Monday, November 26, 2012

Reality Check for Drug Users and Allies Legal Marijuana Will Not End The Drug War

     Legal marijuana will not end the drug war on users of other substances, not by a long shot. The conditions under which marijuana is defined as legal is also of extreme importance. Until every marijuana conviction currently on record in the U.S.A. is overturned, the prisoners released, and no further arrests are made, or property seized, it's not really legal here. When a marijuana user can face no penalty at all in one state and five years in prison in another for possession of one ounce of dried cannabis flowers there can be no question there is still a great deal of work to be done on behalf of the largest drug user group in america.
     One question that needs to be answered,  is the marijuana legalization movement in favor of the legalization of other substances such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine? Their public statements would indicate otherwise. Many times statements have been made that if law enforcement was no longer under pressure to arrest the ever abundant marijuana users they could then concentrate on users and distributors of other substances and that would be considered a benefit to society. By contrast, drug users of other substances who already face barbaric mandatory minimum sentencing, extreme stigmatization, and much less quality control over the substances distributed to them do not consider increased persecution by the criminal justice system to be of any benefit to them at all.
    If marijuana legalization really is to be a stepping stone on the path to ending the drug war then the effects of that legalization on users of other substances need to be considered now. Safe consumption of all drugs including nicotine and alcohol should be a public health priority no matter what is legal and what is not. Drug users and their allies are encouraged by further legalization efforts but see the need to continue to speak as a voice for the users of all substances not just marijuana.