The "L" Word

Is Efficacy a Drug Legalization Organization?

If one thinks we want children to have easier access to narcotics, of course not. We care deeply about the welfare of kids.

If one thinks we want to see a "nation of zombies", please think again.

We have been accused of wanting to see inner cities and minorities destroyed. We say this has already happened with the drug civil war. The war is not really against drugs; it is against people.

Efficacy advocates bringing drugs under legal control.
That is what we mean by legalization.

Drug prohibition is presumed to control the production, distribution, sale, possession, and use of substances society has deemed dangerous. Prohibition does not work. With prohibition, all control is lost to the black market. Global, billion-dollar dangerous criminal industries control the cocaine, opium, heroin, and marijuana businesses. Prohibition is their necessary fuel. These industries did not exist before the drug war and will disappear when it ends.

There are many substances, subject to potential abuse, presently controlled through the law by the medical profession. This would include morphine, valium, and the like. They are more difficult for anyone to obtain than marijuana, heroin, or cocaine.

Two drugs are legal for personal use by adults, tobacco and alcohol. Everyone knows tobacco use has adverse health consequences. For too many decades, these effects were not taken seriously. If the truth had been accepted from the beginning, the scenario would be different.

Alcohol has been glamorized, as has tobacco. Our culture has viewed staggering drunks as amusing, and has tolerated heavy drinking. Alcohol abuse causes serious health and social problems. It is frequently connected with domestic abuse and violent behavior. Alcohol use, however, does not. Doctors say a drink or two every day is not harmful, and can even be healthful for an adult. Wine or beer with meals is the norm in may cultures, even for children. Societies that do not make a big deal of moderate alcohol use have far lower rates of alcoholism.

When prohibition made alcohol illegal, problems were much worse. Sure, a lot of people complied with the law and did not drink. But those who did not wish to comply adopted dangerous practices. There were illegal drinking clubs called "speak-easys"; where people were encouraged to get drunk. People made "bathtub gin" at home, which sometimes caused blindness or death. Cocktails were invented to mask the taste of the harsh alcohol that was available and made it easier to drink more.

The worst thing was that a dangerous criminal empire developed around alcohol. Black markets always provide great profits. Street violence increased dramatically. Prisons were overcrowded and violent criminals were often released to make room for prohibition violators.

Alcohol prohibition lasted only 13 years because these symptoms of failure were so obvious to Americans. The drug war has been much more effective in confusing people and blurring the issues. It has truly bamboozled otherwise intelligent folks with fear. It has made drugs seem worse than they are, so people are willing to sink more money into the failed policies. Billions of dollars and lives have been wasted with misery, hysteria, intolerance, and violence the results. We have been bamboozled!!

Efficacy wants to bring marijuana, heroin, and cocaine under control. The only way to do that is to bring them under the law, not to exclude them from legal regulation.

Surveys of school children always show that marijuana is much more easily obtained than beer. Street dealers do not ask for I.D., package store owners are subject to the loss of their businesses for selling to minors.

So, in these contexts, Efficacy is a drug legalization advocacy organization.

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