Skip to main content

Lower crime and legalise drugs!

Drugs have been around for centuries and have been abused for just as long. Back in the mid 1900's the music scene and drugs commenced a symbiotic relationship that has lasted ever since and shows no sign of abating. Since then the logic behind taking drugs hasn't changed, just everything else has. The 50's and 60's was all about getting high on Mushrooms and Weed, LSD and pure Cocaine. In todays drug cash and carrys, these drugs are viewed as natural, somewhat organic to the drug user if you will. Todays drug dealers prefer to peddle chemical combinations and mixes such as Crystal Meth, Ecstacy, Crack, Ketamine and Speed to name but a few. So while weed is looked upon as a mild drug and cocaine is taken by everyone from your local td to the average nightclub punter on a Saturday night, the huge health problems and short term danger remains predominantly within the new cheaper, stronger and possibly more addictive chemical combos.

When one looks at the drugs scene and the problem it creates, it is of utmost importance to remain honest and objective. I am only in my late twenties and remember the scene from my teenage years like it was yesterday. It is because of this that I am shocked when I hear stories of children as young as twelve injecting heroin in local villages and towns around Cork. When I was twelve I wouldn't have even known what heroin was, I wouldn't even have known what weed was, and I would never have been of an innocent, naive persuasion. It scares me to see how bad the problem has got even in the ten years since I was a teenager. It is time to act. It is time to address the problem in a proactive way, a sensible way and a way that will ensure to deliver results. And what is that you ask? It's time to legalise all drugs!

I can already hear the conservative voices condem such a notion. Pardon me for saying it however, but a conservative should not comment on something they have absolutely no experience in, something they do not understand. We often hear voices of discontent with the political system being condemned for not understanding how life as a legislator truly works. The same can be said for most aspects of life, experience is key to decision making, sadly just like the abortion argument, those on the conservative / lets stick our heads in the sand side, will have never experienced a solitary minute either as an addict or a treatment professional.

Why legalise? I think the majority of sensible people can see we have a huge problem on our hands. The majority of deaths that now arise from drug ingestion are caused by impure products. Take MDMA for example. MDMA is the ingredient that gives the high in Ecstacy. In its purest form, MDMA is actually relatively safe. Some people are surprised to hear that MDMA was actually legal in the US up to recently enough. Is it MDMA that is killing people who overdose on Ecstacy? No it is not. What kills people who take Ecstacy is whats mixed with the MDMA to make the tablet cheap. You can have anything from rat poison to glass, bleach to bricks. If MDMA was to be legalised and regulated, would we have an epidemic of people taking it on our hands? No. People fail to see that we have an epidemic on our hands at the moment, an epidemic that legislators think they'll solve with a few extra Guards in Drug Task Forces.

Legalising has multiple benefits. Firstly you take the money off the dealers who in certain communities cause havoc on a daily basis. The loss of cash to these drug dealers seeds power with it. This in turn means the junior dealers in their teenage years lose the cash and ease of access to drugs along with it. Secondly, we need to get past the moral hazard argument and legalise drugs in order that we can tax them. Imagine a tax where the money could be used to educate and treat users and addicts. Not alone would drug use prevention education and treatment services no longer be taken out of our much maligned health service budget, but the tax on drugs would drastically improve the size of the pot, therefore improving the service and education. Thirdly, through public intervention and control, deaths and overall use can be drastically reduced. Speak to any treatment professional, doctor, nurse or addict. Deaths from drugs that don't include long term abuse are predominantly from impure drugs or an overdose derived from the toxicity of mixing agents. Through regulation and control we can ensure rat poison is not mixed with MDMA amongst the thousands of other toxic mixing agents we force those less fortunate or those of the inquisitive / adventurous disposition to take due to public negligence and fear of the unknown.

I am sure this piece may get met with much condemnation. I understand peoples reluctance to even engage in a debate where one of the main proposals is to make heroin legal to use, I genuinely do. I must assure those people however, that legalising is not done with the intention of creating some sort of mecca for the party goer. It is done to face up to a problem that is blatantly being ignored. There are children shooting up in communities across our nation as you read this piece. That needs to stop. There must also come a point where at a certain age personal choice and responsibility must be encouraged and not simply put forward as an illusion by a nanny state. Legalise drugs to any Irish citizen with a permit over the age of 21, offer free education and treatment when or if required and ensure regular medical check ups. While the thought may be daunting, I assure you such a move would make a massive difference in the fight against drugs. As they say the best form of defence is attack. 


Popular posts from this blog

A Reflection on the Referendum

Since 2012 I have lived with M.E, an illness that is both deeply complex and largely misunderstood in equal amounts. While the trajectory of my journey of recovery has generally been on an upward curve, and for the past number of years I have found myself living as close to a normal life as could be expected, the past number of weeks I have hit a large impasse. I haven’t feared for my future this much in a long time, as I prepare for more hospital visits, journeys that I forgot filled me with such trepidation.

So what has all this got to do with the 8th amendment referendum I hear you ask? Today has been a tough day mentally, as I struggle to get to grips with the abject disappointment of my current health, and the impact this is having on my life today. As I spent much of this morning in silence, I began thinking about the issue of so called 'hard cases' that have been mentioned ad nauseam by both sides in the current debate. I have no doubt that I would not be considered a &#…

Children, and the 8th amendment debate

The eight amendment debate has been vitriolic, and thus far raw emotion, intolerance, hysterical claims, and a lack of insight into opposing views have formed the entire premise on which to argue ones ‘cause’. Just a number of weeks ago, as I walked down Patrick Street in Cork, I observed a ‘prolife’ lobby group displaying the now all too familiar gruesome imagery, that their propaganda machine deems appropriate to exhibit. It was a Saturday afternoon, at prime time trading hours, on one of the busiest thoroughfares in Cork; their position ensured they had the capacity to engage a critical mass of families. Somewhat astonishingly, the group’s obliviousness to the damage such imagery could have on a child’s emotional well being only became apparent to me when I pointed out this fact directly to them. They weren’t for turning. Unfortunately, the ironic disregard for children’s well being in this current debate is nothing new. In the past week, I have observed children holding placards a…

'The Irish Social Worker' - The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, a critique.

While Ireland still grapples with a litany of historical failures in respect of children; professionals, policy makers, and legislators have recognised the need for policy and law that concerns children to be in a consistent state of evolution. This is recognised as crucial to account for evolving societal norms, growing research with respect to childhood experiences, as well as the archaic nature of much of Irish legislation and policy. Consequently, it could be interpreted that any policy or legislative shift is conducive to Ireland making positive strides in enhancing the rights of children, advocating for positive childhood experiences, as well as developing policy and legislation that is more in line with the contemporary realities of Irish families, where children are born to non-married parents much more frequently. Notwithstanding this however, it is crucial that we are cognisant of the need to remain objective when examining any and all perceived ‘advancements’ in policy and …