Should We Just Legalise All Drugs? Hear Me Out.
The focus of the “Opium Convention of 1912,” was the beginning of the international prohibition of hard drugs such as morphine, heroin, and cocaine. Since then, we have witnessed countless iterations of a “war on drugs,” yet it has been demonstrated that with liberalisation and toleration of drug use, crime goes down and communities can become safer.
The coffeehouses of 18th-century London would have been lined with people smoking dope, and all sorts of resins from the East before dabbing some laudanum into their drinks and getting high from that at home. Many of the great Romantic poets drank laudanum, such as John Keats and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I’m not suggesting that opium and laudanum are any safer or more dangerous than the drugs we have now. After all, in 2021, prescription opioids killed 16,706 people, yet we do not ban them.
Drugs and the business of war go hand in hand. What will we do when people are cultivating marijuana in deep space, or on Mars? What if people begin growing marijuana under the sea? Are we to use satellite technology and submarines to hunt them down? This insanity has gone on for far too long. If weed had never been made illegal, for example, we might have built hemp thermoplastic rockets the size of the Empire State Building to launch spacecraft the size of the International Space Station into space. But we did not do that.
We have better alternatives for powering cars, and we can derive electricity from the wind. We’ll be fine for energy. But society is unfair. It victimises cannabis use and those who use it. It thinks of us as degenerates in a world where the so-called chaste and pure chastise others on the basis of some putative moral virtue to do with healthcare, and the need to take care of “mental health.” I suffer from complex and actual PTSD as well as OCD; I need to take cannabis. It is an essential medicine for my mental health and, entrenching their abuse still further, they deny me that and say that cannabis is the cause of my mental health conditions. In any case, I manage to get cannabis here and there, and psilocybin, and they are of great benefit to my good mental health. Psilocybin allows me greater levels of clarity and creativity; I always get huge, beautiful waves of creativity with psilocybin.
Some drugs are essential. Heroin (diacetylmorphine), morphine, and cocaine are essential medicines used in anesthesia and, for this reason, to keep their prices artificially inflated by pharmaceutical companies, they are regulated by international laws and international police forces. We should all be allowed to cultivate essential medicines and by removing the supply you are merely lessening the chances for development getting a foothold in more deprived parts of the world. It makes no sense since drug legislation makes communities safer and easier to police. It will not eliminate crime entirely, but it will eliminate a great deal of crime if countries become more like Canada, Uruguay, or the Netherlands.
We need to legalise all drugs. We need to finally accept the fatal fact that we would only never have a supply of illegal, or illicit drugs, without Western medicine and Western pharmacology; those are great things in and of themselves, but we must make drugs legal. It would allow people a greater level of safety in doing drugs, and it would reduce the number of people who choose to take drugs in the first place.
Drugs are also relatively easy to get hold of on the black market. In the UK, for instance, which still hasn’t properly legalised cannabis, getting hold of weed is not that complicated. Drugs also offer us a great deal of insight and major tools in battling the mental health epidemic we’re currently witnessing. If I were able to purchase weed and psilocybin from the Internet I would choose to do so for ritualistic reasons, for furthering my spiritual awareness, and for expanding my imagination. I may even choose to take ecstasy if I’m depressed. I would not, personally, choose to take morphine or heroin.
When it comes down to it, I’m not sure many people would choose to take heroin, but if it could be taken in a controlled environment and with sterile equipment, then I see no reason why people should not be able to take heroin. If heroin’s their drug of choice, so be it. I see no reason why we should not merely be taxing it like any other drug and try to use it to wean people off it. Or to let them use it while heavily discouraging its use.
I can purchase codeine mixed with ibuprofen at a chemist, that’s an opiate; it can cause addiction, and it’s almost as potent as the opium I once tried. In any case, I enjoy taking drugs and I credit drugs with giving me a great deal of insight into my life and the cosmos. I would not change my drug-taking experiences for anything and would submit that, for the reasons of lowering crime, aiding international development, and furthering the course of human peace and technological advancement, we should enter an age of general drug decriminalisation and legalisation.