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People cannot sell themselves into slavery, people cannot give other people permission to murder them, people cannot give up their inalienable constitutional rights to due process...etc..etc. People don't have the right to take away their rights and freedoms; if someone is mutilating their body, attempting suicide, or engaging in obviously harmful activities our laws clearly indicate we have the right to detain and provide psychological treatment to them.
Noone left me in charge, I have an opinion. We are all imposing our beliefs about what is best for ourselves and each other when engaging in democratic activity so I don't see the problem with my objections to and sanctions of narcotics.
The difference between escaping through activity and escaping through chemical alteration is the difference between exercise and steroid injections. It is the difference between increasing your height through a proper diet while still in your development stages and breaking your legs and resetting them repeatedly.
Not only is the activity unnecessary, a cop-out, and usually not even a remedy for a real malady, but it is an extreme approach and ultimately detrimental to the person's body, mind, and their professional life.
What I am saying is that in the case of drugs people are willfully giving up their freedoms; I would like to have it given back. Besides, if they are already giving up their freedom and humanity for a little pleasure, why on earth should they have the rights in the first place? Would you give a teenager a car if they decided to wreck it, on purpose, every time just to experience the thrill?
People shouldn't be allowed to choose to be slaves just as much as people aren't allowed to be slave-owners. I find it frightening that people seem to actively look to be controlled, by addiction or dictators, and I don't want such behavior to go unchecked.
Video games are an absence of the use of freedom, chemical alterations remove them or block them. Chemicals destroy personality and individuality, pass-times merely divert them and slow their growth or actualization.
Again, Marijuana isn't a big deal in this respect; but legalizing it certainly doesn't help. It does dull the senses, it does have long-term psychological and intellectual effects, and it is possibly as if not more carcinogenic than Tobacco and just as addictive (not yet completely substantiated so I could be wrong).
Some basic facts on it can be found here; a rather well-rounded survey of Marijuana and its effects:
From the site:
"Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite its known harmful effects upon social functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities. Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which make it difficult to quit."
"A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia."
Now, that, again, is not known to be 100% true. Marijuana research is still in its developing stages (probably due to its illegality) and so not enough is known to say anything with certainty.
I'd like to see more studies to make sure that it is as benign as many people like to think it is. If it turns out to be then I have even less of a problem with it. The hard drugs, however, should always be illegal in my eyes.
The reason I don't like marijuana, alcohol, hard drugs, and certain kinds of prescription medications is rather simple: I don't think people should sacrifice who they are, in some cases their free will or their humanity.
When someone gives up their free will by becoming a slave to a hard drug or prescription mood and personality altering chemicals it is time for society to step in and give them back control.
Marijuana may be a petty offender, much less of an offender than alcohol, tobacco, meth, cocaine..etc.., but it is still a means of giving up who you are or keeping yourself in a state of non-growth.
We, as human beings, have a duty to ourselves to grow, change, improve, but always in the context of who we are. Drugs are a way to retard this development, deny who we are, and cope with a world that rejects us. It is an escape; an escape which noone deserves.
I don't mind people escaping in other ways: video games, reading, television, camping..etc, at least they are still thinking, at least their self is still intact and operating.
When people do drugs they stop being people and start being Mr. or Ms. X+meth, or X+Marijuana, or X+alcohol. It isn't helpful; it's downright harmful in the long-run.
Governments and societies are meant to protect us; usually from dangers outside. This danger, this threat is unique in its internal, self-inflicted nature.
Again, Marijuana is only a petty offender in this case; which is why I am not adamant about its status as an illegal narcotic. There are far worse legal drugs which I am much more concerned with.
Does that help in explaining my objection to its use? I am still forming my opinion on this one so I know my logic is abit choppy and in some cases exaggerated.
I'm not that concerned with Marijuana. I'd never use it, and I don't let my boyfriend either. I think it is a cop-out and a rather stupid thing to get into.
I don't mind it being legalized, though I'd rather it not. I'd even go so far as to say alcohol shouldn't be legal either.
I don't, however, like the way these things are prosecuted. I'd rather see users treated like those in need of medical and psychological attention. There shouldn't be anything on their permanent records, they shouldn't go to jail or prison, and they shouldn't be stigmatized.
Users should be sent through rehabilitative structures and helped to find better ways to spend their time and money. Educating themselves, expanding their minds, getting good jobs, having fun in more productive ways. Users should be helped towards a better, happier life without the need for mind altering chemicals.
Pushers, however, are a different matter. Small-timer pusher and pushers of less dangerous drugs should go through the same services. But people selling deadly, horribly destructive drugs to people are partially responsible for their downward spiral. They should be punished, with jail time and prison time (depending on what they did and how they did it) followed by rehabilitation and job training/higher education.