Drug Legalization: A Psychedelic Experience
Although the drugs have gotten some media attention in recent years for helping cancer patients deal with their fear of death and helping people quit smoking, there's also a similar potential boon for the nonmedical, even recreational psychedelic user. As hallucinogens get a renewed look by researchers, they're finding that the substances may improve almost anyone's mood and quality of life — as long as they're taken in the right setting, typically a controlled environment.
The debate over the legalization of drugs continues to disturb society as time progresses. All of us have in some way or another, directly or indirectly, been affected by drugs, whether it be from a family member or the economic burden on society. Morton. M. Kondracke, author of the essay “Don’t Legalize Drugs,” begins by stating “the next time you hear that a drunk driver had slammed into a school bus full of children or that a stoned railroad engineer killed sixteen people in a train wreck, think about this: if advocates of legalization have their way, there will be more of this” (Kondracke, 358). Supporters of legalization, on the other hand, often look towards the financial benefits and insist that drugs, particularly marijuana, be legalized and taxed; therefore, the government makes revenue, and helps towards the economy financially. Gore Vidal, supporter of legalization and author of the essay “Drugs,” states that all drugs should be made available and sold at a cost. All of this may be true and helpful in a sense for a short while, but looking towards the long run many other aspects also need to be put into consideration. Aspects include increases in addiction rates, crime rates, as well as drug abuse. America is a consumer culture which often abuses its freedoms. Knowing this crucial fact a conclusion can be reached that it too would abuse drugs resulting in devastating outcomes. There is no a way to stop drug use realistically for there are those few that choose to disobey the law, however it can be enforced, and legalizing it is not the best option. If prohibited and enforced most people would fear the consequences and would think twice before using an illegal substance. While the legalization of drugs may sound sensible and have some positive results, they are only temporary and overall it is illogical and only leads to more corruption, leaving a negative impact on the American culture. Today we live in a culture where due to drugs, crimes and addiction rates have escalated. Drugs are related to crimes in various ways. It can be considered a crime to use, possess, manufacture, or distribute drugs classified as having a potential for abuse (such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and amphetamines). Drugs are also related to crime through the effects they have on a user’s behavior and by generating violence and other illegal activity in connection with drug trafficking.
Secondly, when people opt to do “whatever they want” with their bodies, such as drug use, it not only affects them, but also those around them (DEA, 2003). To put it practically, a driver who is ‘high’ on drugs puts the life of others on the road in danger. Such a person cannot operate machinery or even tend for their children and families as required of them. Therefore, the argument that every one has a right to do whatever they want with their bodies is simply misplaced. Proponents of the debate to legalize drugs argue that this move will discourage drug use, citing a report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction that the Dutch are the lowest users of cannabis. They attribute this to Netherlands’ soft stance on drugs which permits cannabis sale at coffee shops and the possession of not more than 5 grams of cannabis. However, this is a shallow argument. The Dutch government’s soft policy on marijuana use has created a much bigger problem: the differentiation of markets between hard drug users and dealers (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) and soft drug users (marijuana) (NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2001). Consequently, the number of marijuana users has fallen as most people have resorted to hard drugs, making the country a criminal center for illegal artificial drug manufacture, especially ecstasy, in addition to becoming a home for the production and export of marijuana breeds that have been reported to be ten times higher than normal (DEA, 2003). Besides, a 2001 study in Australia that found that prohibition deters drug abuse (NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2001).
Definitely, a psychedelic experience, of course, rarely fits neatly into any of these categories. It is more likely to include aspects of all five. Exactly which aspects depends again upon the dosage and the individual user. A few effects, like intensified emotion, some visual distortion, and a degree of depersonalization are reported with most psychedelic experience. That the specific type of experience often seems so clear-cut may be the result of the drug's tendencies to produce a sort of mental tunnel vision—all types may result from bio-chemical actions, but whichever aspect of the experience may attract or captivate the mind is the one that predominates at any particular time.
DEA (U.S. Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration). (2003). Speaking out against Drug Legalization. Web.
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. (2001). Does prohibition deter cannabis use? Web.