Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recreational Drug Use is a Right!

In the same way that we have the right to eat for pleasure as much as we want in light of all the health consequences, we should have the right to use recreational drugs in light of the health consequences. Unlike like drugs, we don’t ban food. We educate people on what is healthy behavior and unhealthy eating behavior. The same should be done with drugs. We must provide people the resources to educate themselves on the real (not politically biased) information about these substances and allow them the liberty to make informed decisions. Just to drive the point home, in the 90’s when it was made clear that there was a direct link between cancer and smoking, more then half of smokers quit. This shows that even for very addictive drugs like nicotine- which is considered to be as or even more addictive then heroin- information alone, not law, has the power to help people make healthy decisions. To make drugs illegal for the harm they cause some would be like making junk food illegal because some people eat too much of it. The same can be said about sex, we don’t make it illegal because some are careless and get STDs or unwanted pregnancies. Making drugs illegal for some of the negative health reasons is like making sex illegal because of STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and rape.

We have the right to use recreational drugs. What makes drugs dangerous is not its direct their affects, for alcohol is known as one of the worse drugs in that case. There are three major reasons why illegal drugs are dangerous. First they are illegal which makes their use criminal and makes one become alienated from the mainstream of society. This is very dangerous because one loses their rights to live a free life and they must keep their secret from others which may wear down the person greatly. Second, the quality of the drugs themselves is uncertain. As they are illegal they don’t go through any kind of inspection for purity. So one never knows what exactly they are getting; this can pose a risk as one has no idea of the dosage or presence of other substances. Third is the collective ignorance of the drugs affects and safe ways of using it. We all know you shouldn’t drive drunk. We also know one shouldn’t drink more then a few beers if they don’t drink much. Many of these common sense ideas about safe drinking are known as harm reduction when applied to illegal drugs. The problem is that as they are illegal, so no use is condoned making it hard for one to find good advice on how to use them safely. Harm reduction techniques help this problem but are not the end solution. The fourth and least harmful thing about illegal drugs is their direct affects. Because it’s when the first three aspects are taken care of- they aren’t illegal, the quality is pure and the dosage is accurate and truthful information about the drugs are available- do the health affects become a bigger issue. If the first three aspects are not dealt with, then they become the bigger hazard then just the direct health affects of the drug. Thus the health affects are of least concerned when compared to the first three aspects.

All in all, the pursuit of inebriation or alteration of consciousness is a born given right for us. Sure there are risks, but so does anything worth doing. Starting a business or bungee jumping have their risks. Imagine if we made them illegal? People would still try to sell stuff and gets their adrenaline flowing. But if it was illegal, they wouldn’t have safe jump cords, or police to settle disputes, or safe places to jump from, or secure locations to sell things from. The point is that there should be no reasons why we can’t use recreational drugs, if we have the liberty and responsibility to live our lives in the pursuit of happiness.