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The Art of Humanity in Drug Resistance

Photo by Chen Mizrach via unpslash

The Art of Humanity in Drug Resistance

Fourteen hundred miles from the Minnesota/Iowa border there is a silent war being waged. You don't hear about it in the news but you do see it in the media now and then in the form of entertainment. The Drugs War in Mexico has a line into the national psyche that gives us films like “Desperado,” “Machete” and “Blow.” Once in awhile white Americans get involved and the film intones that we don't like drug dealers in the United States. The unbearable weight of massive fear, grief and sympathy for Latin America often gets overlooked in “true” American cinema.

South of the United States it is as though there is a hole in the earth where the pain creeps in. It slowly invades communities and individual families. There is a wound in Mexico, South and Central America that never heals. It is not fatal but if it isn't bandaged and mended properly it could eventually bleed the Americas to death. Many other wounds like this exist on the planet. They are places where war is abundant and society always feels broken. The African continent is one such place. The Middle East suffers like this as well. There are also places in Asia where there is profound suffering. If these areas are not repaired the lifeblood of the planet will be drained and humanity will become cold and stagnant as the civilization turns pale with rigor mortis. We can't carry on like this.

This article will only focus on Latin America as it seems to be the problem that will benefit the United States the most if it is solved. We begin in the crisis at the border, as tens of thousands of immigrants attempting to cross into the United States. Smugglers sneak in drugs, weapons and other illegal contraband hidden amongst them. This in turn is processed by sellers within the country and sold to American civilians. Children interact with criminals who might own unauthorized handguns during these transactions but for some reason that is not the real issue for parents. It becomes more about substance abuse. No one ever mentions that if drugs were legal young people would be getting them from friends or relatives. The weapons would not become a part of the conversation. Decriminalizing and manufacturing all substances would keep children out of prisons when they become adults. It would reduce gun ownership and criminal activities like theft, abduction and intimidation. It costs almost 38,000 a year to keep some one in jail. I don't even make that much as a common worker.

If the drug cartels went legitimate and sold product to US pharmaceutical companies they could make a steady stream of income and make an agreement with Mexican Federales overnight. There would no longer be migrants at the border attempting to flee. There wouldn't be drugs and guns coming into the United States and personal capital leaving. There would be tax revenue, more legitimate jobs. Selling drugs would become the work of dispensaries and pharmacies. Drug sellers would have a better reputation and the culture would remain intact. Pharmaceutical grade substances would have measured ingredients. There would be no more overdoses or poisonings because it would be difficult to take a large dose. The opioid crisis would be over if you legalized opium and put it into a vape pen. Drug use would not lurk in the shadows and those who use drugs would feel liberated, no longer at odds with polite society. The pressure and social glut of incrimination would feel relief overnight, leaving citizens to engage in more meaningful conversations.

I will tell you a story about legalizing drugs that I have spoken about in past books. I had a quadriplegic client who had felonies on his record. He was put in jail for manufacturing methamphetamines which itself is a nonviolent crime. When he got out of prison he wanted to go legit so instead of smoking marijuana he began drinking. He was at the bar one night, extremely intoxicated and got a sober ride home. When the man got there he blacked out. He woke up in a ditch, on his back miles from where he was living. He had gotten in his car and drove into a ravine, hitting his head on the ceiling and flying through the windshield. His body seemed perfect afterwards. The only broken part was his neck. He told me everyday that he wanted to die but he was too chicken to actually kill himself. I tried to get him a job as a disabled person and he had to be turned away because the past crimes couldn't be expunged. The situation was dire for him and he never really hurt anyone.

If drugs were legal he never would have been cooking methamphetamine. He never would have gone to prison. He never would have needed to get drunk. He would probably be at home with his children smoking from a vape. Marijuana is still illegal to have in Minnesota. In Portugal they legalized drugs and communities seem indifferent. They pour resources into addiction treatment instead. Legalizing every drug in the United States could save the Americas from near total collapse someday. The political landscape would be forever changed as the American people and Latino communities could finally join hands on the issue and see each other as brothers. Perhaps it's just wishful thinking. However, it's a dream I would love to encourage. Personally I don't think using drugs is beneficial for your body but neither is eating meat, binging streaming services or smoking cigarettes. Everyone has their vice and alcohol is probably one of the worst. Alcohol is still legal and a constant reminder of the absurdity of the drugs war. I am having a beer as I am writing this. Who knows what it would be like if these things came to pass. Drink responsibly everyone and stay away from the bad substances. It could save your life.

- Thursday June 15, 2023 -

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