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Why are drugs illegal?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by predagin, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. predagin

    predagin Member

    For example, people in ancient civilizacions such as greeks and romans consumed opium like something normal, freely and without fear, they even had special places for it and it didn't represent a threat to social order, why is it now?.
  2. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Not all drugs are illegal; you're allowed to use as much nicotine, ethanol and caffeine as you want, and heck acceptable and established circles of society even encourage it!

    Every culture in human history, save for the Inuit and some island tribes, have used drugs. Each culture has its own kind, depending on whatever happens to grow locally. But as varied as their drug choices are, another interesting thing is they all swear off other drugs from other cultures as evil or dangerous. Cannabis is perfectly acceptable in Islamic cultures, while alcohol is forbidden; in the Western cultures you find precisely the opposite.

    The early drug laws in America were derived mainly from racism; Cannabis had to be outlawed because it made Mexicans and Jazz Musicians into murderers and rapists, they would say... was a great way to scare the established culture, plus a way to take away a cultural sacrament from minorities. Cocaine was banned because it made blacks immune to bullets, so said the propaganda against that drug. Opium and Heroin made the Chinese workers lazy. And then once the psychedelics like Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and Psilocybin were discovered and made popular, it had to be banned because it turned teenagers into good-for-nothing dirty hippies; another cultural minority group that had to be demonized and punished.

    Maybe it boils down toward people fearing what they do not understand. They don't understand a culture or sub-culture, and they take substances which lead to exotic forms of inebriation or altered states of consciousness, something they definitely can't understand if they've never tried the substance themselves. If they hate or fear that culture, then they'll hate and fear the things that they do as well... and perhaps even blame that culture's drug use for the reasons why they need to be hated or feared. Ban their drugs, and maybe they won't be so dangerous or scary anymore.

    Even though those reasons got the prohibitions started, it's maintained mainly because of the prison industrial complex surrounding enforcement and incarceration. The DEA and other agencies thrive on the funding they get to go after drugs. Privately-run prisons get most of their customers (prisoners) by locking up non-violent drug offenders. Local police departments profit from forfeiture laws, that let any money, property or item/vehicle be seized irreversibly by the department for their own uses if drugs were said to be involved, even if the defendants end up cleared of all charges (aka. found innocent).

    Any talk of legalizing drugs, even for highly restricted medical use, brings out the "think of the children!" screamers, who think legalizing marijuana for cancer and AIDS patients will 'send the wrong message' to kids to make them think marijuana isn't dangerous, and therefore other drugs may not be dangerous either, so they'll suddenly turn into idiots and think crack-cocaine and heroin are harmless.
  3. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Deadly drugs should be illegal for a reason. We don't want people dying over some drugs. Also, if parents start taking drugs imagine how scared the child would be if they walked in the room and saw their mother high. Also, illegal immigrants will be making all the profits from the US on smuggling drugs, and the people spending money on the drugs might go bankrupt and the economy will suffer. However, I believe illegal drugs should be used when someone is sick. I heard smoking this one illegal drug numbs people when they are in pain, and will help them get through the pain. Other than numbness and pleasure, drugs do not provide any positive outcome. And, in some cases numbness would be bad because they could get hooked and spend their life trying to drug their way to happiness.
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    I think they're illegal because misuse has dire consequences for society as a whole. Pregnant women who use them cause birth defects for their children. People who use them at work can cause all sorts of problems for their employers, customers, etc (you wouldn't want your mechanic or lawyer or -anyone really- high). If you drive while on drugs obviously that's bad. Most drugs are addictive, so you end up with unproductive members of society that care about nothing more than their next score. The rest of us end up taking care of them because they can't work, or they turn to crime to get money. They're a burden on our heathcare system (most junkies don't have insurance) and our police forces.

    The way I look at it is that if you're going to occasionally and responsibly (i.e. no kids around and don't do anything stupid) do non-addicting drugs at your own home and stay there, the law doesn't care about you (how would they know?). It's when you get addicted and cause problems that is the issue.
  5. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    "Drugs" are not illegal. Harmful drugs are illegal, dangerous drugs are illegal, and prescription drugs without a script are illegal. Those are illegal for many clear and obvious reasons. They're dangerous and users have no medical direction on how to use them.
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    There's an argument that a lot of people put forward that all drugs should be made legal, stating that if they are, drug abuse would actually fall as people wouldn't use as much. I'm not sure if I agree with that, but it us true that people don't like being told what to do, so making them legal would take away the glamour surrounding drug culture.
  7. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    Drugs are illegal because the government deems them so. It's called creating a situation to justify over taxation. The war on drugs is a joke. Many prominent law enforcement official, politicians and medical professionals agree that the current method of dealing with drugs has failed and is continuing to fail. There needs to be a different way of approaching this situation. Don't me wrong I think drugs are horrible. However in a free society I think adults should be able to choose their poison. I think if people could make conscious, educated choices for themselves I think we would be better off. I don't do recreational drugs not because it's illegal. I don't do them because there is a history of chemical addiction in my family and I prefer to keep a level head. I think most responsible people would choose the same.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Maybe because those drugs are now proven not safe to use and will cause problems. Some laws before or practices before might not be applicable today. Also the mind set of people changes in time as well.
  9. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    Most harmful drugs are illegal and governments around the world are doing what they can to protect their citizens. Substance abuse is harmful to the individual but beyond that it's harmful to society as well. The countries that have zero or low tolerance for illegal drugs are also some of the most resourceful and successful. Case in point, just look at Singapore that passes the death sentence to drug dealers with much regularity.
  10. rcdpink

    rcdpink Active Contributor

    You have asked an interesting question. I often wonder why society or governments have to dictate to us or decide for us what is good for us and what is not. I however have come to understand that rules must be established and some things must be restricted in order for life and society to proceed with order. Drugs and taking drugs in excess can cause a lot of societal problems including crime and violence and robberies. I don't have a problem with bans being put on certain drugs because in the end it is preventing our kids and us from being destroyed.