Last week I saw two police vehicles and sniffer dogs searching a car on its way to Byron. I assume with all the schoolies in town they would be looking for drugs, probably marijuana and ecstasy.
For those who aren’t familiar with marijuana and ecstasy, they have a similar effect – they make you feel good. That’s why they’re so popular.
Marijuana is famous for positively enhancing people’s perceptions, causing them to find ordinary things funny and/or beautiful and eat Tim Tams. Ecstasy is the preferred choice of people who like to dance, hug and talk.
Much is made of the dangers of drugs, and some are very dangerous indeed.
Alcohol is involved in one-eighth of the deaths of Australians under 25. Sixty per cent of all police calls and 90 per cent of late-night police calls involve alcohol.
As a cause of personal and social harm the 2012 UK Drug Policy Report rates alcohol in the top five with heroin and barbiturates, while marijuana languishes in 11th place, two spots behind tobacco, the killer of 20,000 Australians a year (marijuana has not been directly responsible for a single death). Ecstasy is virtually harmless at 18.
So why is the government persecuting and jailing people who prefer less harmful drugs? It’s easy to put it down to stupidity but no-one can be that stupid. The answer is money.
What would happen to the alcohol and tobacco industries if marijuana and ecstasy were legal? A recent US report says ‘legalising marijuana for medical use is associated with a drop in beer sales and a decrease in heavy drinking’.
Which is why the legal-drug companies spend millions of dollars on political donations, lobbyists and advertising to protect their turf and ensure that better, healthier drugs are not allowed. And why our politicians, who are deeply concerned with staying in power, will continue to outlaw marijuana and ecstasy as long as they get more money for doing so.
Brian Lawry, Brunswick Heads