A bigger war-on-drugs industry?
There has been an increase in opioid overdose deaths, often in white, blue collar states. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is calling for a declaration of a national emergency.
The prohibition of consensual activities of adults is never about concern for a victim or even punishing a supplier. It is always about using state police power, i.e. the courts, the jails and zealous prosecutors, to prevent individuals from falling into moral turpitude and thereby corrupting the “moral fiber” of society. Any more humanitarian motives are a pure fig leaf.
In April 2016, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an arch prohibitionist, said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Liberals have succeeded in partially re-branding prohibition in medical rather than moral terms. We are told that drug addiction is a disease. Treatment is the answer.
The Zicka and Ebola viruses are recent diseases. In these cases the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published good medical information and for the most part reasonable steps were taken to reduce the dangers of the disease spreading in the US. They never reached epidemic proportions.
It has never been recorded that an insect bite will cause drug addiction. There are no heroin germs to be detected on a microscope slide. Drug dealers are not disease carriers. The use of addictive drugs is a choice. The discontinuation of the use of addictive drugs is also a choice. In this respect, libertarians agree with the core argument of prohibitionists. We disagree with them completely over whether this choice should be understood as a moral failing and what role the state should play in addressing the issue.
That is no role, except to enforce the individual property rights of those involved in any transaction, and through decriminalization eliminating the need for black markets. Black markets cause nearly all the unnecessary violence and death surrounding drugs, both legal and illegal.
Law enforcement tells us addicts are irresponsible thrill-seekers who seek out fentanyl because they want a bigger high. Recent studies show most addicts actually want to avoid heroin cut with synthetics because they understand the dangers involved. They buy heroin cut with fentanyl because government created black markets are their only source.
Addicts do not suffer from a disease, but rather a dis-ease. They are not at ease with themselves. They are cut off from their bearings. Their souls are not at peace. They suffer a desperation that transcends normal bounds. They choose to cope with this psychic angst through the use of dreams induced by ingestion of plants nature put on this planet for us.
Many who self-dose opioids can live otherwise productive lives. We saw this in England when doctors were able to prescribe heroin. We see it now in European countries like Holland and Portugal where hard drug use is decriminalized. We are beginning to see it in America, where recently Seattle legalized safe injection rooms under doctor supervision. Far from being a gateway drug, states with legalized marijuana are seeing a drop in heroin use. The iron law of prohibition dictates that government created black markets, causing illegal drugs to become more potent than what addicts otherwise demand.
Doctors can only legally prescribe methadone, an opioid just as addictive as heroin, but favored by prohibitionists because it does not bring euphoric dreams. It is pleasure that prohibitionists hate. The over prescription of fentanyl and other synthetics is a result of the prohibition on prescriptive heroin.
The recent “epidemic” of opioid use will only get worse if the state becomes more involved in the doctor patient relationship. Doctors should be able to prescribe opioids for physical and psychic pain without fear of government prosecution.