Please keep in mind that alcohol, tobacco, and substances like caffeine are all legal DRUGS. They cause a chemical change in your body and produce an alien affect. This is called the high or buzed/drunk with alcohol, buzzed/dizzy/ disappearance of hunger or your stress fix with tobacco, and your jitters or sudden pick me up with coffee, tea, soda or caffeine pills.
So the argument of a war against drugs is not going to fly well when we our a country that has legal drugs that in a lot of ways are hurting us more than illegal drugs. And, lets not forget about the amount of Americans on some form of a prescription from a doctor that for some reason is considered ok in this country because it is approved by the FDA to be prescribed by doctors.
Lets analyze the FDA for just one second. Yes a governmental body under the executive branch. Yes their regulations make it so our food has labels and that what is stated on the container really is represented in the product. Excellent. But they are also a federal body that is constantly lobbied by pharmaceutical companies to approve their products. With gifting, pressure from corporations as well as the desire of Americans to have a quick fix (You know the I need it yesterday syndrome) Prescription meds are out of control.
Example: If a person is depressed, (that word is used way too loosely) common medical treatment is to give them medication which will help increase their endorphins or serotonin in the body. Endorphins are happy neuro transmitters and seretonin is a nuro transmitter that helps regulate mood. (as well as other things)
This is possibly an advancement in medicine. However, doctors are too quick to throw out the prescription for a company that has recently sent them to hawaii, or given them 500 note pads and coffee mugs, or even a bonus for every X amount of their product the doctor prescribes. This is not happening across the board with doctors, but enough to make a drug problem (prescription drug problem) of America worse.
If meds are going to be given for something like depression or any of the new disorders that we now have a name for to sell more prescription medication; therapy needs to go along side it.
Without guidence, and a therapist to help a person learn from their problems and disorder, that person is just on drugs. The drugs help them perform better in society (suposedly) but they do not teach the patient how to do it on their own without the drugs. The person then becomes reliant on a pill for the rest of their life. Life is not easy, and sometimes a nice little white pill can make it go all away. Doesn't this sound like an illegal drug users perspective. Its the same, except the illegal drug is not as clean because its not regulated, nor is it "legal."
Here's a little flip flop: I think its excellent when polliticians flip flop. If they find that their origianl thinking is not correct, they should be logical and change their stance. No one is perfect and a honest politician that can be swaywed with a logical argument is better than a politician that won't listen to reason and despite the evidence will not back down
Ex: Bush and the Iraq war.
Flip Flopping of the FDA: In 1937 the young FDA came out in support of marijuana and stated before congress at the hearings of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that they can find no reason why marijunana should be made illegal.
In April of 2006 the FDA came out and made a statemnt saying there are no medical benefits to marijuana. Now I know these are a bit different, but its interesting that the FDA would make such a bold statement. I don't care who you are. It you have cancer and your taking chemo, marijuana will help you eat so you have strength. Wait a minute, isn't that a midicinal effect that has been replicated over and over again in various countries including this one. I know my brother will jump on this one and say something on the lines of lets smoke a couch man. But all sillyness aside, why do we take pain killers, to aleviate an unbarable pain. Why do some people take medical marijuana (some not all) because for some reason the way the human body reacts to marijauana has a more desirable affect than a lot of the prescription meds out there.
Just ask Angel Raich from Oakland California. The federal Supreme Court has recently ruled in the summer of 2005 that even though the federal government see's marijuana and all parts of the plant as illegal with no medicinal value, they have the right to regulate it due to the law governing interstate commerce. (Raich v. Gonzalez originally Raich and Monsoon v. Ashcroft.) The court ruled that even though Angel Raich was growing her own, paid no fee with money or trade with it, did not use a credit card which the transaction can pass state lines. Basically, even though there was no trade whatsoever and that it was intrastate commerce not interstate commerce the court ruled that medical marijuana grown in a patients own home with consent from a doctor can affect the price of marijuana in other states therefor making it interstate commerce. The case sets a precedent that anything grown or made in a persons home can affect the price of interstate commerece. This opens a box of possabilities of the government invasion into your home.
Your growing basil, and you might GIVE (YEP GIVE) it to a family member. But that could affect the price of basil on the market in other states because you are making it so less people buy basil. Therfore the federal government can tax you on it or tell you how much basil u can grow or even thaT YOU can't grow it at all.
Sounds like what the government already does with things like tobacco. Yes very true, but this is different on the lines that it invades a homes privacy, and creates a precedent that a product that doesn't affect trade will mysteriously affect trade. If your a medicinal user growing to sell, then yes you are affecting trade. If you are a medicinal user who is growing for solely personal use, you are not affecting interstate commerce and this case should be ruled as unconstitutional. . The right to life liberty and property is dwindling. Ok you can have your property, but that whole liberty thing that the courts have narrowed a definition down to be close to the idea of privacy, yea we can forget that.
Angel Raich is on her deathbead currently. In a recent appeal to the supreme court, her plea was once again rejected and the poster child for medicinal marijuana will die without the legal right to take the only medication that helps her eat and enjoy whats left of life with the least amount of undesirable side affects.
Well done America, another win in the drug war
Anyway, I hope you read this article below and see how everything in society is a social construction. Whats illegal here is not everywhere, and what works today, may not work tomorrow.
Study: Alcohol, Tobacco Worse Than Drugs
By MARIA CHENG
The Associated Press
Friday, March 23, 2007; 3:41 AM
LONDON -- New "landmark" research finds that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems, according to a new British study.
In research published Friday in The Lancet magazine, Professor David Nutt of Britain's Bristol University and colleagues proposed a new framework for the classification of harmful substances, based on the actual risks posed to society. Their ranking listed alcohol and tobacco among the top 10 most dangerous substances.
Nutt and colleagues used three factors to determine the harm associated with any drug: the physical harm to the user, the drug's potential for addiction, and the impact on society of drug use. The researchers asked two groups of experts _ psychiatrists specializing in addiction and legal or police officials with scientific or medical expertise _ to assign scores to 20 different drugs, including heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy, amphetamines, and LSD.
Nutt and his colleagues then calculated the drugs' overall rankings. In the end, the experts agreed with each other _ but not with the existing British classification of dangerous substances.
Heroin and cocaine were ranked most dangerous, followed by barbiturates and street methadone. Alcohol was the fifth-most harmful drug and tobacco the ninth most harmful. Cannabis came in 11th, and near the bottom of the list was Ecstasy.
According to existing British and U.S. drug policy, alcohol and tobacco are legal, while cannabis and Ecstasy are both illegal. Previous reports, including a study from a parliamentary committee last year, have questioned the scientific rationale for Britain's drug classification system.
"The current drug system is ill thought-out and arbitrary," said Nutt, referring to the United Kingdom's practice of assigning drugs to three distinct divisions, ostensibly based on the drugs' potential for harm. "The exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act is, from a scientific perspective, arbitrary," write Nutt and his colleagues in The Lancet.
Tobacco causes 40 percent of all hospital illnesses, while alcohol is blamed for more than half of all visits to hospital emergency rooms. The substances also harm society in other ways, damaging families and occupying police services.
Nutt hopes that the research will provoke debate within the UK and beyond about how drugs _ including socially acceptable drugs such as alcohol _ should be regulated. While different countries use different markers to classify dangerous drugs, none use a system like the one proposed by Nutt's study, which he hopes could serve as a framework for international authorities.
"This is a landmark paper," said Dr. Leslie Iversen, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University. Iversen was not connected to the research. "It is the first real step towards an evidence-based classification of drugs." He added that based on the paper's results, alcohol and tobacco could not reasonably be excluded.
"The rankings also suggest the need for better regulation of the more harmful drugs that are currently legal, i.e. tobacco and alcohol," wrote Wayne Hall, of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, in an accompanying Lancet commentary. Hall was not involved with Nutt's paper.
While experts agreed that criminalizing alcohol and tobacco would be challenging, they said that governments should review the penalties imposed for drug abuse and try to make them more reflective of the actual risks and damages involved.
Nutt called for more education so that people were aware of the risks of various drugs. "All drugs are dangerous," he said. "Even the ones people know and love and use every day."