienced and witnessed against civility to terribly cyclical effect.
The war on drugs is not an isolated issue pertaining to the “right to get high” (or such). It horrendously powerfully demonstrates the problem of abusive law (the most serious internal issue of, and affecting, humanity — and the issue still largely publicly ignored to unbearably shameful excess).
Despite intentionally presented illusions to the contrary, regulators (and other judicial players) are not in the drug policy “game” to fight prohibition harms, but transform the substantial leverage (their real prize at apparently any cost) to their equally publicly destructive liking.
I maintain that ‘relatively rare instances of abuse justify mass rights infringement (mass harm)’ is literally the grossest scam (and grossest internal threat) of humanity.
Unhealthy stress from that rampant scam excessively negates positive character building, so forms more jerks to likely perpetuate that scam until death does humanity part.
If we the public remain passively silent in light of that logically identified scam, then team oligarchy “wins” at the expense of team everyone (tragically ironically including team oligarchy).