This blog was inspired by John Raymond. (Thanks John!)
What would happen if the U.S. legalized drugs?
Well, there would definitely be a meteoric rise in drug use (duh), theft, unemployment, more theft, increased number of emergency calls, more theft, higher insurance rates (both business and individual), more car wrecks, more domestic violence, more rape, etc, etc, etc.
Obviously this would not be a good thing.
However, is there a way to legalize drugs AND minimize the afore-mentioned issues? Let’s take a look, shall we?
For the sake of argument, we will be legalizing all of them. Otherwise this blog would get way too long to read in one sitting. So, all drugs are legal. Great! Now what?
There would have to be special companies that manufactured these drugs. Some companies would be general, manufacturing a wide range of drugs. Other companies would be specialists, dealing only with one or two types of drugs. Of course they would be the ones to determine how much product per individual unit would be salable. Similar to how cigarettes are packaged. Granted, this would only work for drugs like pot or other leaf-type drugs. I am sure that making individual packets and then grouping them in larger packages could work for the other drugs, but I am not going to get all that specific since I am not an expert in this field. These companies would also be the ones to set the price of the drugs. Obviously this would be based on the cost of growing, chemicals needed, machinery, taxes, special licensing, special employee certification, insurance, security and man-hours. This could get pricey.
Then there would have to be the distribution system. Again, this would involve machinery, insurance, taxes, special licensing, special employee certification, security and man-hours. Fortunately, there are already companies that are set up for distribution in general. Again, this could get pricey.
On top of the previous two points, there would need to be wholesale and retail outlets. I mean, c’mon, you can’t just make a drop at the local grocery store or set up a vending machine outside the library. Get real. You would once again have to have wholesale agents and retail stores that had the proper machinery, special licensing, special employee certifications, insurance, taxes, security and man-hours. Once again, this could get pricey.
So, now we move over to federal, state, county and city government involvement. Since everything else is regulated to a fare-thee-well, then drugs would be no different. As we saw in the previous paragraphs, this entire industry would require special licensing, employee certification, insurance and, oh happy days, taxing. Based on previous history, each level of government is going to want their own piece of the pie. The biggest question to be answered is….”how high can we set the fees and taxes, but still get companies and people to pay?” I will let you decide what you think would be a fair tax.
Another form of regulation is most definitely an age limit. I mean, if you’re willing to tell our kids that they’re not old enough to drink, but they’re old enough to kill for our country, then you might as well tick them off with drugs, also. Say, make the age limit the same as for alcohol.
Now, if we add everything up, we have lots of new companies (in addition to the pharmaceutical companies), lots of new jobs, and lots of new taxes and fees. Sounds great, right? Not quite.
Remember all the regulation, certifications, etc? How would you go about deciding who is a legitimate company? You don’t want just any Tom, Dick or Harry starting up a pot field or even a hydroponic pot farm in their basement or the nearest abandoned warehouse. And you definitely don’t want some unscrupulous gangster that is going to “boost” sales by dosing a slower addictive drug with a faster addicting drug. Not to mention making sure that the employees are protected from the same unscrupulous companies or gangsters that would intentionally get their employees addicted and make them work for their next “hit”. In addition, you would have to set up some type of guideline (adjustable per company) to protect these budding entrepreneurs from their own employees. This would definitely be some form of weeding (forgive the pun) out those job seekers who are addicts trying to get hired just for access to the drugs. And then there is the insurance. Woe to the company that doesn’t have protection from natural disasters, theft, medical (yikes!) or lawsuits from unhappy family members of the addict. Hoo boy, there’s a whole ‘nother zebra. Better put that in with the government regulation section. Definitely need to put that under the common sense laws that are supposed to be in existence. Otherwise, the legal costs would skyrocket. And all of that lovely tax money would go down the drain.
So there are just a few of the pros and cons of legalizing drugs. I have my own opinion on how to do this. As if you didn’t know that.
First, the government would run everything from manufacturing to distributing to sales. Anyone that worked in this field would be a government employee, with all of the benefits and detriments involved. That way, full federal regulation would be involved and enforced. This would include how much and how often a person could purchase their “fix”.
Second, anyone that decided that they were going to get on the drug band wagon would have to be part of a government study that involved full medical check-ups on a regular basis (say every two weeks), could only get the drugs from a government facility and if it required injections, then they would have to go to a government medical officer to receive the injection. They would also have to sign a waiver of liability, accepting responsibility for their own safety up to and including death.
Third, anyone entering into the addiction world would have to get a divorce, give up any children in their custody and be sterilized to prevent future pregnancies due to poor judgment. This includes men. If said person does not have any known children, then they would have to donate sperm or eggs prior to beginning their addiction. This way, if they decide later on that they want to get off the drugs, they will still be able to have a child. Also, said addict will be given condoms to prevent the spreading of STD.
Fourth, each “client” would have to show a current paystub each time they came in for their “fix”. In other words, they would still have to be a productive citizen. Now don’t get me wrong. I know that addicts are not the world’s greatest workers, but they are capable of doing all of the “shit” jobs that no one else wants to do. Unfortunately, this would most likely push out the migratory crop workers (usually seasonal and usually from other countries) and other similar workers, but it would most likely reduce the number of people wanting to get hooked.
Fifth, the “client” would have to live in a segregated community with other “clients”. These communities could range from individual military style housing to studio apartments, depending on what would be most cost-effective. The important thing is separation from the rest of the town or city, as well as separation from each other (privacy and security). This way if they feel the need to commit a crime, then they can perpetrate their crimes on each other. I do not recommend a separation of the sexes. My main reason for this is if you choose to become addicted under this system, then you are choosing to live the life of an addict. No one has forced you to become addicted. You cannot blame your childhood, parents, etc. My second reason is that men and women are supposed to be equal in this country. So stand up and be equal in the bad as well as in the good.
So…..these are just a few of the different directions that our country can go when it comes to legalizing drugs. I am sure that there are many other ways of looking at it, but I am only one human being. Please feel free to expound upon your own ideas in the comment box. Or shoot me an email and I will see if I can post it as an addendum to this blog. Heck, you might even inspire a whole new blog just for you!
One thing I do know about this subject is that we, U.S. citizens and government, are woefully unprepared for legalized drugs, not only as a country, but as a culture in general. At this time in our history, there are way too many debates over moral issues between religious groups and secular groups. Just remember what happened after Roe vs. Wade. I’m sure you get my drift.