The Real Solution To Drug Addiction And Gang Violence

There is a solution to drug addiction, criminal drug gangs and their related violence, and even the problem of rebel armies in Latin-American nations financed by drug distribution networks. The solution I will be proposing is final and permanent. It would cost much less than the “war on drugs” currently does, and does not require the incarceration of thousands of persons. It also does not involve simply legalizing substances that are currently illegal, although there is room for some degree of legalization in this solution. In it’s simplest form, the solution boils down to this;

Give the people what they really want.

Any rational observer would have to admit that the existence of criminal drug gangs and the violence related to them is a direct result of the prohibition against substances that people wish to buy and use. Without this prohibition against illegal drugs, there would be little profit in growing, creating and distributing these substances. Without the massive profitability of these enterprises, there would not be the violence involved in attempting to control the distribution, nor the violence involved in attempting to apprehend persons involved in these enterprises.

Does this mean that simply legalizing all substances that are currently prohibited would solve these problems? No. There would still remain the problems of addiction, overdose, and the danger to the user’s health in both the long and short term that some of these substances pose. Total legalization is unlikely to occur until a solution to the health dangers is found. Marijuana is not only a benign substance, but has many proven medical purposes as well. It would seem that there is little to be gained, and much to be lost, by a continued prohibition against Pot. However, the same cannot be said about many other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, or even legal substances like alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.

People want to experience intoxication. People seek out substances that will give them the experience of intoxication that they prefer; stimulants and agents that generate feelings of energy and alertness, substances that reduce their inhibitions and act as a ‘social lubricant’, depressants and agents that generate feelings of relaxation, calm and peacefulness, and hallucinogens and substances that provide an experience of ‘transcending normal reality’. Police officers may suck back pots of coffee and supplement that with ‘wake-up’ pills, or hit the bar for hours after their shift. Housewives may lean on valium, Prozac or alcohol to calm their nerves (remember “mother’s little helper”?). Academics and professors may explore the depths of their minds with LSD, peyote or mescaline. College kids may drop a tab of Ecstasy at a rave or a dance club. Many physicians still smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or smoke pot off-duty. Airline pilots, athletes, librarians, laborers, students, parents, children – the use of substances to alter our mood and enhance our sociability is a nearly universal experience in our society and always has been.

There is a way that we can be forever rid of the criminal drug gangs and their violence, end drug addiction and the risk to health that even legal substances of intoxication pose, and still provide people with the experiences of intoxication that they will never stop seeking and for which they will be willing to engage in criminal activity if necessary. The solution is quite simple. It is to;


No one wants to be addicted to a drug. No one wants to over-dose on a drug. No one wants to destroy their health by the use or abuse of intoxicants. No one wants to go to prison or be blown away by a gang member. What people really want, is legal intoxicating substances that are non-addictive and that do not pose a danger to their health.

Why won’t our governments mandate the creation of such substances? If the scientific community can map the entire human gene structure (recently accomplished), don’t tell me that they are incapable of creating synthetic substances that would produce the various effects of intoxication that people seek, and that would be neither addictive nor pose a danger to our health. These substances would need to be carefully constructed and rigorously tested. They might need to be designed to become inert after a certain level of saturation in the blood-steam, to prevent accidental or intentional over-dose. They might need to become inert when combined with other substances like alcohol. I don't know -–I'm not a scientist.

Surely, however, it must be possible to create synthetic substances that could be legally sold to adults - that would provide the experience of intoxication and still not be addictive or damaging to major organs? Once such substances were on the market, it wouldn’t take long for the criminal organizations which currently create and distribute illegal drugs to collapse from lack of demand for their product and we would never again have to go through the dangers created by prohibition again. What is needed is for governments to mandate and fund the development of such substances by the pharmaceutical giants. They have the skill and technology to create them – of that I am certain. We will have to over-come the social Puritanism that says intoxication itself is an evil, but that may come naturally once properly tested and safe substances have been developed and proven.

Come on, governments! Get off your butts and start working on the real solution to the drug and gang problems.