Stop treating drugs as criminal and moral issue

Many of the problems we have today with illegal drugs are the same as during alcohol prohibition.

Stop treating drugs as criminal and moral issue

Re: Safe alcohol consumption site

In Shone Driver’s letter (“How about a safe alcohol consumption site, with pint glasses?”, Citizen, Aug. 2) he facetiously demands safe alcohol consumption sites paid for by our tax dollars, trying to portray safe injection sites as ridiculous, but his whole argument is ridiculous — with the exception of his seeming acceptance of the fact that that alcohol is a drug.

His drug of choice (apparently beer) is a drug celebrated in our culture. It is a rite of passage for many young people — parents bond with their children as they share these recreational drugs when they reach legal age. People play drinking games where they try to out-compete each other in how much of this recreational drug they can consume. Sadly, many measure their very manliness based on how much they’ve abused their bodies with this drug and increased their tolerance to it.

Where the legal drug consumers cheer with a “CHUG, CHUG, CHUG” as they guzzle down shots and pitchers of beer, I highly doubt heroin addicts cheer each other on with a “SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT” as they inject their veins.

Shone seems to think he is the one bearing all the cost of his drug choice since he buys his own beer. There are many more costs the rest of society beares for his drugs — alcoholism treatment, drunk-driving accidents and deaths, police check-points for drunk-drivers, domestic violence, etc. Another legal drug of choice for many — cigarettes — also has a high cost with cancer treatment, drugs to help break the addiction, forest fires, etc.

The most common items of litter I find on the streets are beer cans and cigarette butts — not so many needles.

Just because you buy your own drugs (beer) does not mean the rest of us are not paying for it in some way or another.

In a culture that celebrates one recreational drug above all others as the “moral” drug of choice, and all other recreational drugs as “immoral” and shameful, the current drug crisis is not a surprising outcome.

Alcohol is legal, taxed and regulated, providing a safe, reasonably priced supply of this drug — pure and free of dangerous contaminants. Many of the prevalent problems we have today with illegal drugs are the same we had during alcohol prohibition. Legalize, tax and regulate all drugs and you’ll see the addiction rate go down, overdose death rate plummet, more taxation dollars coming in to help treat the problems, and less overall cost in policing, less crime and less violent gangs. If we stop treating drugs as a criminal and moral issue they will not magically go away, but the negative impact they cause will be drastically reduced.

David Reid

Duncan

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