The last several weeks in South Dakota have seen jockeying back and forth as the legislature wrestled internally on whether to follow “the will of the people” in the 2020 elections to legalize both medical and recreational use of that nasty old stuff cannibis.
Both parties seem to be torn between those who want to chastise and overturn the will of the people, and those who want to (in some way) legalize the stuff. The excuses for sticking it to the people are many, and some are pretty pitiful: such as “‘t’aint legal for the Feds yet” to “the roads will be more unsafe” and “but the chillun’s be able to get it easier.” Why? If highway safety were really such an overriding concern, SD would have never ended alcohol prohibition and would be a dry State today. If ease of minors getting alcohol and tobacco were so critical, well – you know what would still be illegal.
In the total all-States view, South Dakota isn’t much. But it reflects all too much the American war on some drugs.
This is all preliminary to the main subject of this commentary: while we are screaming and crying and praying over a few thousand civilians in Ukraine dying in that war, we continue to see tens and even hundreds of people die here in the Fifty States in our so-far eternal war on some drugs.
They die from overdoses, they die prematurely from contamination and counterfeit drugs, and they die in turf battles between drug suppliers (wholesale and retail) – competition. And sometimes they die because people are so desperate for their daily fix that they go out and rob and mug and kill for money or things to sell for money. To buy drugs.
Drugs that cost a few pennies to manufacture. And are sold for tens or hundreds of dollars. Because they are illegal. Because there is great risk in producing, importing, and selling them.
But there is more to that story. Consider this interesting bit of history, as found in AllThatsInteresting.com. It is the story of Aimo Koivunen, a young Finnish warrior (soldier) during the Second Finno-Russian (Continuation) War of 1941-1944. It is fascinating because he apparently accidently took a MASSIVE overdose of methamphetamine (an entire platoon’s supply) and do some really incredible physical feats fighting against Soviet invaders. And survived.
Most people do not know that during World War 2, every major combatant nation (including the US) issued methamphetamine to its soldiers, sailors, airmen – and even Marines. The meth did not turn them into superhuman Captain Americans but did let them stay awake and alert for long periods of time, more active, and even somewhat strong and more alert.
So why didn’t it turn them all into addicted meth-heads? Well, one nation DID have that problem: the Japanese Empire. Why? Because their quality control stank. And so did their production methods. As a result, the meth produced for the Imperial forces was heavily contaminated.
Just as the meth normally available on the streets and alleys of the States today is: it is the contaminants that make meth deadly, that make meth addictive, that create all the symptoms and long-term effects we take for granted today. Virtually NONE of the veterans who came home from the WW2 fronts had problems with addiction, for example.
But why is modern street meth so badly contaminated? Why are the methods of production so bad that they were considered primitive even back in the 1940s? (The so-called “Nazi method” of producing the stuff is not how the Germans produced it then.)
Thank the government – thank the War on Some Drugs. No standards of purity, no ready availability of pure ingredients, no court system to decide liability and resolve conflicts and competition. And in reality, no competition for quality. All the things that help our economy, and our food and drug production and distribution function without deaths and disabling maladies. All due to outlawing anything to do with meth production, distribution, and consumption.
NOT that we don’t produce various forms of meth today – and give it to hundreds of thousands of people. We call it Desoxyn. And closely related drugs include Ritalin, Adderall, and other brand names. Prescription drugs that are psychoactive. AND we give them to children.
Hmmm. Seems that there is a definite disconnect here, doesn’t it?
NOTE: I am NOT a user of recreational drugs – no, not even alcohol or tobacco. TPOL is NOT advocating that people take meth – no matter what method. I AM advocating that meth (and other drugs) be legalized: not because I want lots more people to take the stuff, but because I want to war on some drugs and its horrible results and side-effects to end. Including more and more government power, more and more abuse by police, and more and more revenue and profits to criminal groups. Both government and private. And more and more deaths.