Legal illegal . . . what? What the hell does that even mean? Based on the title, you might think I've been using some of these drugs that I seem to hate so much. Don't worry though - I haven't, and it'll all make sense by the end.
My last post about marijuana stirred up some sentiment, as I fully expected it would. It seems to be a hot-button issue for a lot of people. One of the arguments I hear all the time is that more people have been hurt by the "War on Drugs" than by the drugs themselves. That may or may not be true, and to be honest I'm not sure if that could ever be proven. But even if it were true, does that mean that we should legalise marijuana just to prevent violence? By that logic we should also legalise heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, shrooms, and PCP because they all are implicated in drug violence.
The major argument for legalisation of marijuana seems to be that it has so many benefits and so few drawbacks that it should be legalised for recreational use. The argument states that marijuana has beneficial medicinal effects, so that lends more support for legalisation. Well now we've finally gotten to the point of this post. Let's look into that, shall we?
I will be the first to admit (and I have said it many times in the past) that marijuana has numerous positive medicinal effects. It is a very potent anti-emetic, it is highly effective in controlling pain, and it lowers intra-ocular pressure in patients with glaucoma. So what's my problem with marijuana? If it's such a great medicine, why am I so against it? To answer that question, we only need to look at the list of other illegal drugs, starting with the health benefits of heroin.
"THE WHAT??! Benefits of heroin? Everyone knows how horrible heroin is! Are you high, Doc?" I hear you ask.
Nope, I'm not high at all. Heroin was initially marketed as a cough suppressant and a cure for morphine addiction (Bayer didn't know at the time that heroin is actually metabolised to morphine in the body). And I'm sure most non-Brits reading this will be surprised to find out that heroin (IV, epidural, and oral) is widely used for the treatment of pain in the UK where it is known as diamorphine. So because it has medicinal purposes just like marijuana, it should also be legalised for recreational use, right?
Moving on to good old cocaine, the rockstar drug of the 80's which devolved into its own degenerate brother, crack cocaine. Indigenous populations in South America have been chewing coca leaves for thousands of years as a mild stimulant and appetite suppressant, but it has real medicinal effects as well. It is a very potent vasoconstrictor and local anaesthetic, and ENT physicians in Australia commonly use it for mouth ulcers and nasal surgery. Ever heard of lidocaine? They both end in "-caine" for a reason.
So we should legalise recreational cocaine too, right? Oh, but I'm not stopping there. I'm just getting warmed up.
Ever heard of Sernyl? Probably not, since it was only tested as a surgical anaesthetic for a few years in the 1950's and 60's before being banned when it was found to mimic schizophrenia and cause general fucking insanity in people. Then some idiots caught on to how much fun they could have by smoking it, and the PCP boom was born. That's right, PCP was almost used in medicine before smart people banned it. But it has medicinal purposes, so it can't be all bad and people should be able to use it legally for recreational purposes!
"Ok fine," you potheads may be thinking. "Those are a few examples of illicit drugs which have some medicinal use. But surely not meth! Surely Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were cooking a purely bad drug, right? Methamphetamine couldn't possibly have any medicinal purposes, right?"
Desoxyn, also known as methamphetamine hydrochloride, approved in the United States for the treatment of ADHD, similar to Adderal and Ritalin. Look, it's an actual medicine! So we should definitely legalise recreational use of crystal meth! Who cares that's it's highly addictive and will completely fuck up your life?
I won't even mention how MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) is being researched for use in treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how 83% of study participants were essentially cured with a combination of MDMA and psychotherapy. I also won't mention how LSD is being re-examined for its effects in psychiatric patients. But I don't hear anyone (except idiot drug users and stupid drug advocates) screaming that Ecstasy and LSD should be legalised for recreational use.
My point here is that sure, marijuana has some benefits for certain patients, but that isn't nearly enough to justify its legalisation for recreational use. I'm sure many of you are moaning and groaning that marijuana isn't the same as other "hard" drugs, marijuana is a plant, marijuana is harmless, blah blah blah. You're just itching to tell me that no one has ever overdosed on marijuana, it isn't addictive, and alcohol is worse. Save it, because it's the same bullshit I've heard over and over again. I'm 100% positive you won't change my mind, just as I'm sure I won't change your mind. That is not and never has been my intention, because those people are so firmly convinced that their weed is so completely harmless that they will never listen to any arguments to the contrary. They continually tell me to ignore the "government propaganda" and do my own research. The difference between them and me is that I clearly have done the research, and I have clearly come to the conclusion that the bad outweighs the good. So you people can go piss off and smoke your herb to your heart's content, as long as you do it far away from me so I don't have to deal with you or the stupid things it makes you do.