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Open Letter on Drug Prohibition

By Punkerslut
Addressed to the Drug Free America Foundation

Photograph by Archivaldo
Image: Photograph by Archivaldo,
Edited by Punkerslut

Start Date: April 11, 2010
Finish Date: April 11, 2010

Link: http://www.dfaf.org/content/about-dfaf-inc


     There are some statements on your website that deserve critical review and examination. For instance, at the beginning of the website, there's this statement about drug testing: "It is not a punishment; it is a privilege to know someone cares that much about you." And if you fail the drug test for parole, it means that you go to prison. How much caring is that? Is it really compassionate to put someone into a concrete box? Compared to the other effects generated by drugs, such as Marijuana, the worst "drug-related injury" is a prison sentence. And unless you're opposed to a system that invades our bedrooms, you become responsible for the greatest source of misery in the drug user's life.

     Portugal legalized heroin in 2004. Five years later, the annual rate of AIDS infections dropped by more than a third. This was published in Scientific American's article "5 Years After: Portugal's Drug Decriminalization Policy Shows Positive Results." (By Brian Vastag, April 7, 2009.) One of the lawyers quoted was Glenn Greenwald, who explained the situation plainly: "Now instead of being put into prison, addicts are going to treatment centers and they're learning how to control their drug usage or getting off drugs entirely..." If you want to talk about reducing "drug-related injury," as your mission statement claims, then talk about reducing government prohibition of drugs.

     What happens when someone is imprisoned, because of a personal habit? They lose everything. They have no right to property, and whatever small amount they can possess is regularly searched and seized. They can feel sunlight only through a narrow slot in the wall, they labor in forced work camps, and they have to beg for everything they're allowed to have. This is the greatest form of suffering associated with drug use -- the government's response to it with laws, police, and prisons! It doesn't matter whether you call yourself "abstinence-only and not harm-reduction." If you support this system, then you become the biggest problem in the life of the drug user.

     Why would someone in prison turn away from their habit, and open their arms up to drug rehabilitation? Why would they think that the community asking them to give up drugs is also their friend? You may think that they are so helpless that they can't see the damage drugs do to them. But, they are desperately aware and conscious of the pain and suffering that comes with imprisonment. Even the smallest mammals will show signs of depression, hopelessness, and slow suicide when they're confined in a cage. A creature, once held down and chained, will never trust or love its master. But this is the position you put the drug user into when you support these criminalization laws and policies.

     An individual who smokes Marijuana could never possibly face an overdose. But when you expose them to violent convicts in prison, then they are facing "drug-related injury and death." However, it's not the drug that causes it. It's the drug prohibition that causes it. If you really want to heal people, please think of a way that doesn't take people against their will.

     Thank you,

Andy Carloff

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