02 May 2012: Stop the (Cannabis) Drug War!
This blog is turning out to be a bit harder to write than I had originally thought. It isn't that there isn't a lot to write about; it is that it is all the same kind of stuff. So I went over to Stop the Drug War to see what they were writing about. And they are writing about cannabis. This is lame, but understandable. Politicians actually talk about it. There is no discussion of much of anything else. Heroin is so far outside the Overton Window that we dare not be speak its name.
Unfortunately, what this leads to is a lot of discussion about how safe cannabis is and how the government is just against it because, well, they're against it. And that's very true. But there are really bad aspects of this limited discussion.
Despite what people claim, we can have a discussion about cannabis because so many people have actually done the drug. In the 1950s, heroin and cannabis were about equally radical. I have a hard time seeing this as anything but mob rule. In my experience, cannabis users are as bigoted about other drugs as the government is about cannabis. And they would certainly sell out all other drug users for the legal right to use their own drug of choice.
What is even more terrible about this focus on cannabis is that it takes focus away from the much greater harm that comes to the users of the so called "hard" drugs. Here in California, cannabis is practically legal. Cannabis smokers don't live on the edge of their lives being destroyed the way opioid users do. Yet the society's response to opioid users is: die or go to jail.
Of course, there is a great irony about all this. The truth is that most people have used opioids. And most people have enjoyed those opioids. I've had many encounters with Vicodin lovers—Even addicts!—who think heroin users are the scum of the earth. But in their minds, heroin is "dirty" and pills are "science!" Everyone should read Th. Metzger's The Birth of Heroin to see how propaganda has changed what we all knew about heroin in 1900 to what we all know about it today.
I am, of course, not against the cannabis community. I will support them always. I just wish they supported the rest of the drug legalization movement.