23 June 2014

The Pope on Drugs

Last weekend started with the Pope stating that legalizing drugs doesn't solve the problem.
Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs! Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem. Attempts, however limited, to legalize so-called “recreational drugs”, are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects. Substitute drugs are not an adequate therapy but rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon. Here I would reaffirm what I have stated on another occasion: No to every type of drug use. It is as simple as that. No to any kind of drug use. But to say this “no”, one has to say “yes” to life, “yes” to love, “yes” to others, “yes” to education, “yes” to greater job opportunities. If we say “yes” to all these things, there will be no room for illicit drugs, for alcohol abuse, for other forms of addiction.
Not only is he rejecting legalization, he takes his condemnation a step further and rejects substituting drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine.  This is man who has made very clear his stance that we must help drug addicts and he does not see how either of these things do that. His belief that a total solution can be engineered through better conditions is a bit more than an imperfect world is likely to produce in the face of free will and temptation (whether legal or not). However, his job isn't to work out all the solutions, but to exhort us to make the world more Godly.  The fact that we may not get there does not forgive us the effort.

With the exception of the the statement that the provision and growth of the good can, by itself, squeeze out the evil of drug use in its entirety, I find this to be a distillation of my personal beliefs about drugs. Legalization is unlikely to do the user much good. It will just switch the dealer from some guy on a corner to some guy behind a 7-11 counter. And I doubt that any cocaine producing Columbian cartel could ever match the predatory nature and capabilities of Big Pharma. After all, the Medellin cartel can't run ads during the super bowl or deliver its product to every single grocery store, pharmacy, and convenience store in America - Proctor & Gamble (pepto bismo) and Bayer (aspirin) already do. Anyone who believes addiction will decline in such an atmosphere is either naive or choosing to turn a blind eye to reality.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Additionally legalization of addicting drugs will not curtail the associated crimes connected to drug use. Once a user spends his pay check, he will resort to larceny, robbery, etc. to get more money in order to purchase more of the addictive substance.