When discussing the legalization of Marijuana, take a mechanistic view of one symptom of a much larger social problem. You cannot talk about legalizing marijuana without getting into discussions of other “Social problems”. I am talking about all other “drugs”– prostitution, health care, social security, or just about any other issue that we as a country, and as a people are dealing with. For the purposes of this paper, I will confine, or rather use the legalization of marijuana issue as a model for how we can deal with this, as well as other problems that we are correcting as we approach the next millenium.
The obvious arguments for legalization that are used, happen to be ones that the masses that make this argument usually resort to– the health and environment benefits. One argument that is hardly ever used, however, and the one that I wish to concentrate on, is the fact that the drug problems in this country, as well as the others that are listed above are included in the group of “SOICIAL PROBLEMS”. Think about that for a minute. What entails? A social problem is a problem that faces a society. Now I want you to think about your society. Not society, but your specific and immediate society. What does it consist of?
Whom does it consist of? Immediate answers might be school, neighborhood, church, work, town, and family. In other words, we can define it as your community. Your community is your society, now exclusive of your friends and others you consider to be in your peer group who may actually encourage certain types of “Immoral” behavior. Who in your community would sit back and let you abuse your body and mind with excessive drug use? Schools would suspend; families could react with everything from tough love to ultimatums. Very rarely is it someone outside of your society that will reach out to you and give that helping hand.
Some ex-drug abuser’s testimony may spark the revelation in you to kick your habit. But it is your community that will help you. You see, put very simply, drug abuse is a “Social Problem” and more often than not your society will help you or ostracize you, depending of course on your particular situation. Thus, while you may not kick, you would certainly take steps to curb your habit from becoming obvious or debilitating to your life. Now what does this have to do with legalization? I’ll tell you. As long as the government is waging the war on drugs, in a poor manner I might add, society won’t.
Society won’t because it doesn’t have to, the government takes care of it for us, so rather than discuss these issues with your child you can spend that time working, in order to pay the government to keep protecting your child for you. The problem with government intervention, stretching past drugs, is that the government is not a community, it is a large beaurocratic mess of forms, protocols, and so on. The reason for this is nothing more than the simple fact that the government tries to deal with everyone at the same time. What works in Peoria, Illinois on Tuesday may not work for Winder.