Is It Time to Decriminalize Drugs?

Here is an article detailing the milestones in the life of a 22 year old drug user from a disadvantaged background in Dublin:

At age 16 he had two of his fingers forcibly removed. I assume this was over a small drugs debt.

At a later date he was shot in the head and is now impaired for the rest of his life.

At another later date he was shot in the abdomen. I assume this was also drugs-related.

Today, at age 22, he was jailed for 15 months for possesion of a relatively small quantity of cannibas.

I frequently ask myself why do we still attach such an unneccesary degree of brutality, evil and destruction to controlled substances? We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of tragedy being associated with Christmas trees so why do we tolerate it when its attached to cannibas and other controlled substances?

Part of being a grown-up is accepting the truth for what it is. Sometimes we don’t like to hear the truth; it may hurt our feelings or make us feel uncomfortable, yet nevetheless truth is truth, and as grown-ups we must acknowledge it, and only when we acknowledge it can we do something about it.

The truth about drugs (whether you like it or not) is that they are everyday consumables. They are used by millions of people all across the world every single day. This is not going to change and drugs are not going to go away. We need to accept this instead of trying to pretend that the demand for drugs will one day go away if we keep unsuccesfully doing the same thing over and over and over again.

Drug addicts are victims. They are victims of the gangsters that control the drugs enterprise. They are victims of their own disease. Most of them are victims of poverty. Victims of broken homes, of financial destitution, of hopeless futures. Victims of discrimination. Victims of the police, of the courts, of society.

Drug addicts are the most vulnerable members of society. For most drug addicts life is miserable enough without being further abused; having your fingers cut off, being shot in the head, shot in the abdomen, thrown into jail, bullied by the police, jailed by the courts, treated without dignity.

No other minority in society is treated with such contempt, such abuse, such brutality, such cruelty, such injustice, such inhumanity. We don’t allow dogs, asylum seekers or Roma gypsies to be treated with such malevolence. Why then do we still allow drug users to suffer such abuse? Why don’t we do something to afford these vulnerable people some dignity instead of supporting a system that perpetuates such mistreatment of our fellow human beings? Why?