Drugs and the Maintenance of a Democracy

By Mark Antony Rossi

The campaign to legalize drugs has reached new heights in the United States. A number of states and territories have ratified the sale of marijuana. In certain locales, a limited quantity of antidepressants or painkillers are permitted on a person without fear of incarceration. What was verboten yesterday is now nearly as trendy as a dance single today.

This hallucinogenic bandwagon is not led by those sincerely attempting to expand civil liberties but rather by typical politicians seeking new revenue sources for state budgets. The new drug peddler wears a suit and tie before selling you his pharmaceutical alibi. Ironically this same salesman while speaking of consent of citizenry is working against informed consent. A basic legal tenet establishes the absence of consent whenever a person is not sound of mind. Therefore, as logic proceeds an altered state of mind does not meet the sound of mind clause.
The dangers of prescribed drugs are legion and legendary. There are a plethora of reactions, complications and off-shelf applications that can transform the most tested medicines into lethal weapons. But somehow naked profits have changed perceptions of formerly illegal drugs into concoctions on par with whiskey and tobacco. Yet this change in perception is skewed by politics and do not reflect reality. Heroin is not a vitamin. Marijuana compared to cigarettes increases lung cancer by 400%. Painkillers eventually stop your heart from beating.

A half century of science clearly informs us of the debilitating effects of drugs on the mind and body. How does a democracy function properly if a percentage of its population is under the influence of psychotropic products? And how can you trust a governing leadership that pushes these pills if such distribution ultimately undermines the social fabric? If this matter is truly a question of personal liberty — we must rethink its unintended consequences. One person’s liberty should not place my child’s life in jeopardy. However; if this legalization is merely a revenue enhancement mechanism consider raising the levies on alcohol which kills more people than all the drugs, automobiles, trains and planes combined.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. 

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