We Should Not Legislate Morality with ‘Drug Wars’

Note: This is a column I wrote while working at the ‘Eastern Echo,’ Eastern Michigan University’s student newspaper. I believe it was 1991, and I was still learning. Still am, of course.

Ok, boys and girls, lets talk about drugs. I’m not talking about run of the mill mundane stuff like aspirin and Ibuprofin. No, I’m talking about pot, uppers, downers, acid, laughers, screamers, shrooms and coke– the big boys. A subject this huge can’t be done justice in one article, so we’ll be making many trips down hallucination lane.
Fasten your seat belts.
There are a few laws I’ll never understand, among them the ones concerning seat belts, motorcycle helmets, and drugs.
As near as I can see, each of these is a case in which the government legislates away the public’s right to make choices for themselves simply because people making these choices may hurt themselves.
True, if you get in a car accident not wearing a seatbelt, there is a high degree of probability that you will become one bloody hunk of meat that will need a closed casket. But it’s your meat.
The same is true with drugs. A lifetime of heavy drug use can lead to various health problems, depending on how much, where and what you cram into your body.
Too much of some drugs, and it’s coffin time– a little crying by choice relatives and dump the body in the ground.
As far as I can see, you made the conscious decision to do drugs, knowing that death could follow. Why should this be any concern of the government? Who owns our bodies, anyway?
Rather than wasting billions and billions of tax dollars on fighting a largely ineffective “Drug War,” why not spend the money on education, informing the public of what drugs might do to them.
Then, if people decide to do drugs, they can abuse their bodies without the ability to cop-out and say they “had no idea what would happen.” The rest of the money could then be spent on programs to help people who want to get clean off drugs.
Before anyone gets all up in arms, le me just say that I am not talking about drunk driving laws. That crosses out of my original premise, which is that you’re only hurting yourself. If you swerve across the center lane and obliterate a family of four, dog and all, then you’ve hurt someone else.
It is time we re-examine who we let control our lives and why. The Constitution guarantees the right to the pursuit of happiness, but this is denied through some subsequent laws.
As an end note, let’s look at two legal cases. In Troy, Linda Conflitti was convicted of poisoning her teacher with LSD. Whether she is guilty of not is irrelevant, at least, it is for this column. As the facts currently lie, she dropped a hit of LSD into her teacher’s coffee, which he subsequently drank.
The teacher has yet to return to school, but is instead is on medical leave in Florida, claiming the experience of the drug was,”…just too horrible.”
I would not accuse the man of being a worthless leach sucking every ounce of sympathy out of this that he could, but I know people who have done acid two or three times a week and suffered no such ill effects. In fact, I know of no case where a person doing a single hit of acid was incapacitated for over a year.
Ms. Confliti faces up to four years in prison for this crime. If she is guilty, it is just that she pay, because it wasn’t her body and mind she was playing with. However, on the same day the news broke of her conviction, I saw an item about a Florida couple who had left their video camera running, thereby catching their babysitter viciously abusing their eight month old child with a  wooden spoon. This woman received the maximum sentence: four months. All I can see here is twisted justice and degenerate morals.