LEGALISING PROCESS FOR DRUGS MOVES FORWARD. BUT WILL IT AVERT DISASTER ?
MOVES IN USA
Probably 15 years ! That was my answer to a recently posed question on Hub Pages as to how long it would be before marijuana was officially legalised in the USA. Some months ago, I published a Hub asking if the time was approaching for the legalisation of all drugs to be considered. My premise then, and now, is that current legislation is failing worldwide to stem the flow of drugs from the points of inception, often in poorly situated locations to user situations across the whole spectrum of society and in virtually every corner of the world. I t seems to me, to turn round a well used phrase that current policies are "broken " and need "fixing "
Thus, the news that 3 American States are moving to legalise Marijuana, seems to me to be a positive move in the right direction. That is not to pigeon hole me as a soft touch or trendy socialite on this matter but rather a total pragmatist on the matter in hand. Like Prohibition of Alcohol many years ago, policies currently in vogue do nothing to halt demand but serve only to drive production,distribution, and utilisation, underground where the most unsavory examples of human kind lurk and have their appetite for greed in financial terms fully satisfied. On the other hand, the law abiding tax payer has to fund millions in currency to attempt to stem the flow. English history recalls the great King Canute, so revered by his subjects that he became convinced that he could turn the tide back. He tried, he failed ! That is exactly the position today. All over the world, our policies are effectively trying to turn back a relentless tide of drugs and their use. Remember the old song, "I FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON "! Currently those involved in the drug trade are fighting the law and the law is losing heavily.
Thus, I welcome, as a pragmatist, the attempts by the 3 States to take a new approach to things in this extremely difficult area. There efforts and the subsequent effects will clearly influence, not only other USA States, but will have ramifications for the rest of the world.
EUROPEAN CONFUSION LIKELY.
Looking at Europe, confusion over what to do about drugs already is highlighted for example by the long received tolerance shown in the Netherlands to certain drugs, like Marijuana compared to that in the UK. Here, hardly a week goes by without disclosure of Cannabis growing in domestic lofts or out of the way units on Business Parks.
It runs against the grain of many Brits and other Europeans to be even contemplating giving in to the drug trade in any way. Thus, as much as it sticks in the throat, the facts point to the problem only escalating, along with the costs, if policies currently operating are not drastically altered. Whatever route is taken there will be costs for sure. Recently, a member of our extended family fell victim to the so called "Recreational Drug" crack cocaine. As a result he became heavily in debt, liable to extreme mood swings, began to self harm and is currently estranged from his partner and two small children, as he struggles, with the help of the State rehabilitation programmes to restore some balance once more to his life. A small, but apposite example of the problems currently taking place in almost every street in every town and city here.
The question is, of course, would things be different if drugs like marijuana and crack cocaine were legalised and available through pharmacies ? The answer is, as yet, unknown. Certainly, if legalised there would be money paid through taxes which could be beneficial to all and there is every chance that the chain of illicit providers would be broken, though it would be foolish to imagine that the big names in this horrible game would not also benefit, even if legalisation brought with it some form of price control.
Confusion in Europe ? Without the shadow of a doubt. The decisions on drugs as with most things will not be taken by those who necessarily understand the problem but by Politicians and there sole criteria in these matters will, as ever be, whether they view the matter as a vote winner or vote loser come election time. Just as the States in USA have different governance, so do the European Countries. Hence, my answer of 15 years for the USA to legalise and on the back of that, Europe will, as always stand back to wait and see. As you will glean from this, I am not optimistic that Europe will change tack for many years, unless of course, the problems escalate to catastrophic proportions which, given current levels, could indeed take place. Either way a confused and gloomy future seems to beckon here.