News

The War on the War on Drugs

1 54

Medical_marijuana_usa

By Dan J Broadley

A few thousand miles away, on the other side of a huge ditch of water we call the Atlantic Ocean is a land called the United States. In the US, some states have begun thinking about the legalisation of marijuana. Some, like Colorado, have already done so. What does this mean? It means people can use marijuana freely, perhaps as nature intended. However, it also means people are beginning to question whether the entire current attitude of our legislation towards (what are currently) illegal substances are working.

They are, in fact, not.

The law does not prevent people from murdering and beating one another, it simply punishes those who are caught, and rightly so. Similarly though, the law does not prevent people from taking drugs, it simply puts them in jail if they are caught.

The truth is, drugs should not be a law enforcement issue. It should be an education and healthcare issue. That way, people can be educated and be less at risk. Those that become abusers or addicts anyway can be helped rather than thrown in jail, where they will likely get back out and continue to abuse.

This view was outlined by Cpt. Peter Christ, a retired police captain in America.

Some may say that I have a very ‘liberal’ attitude toward this issue. However, I believe I simply have a realist’s perspective. Certain naturally occuring substances have many uses, especially marijuana. Doesn’t it seem a little closed minded to make nature illegal? Did it every occur to anybody that marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms might grow naturally because we are supposed use them? Clearly not to our legislators, that’s for sure.

That is except for the Green Party who, despite them still being in the ‘Other’ category, are the only party to have taken a sensible and mindful approach to this issue as they vow to make the use of drugs a healthcare and education matter.

LSD_structural_formulae_v.1One of the main problems is that there is a huge bias in the mainstream media, who will always report when a poor teenager overheats at a rave on MDMA or ecstasy. What they didn’t report, is that Nobel Prize winners Francis Crick (the man who discovered the double helix structure that DNA is formed in) and Kary Mullis (who discovered how to amplify certain DNA sequences so that we can view them) were users of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD.

If that isn’t enough for you, then think about it this way. If the government took this alternative approach to drugs, an entire underworld economy of violence and extortion would be wiped out. If we decriminalised drugs, there would surely be a time in the future where you would no longer be approached by a seedy character trying to sell you salt as cocaine for forty pounds a gram. The streets would be that little bit safer. A lot safer, actually.

I’m not saying let’s all live in a whacky world where everyone is high out of their minds all the time – nothing would ever get done. What I am saying is this: The current laws do not work and they need to change. Whether you agree with my stance on drugs or not, that is the truth.

Dan is an English and Creative Writing student at Manchester Metropolitan University. His interests include music, festivals, bass guitar, writing poetry, having ideas for novels and meditation. Follow him on Twitter @DanJBroadley. Dan’s personal blog is odd dan.wordpress.com

About the author / 

aAh!

1 Comment

  1. Danny 27th November 2014 at 12:34 pm -  Reply

    Ah, I’ve always understood MDMA to be the pure powder form, which makes for the active ingredient in ecstasy pills – which could contain all sorts of other chemicals.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Interview: The Super Late Night on His Latest Track, Working as a One-Man Band/Producer and Keeping His Music Unashamedly Personal

    Manchester-based artist, The Super Late Night, is quickly taking the alt-pop world by storm. Boasting a tendency for dramatic hooks and powerful melodies dripping with synth – it’s little wonder why.  The self-described “emo but charismatic” artist, released his debut single, ‘Honey’, around two months ago. It is an emo-pop masterpiece, perfectly encompassing the extreme feelings…

  • ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’: The Legacy of AIDS PSAs in a World of Coronavirus

    In the years before James Cameron’s Titanic, an eerie iceberg appearing on their television screens carried a very different connotations for Britons living in the 1980s. The ominous block of ice had hidden dangers – as icebergs tend to – namely, the word ‘AIDS’ etched out in large letters, hidden beneath the surface of the…

  • Crystal Tides Return With Indie-Pop Anthem ‘Monday’

    Featured Image: Rhona Murphy Portsmouth-based band Crystal Tides are back, with their latest indie-pop anthem ‘Monday’. Since their formation in 2018, the band have built up a strong following, resulting in many memorable sold-out shows in their hometown. However, with their penchant for catchy melodies and relatable lyrics, it surely won’t be long until they’re playing packed…

  • What More Do We Know About Shukri Abdi?

    Last July, aAh! Magazine reported on the tragic death of Shukri Abdi, a 12-year-old schoolgirl from Bury who was found dead in the River Irwell. A group of children were with her in the run up to her death. At the time of her death, it was widely speculated that her death was not an…