Monday, December 06, 2010

Reon Suddaby on the drug problem

Here is a piece I wrote in reply to an opinion piece by Reon Suddaby in the BOP Times on Saturday 11th November 2010.

It is not intended as a personal attack on Reon, but an attack on the way the majority approach the drug problem.

I agree with almost everything Reon says in his article, but then I ask the question WHY we find ourselves in this situation, and suggest that it is the way the majority have been brainwashed into how to deal with the drug problem, that perpetuates it, and in fact makes it worse - especially for those who chose NOT to do drugs.

I worked out over 30 years ago that I did not like taking recreational drugs, but just because I do not wish to take them, doesnt mean that I would stop other people from taking them.

Reon Suddaby stated in his column that Children surrounded by P have no choice.

This may be true, but I ask the question "Why."

Reon neglects to mention that those people who take P have no choice either!

WHY? Because less harmful drugs - ones that are not as fatal as P - are hard to come by and very expensive.
Why? Because they are illegal.
It would be fair to say that if those who chose to take drugs had the option of consuming something that would inflict irreparable damage in a short time, or something less harmful, that they would chose the less harmful option if it was available.

Also, Reon neglects to mention that historically people commit crime because they "want" drugs - not because they are "on" drugs.

Reon neglects to mention that those who chose to consume the drugs of their choice are forced to resort to a host of dangerous activities to procure them.
They are forced to threaten other peoples lives or livelihoods in order to steal the ingredients
They would not have to put childrens lives at risk while they manufacture them if they could buy it
They would not have to put anybody elses lives at risk because they (amateur pharmacists) do not know what they are doing
They would not be cooking up drugs in unhygenic conditions
with unknown potency and unknown ingredients in an uncontrolled environment.

He neglects to mention the unmitigated fact that drug prohibition does not, has not, and will never work, and that the war on drugs has been a waste of time money and effort.
It is obvious that Reon is blissfully unaware of Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman's "Iron Law of Prohibition"

Reon is absolutely correct that there is nothing more wretched than the thought of an innocent child trapped by the curse of methamphetamine, but he needs to open his mind and look a bit closer at the cause of the situation we now find ourselves in and why this is happening.

There needs to be a change in the way this problem is approached if anybody wishes to halt the problem. Doing the same thing time and again, hoping for a different result is the definition of insanity.

People who chose to take drugs will continue to do so - they always have and they always will. Hasn't Reon been paying attention over the last 100 years? No amount of increased penalties will change that fact. It is exactly that kind of thinking or lack of it that perpetuates the problem.

There is a solution to the problem, but unfortunately you won't like it. The solution lies in the rights of the individual. That you cannot commit a crime against yourself. That an individual has the right to do anything with their body that they chose, so long as they prove no threat or danger to the life or property of others.

Only when this occurs does it become a matter of the law.

Only when somebody breaks the laws which are imposed to protect me from you and you from me, should hefty penalties be incurred. Not for crimes against yourself.

Graham Clark
15 Poripori RoadLower Kaima