“Some days it feels like I’m watching a house on fire. And one idiot wants to put it out with a machine gun. The other one wants to use grenades. And I’m standing there with a bucket of water and they look at me like I’m crazy.”
“When a government uses military personnel, equipment, and tactics against its own citizens, is it time to call it a Civil War rather than a Drug War?”
People know from the drugs that they can get their hands on, alcohol and pharmaceuticals if nothing else, that getting fucked up can be entertaining and relatively safe. This creates demand. Prohibitionist drug policies attempt to stifle this demand through authoritarian control (arresting people who operate in the drug economy).
It’s sadly ironic that the same conservatives so blindly certain of the creativeness of the market in solving all our economic woes somehow think those markets are going to get stupid and uncreative when meeting demands that they don’t think should exist.
There are potentially responsible use patterns for a variety of substances. No quantity of propaganda is somehow going to reach into the heads of the millions of consenting Americans who have first-hand experience with this fact and somehow erase it. The War on Drugs can achieve short-term market depressions, but they can’t remove the fundamental driving force of the system.
(Source: Jack E. Henningfield, Ph.D. for NIDA, Reported by Philip J. Hilts, New York Times, Aug. 2, 1994 “Is Nicotine Addictive? It Depends on Whose Criteria You Use.”)
What we have now, is bunches of people who don’t trust the government to tell them what is safe and what is not and, since many aren’t very good at researching the long-term effects of their actions, they’re just going to find convenient ways to get the state they want.
We really need to be putting our time and money into how to encourage responsible drug use. So long as people need to get away from their problems or are simply curious about the nature of consciousness, this market is not going to dry up.