Across the United States, taboos about marijuana (and drugs, in general) continue to fall apart. Yet, even though a number of states have begun to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, there’s just one argument that makes Americans hesitate.
The questions that they ask: Aren’t drugs, including pot, stronger since the 60s when the baby boomers formed their very first views on the subject of drug use? Aren’t people who abuse Oxycontin or Percocet now resorting to the use of heroin? Hasn’t cannabis turned into “super skunk”?
In other words, what they are suggesting is that the use of legalized drugs often has people abusing illegal ones – a slippery slope, if you will.
While the answers to the questions above are affirmative, the irony is that this is because of the war on drugs – not despite it.
In order to understand why, it’s best to look at another example that might be counter-intuitive to common belief and all that is explained by Mike Gray in his book, “Drug Crazy”.
So, would banning a drug change people’s taste, as a result? It wouldn’t. It will change what they have access too.
So, imagine this scenario: if you had to smuggle beer from across the border from Mexico or Canada, only about a few hundreds would be served. Alternatively, if it was whiskey, thousands would be able to enjoy a drink. Or, as Gray points out, “If you are smuggling anything over large distances, ‘you have to put the maximum bang in the smallest possible package’.” So, even if bar-goers, in this instance prefer beer, they’d drink whiskey since that is all they can get.
In fact, you can see that this phenomenon makes itself apparent at any college football stadium where college students smuggle hard liquor in flasks since alcohol isn’t sold or permitted. Without a doubt, this is nothing but the “iron law of prohibition” that has taken effect.
What this also points to, is that while the crackdown on drugs gets harsher, only the extreme strains stay while the lighter ones disappear.
And therefore, the GOP candidate, Carly Fiorina, was absolutely right when she said that the marijuana smoked today is hardly the same as the marijuana which Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago. Thus, pot’s THC level is much higher just as hard spirits have a much higher alcohol content level than beer.
But if we are going to use this as an argument against legalization, that is completely wrong. This is because most pot smokers aren’t interested in getting baked on super skunk just as much as social drinkers aren’t so keen on drinking vodka today. But milder forms of cannabis aren’t available as the market itself is prohibited.
Simply put, if you want drugs to be wildly potent, the war on drugs is definitely the way to go. However, if you feel that milder, less intoxicating drugs pose less risk to one and all – then it’s time to end prohibition once and for all.