Saturday, July 11, 2015

ROOTS OF DRUG PROHIBITION

The war on drugs coming from the prohibition on soft drugs has been an abysmal failure.

The non-legalization has created more social, economic, legal and health problems than it has ever solved. As I have argued here and in the scattered newspaper editorial, as a society we allow the abuse of gambling, alcohol and cigarettes at a great price to our public treasury, families and individuals.


Substance use has been with us since the dawn of time and will continue to be a part of our culture.For thousands of years plant medicinal use was the basis of elixirs, potions and home remedies. The impact of alcohol  led to the prohibition of the sale or possession to Indigenous people in 1870. In 1887 British Columbia passed an act that banned Indigenous and Asian people from voting or signing petitions supporting the granting of local liquor licenses.


Beginning in 1901 with Prince Edward Island, the existing provinces began enacting prohibition laws. In 1908 An Act Respecting Proprietary Of Patent Medicines came into effect.The law regulated the use of alcohol in patent medicines and banned the use of cocaine in any medicines.However, in the same year the sale of opium for no medical use was banned. Ironically, the bill was designed to "safeguard the public interest" but in reality many more people were addicted to opiates in medicines than smoking opium. In 1911 the first Canadian schedule of prohibited narcotics was released.

In 1922 and 1923, minimum drug-offence penalties were instituted, maximum penalties were raised and they added a new drug to the list of prohibited substances: marijuana.
My point is that society lifted the prohibition on alcohol and perhaps is is time to legalize soft drugs. There was no science used to justify the laws instituted 90 years ago, just a mess of panic, racism and accident that has metastasized over time.

Recently the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church,  passed a resolution during i alleviate America's  drug issues by supporting "means other than prohibition,


To people of color, the 'War on Drugs' has arguably been the single most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery," the resolution reads. Besides the more humanitarian reasons, the group offers economic backup as well. "Huge sums of our national treasury are wasted on this failed public policy," the resolution states. The mandate also lists Portugal and Switzerland as being examples of countries that have "dramatically reduced the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction" by attacking the drug issue through other means other than criminalization.

A repeal of pot prohibition has become inevitable.

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