On the war on drugs, cannabis and schizophrenia

Deutsche Version: Von dem Krieg gegen Drogen, Cannabis und Schizophrenie

Ever since the end of world war II, the war on drugs has been applauded by many as being the only way to protect the well-being of the citizens of an absolutely democratic state.

One ground rule is that not only are the dealers and Mafia’s bosses criminals, but also the mere drug addicts or even consumers.
Whilst the motivation for this war (keeping society and the individual safe from harm) is certainly laudable in and of itself, there is little doubt that much more moral and efficacious routes can be taken.

As a continental European, I feel dumbfounded while contemplating the huge number of people sitting in north American jails for offences related to Marijuana whereby their own consumption stood at the foreground of their “offence”.

I believe that western democracies would be far better off if the legislation would be modified so that:

  1. the recreational use of any drug will be completely free of any judicial consequence
  2. drug-addicts will neither be sent to prison nor have to pay a fine,

That said, I am very reluctant to legalise any drug, even cannabis.

I came to this view by reading numerous studies pointing towards a link between the use of marijuana and the development of schizophrenia. Only a small minority of joint smokers are concerned by that problem, but Schizophrenia (also popularly called “madness”) is such a terrible lifelong condition that it seems to be moral doing nothing which could increase the number of individuals suffering from it. 

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6 thoughts on “On the war on drugs, cannabis and schizophrenia

  1. That said, I am very reluctant to legalize any drug, even cannabis.

    I realized that by reading numerous studies pointing towards a link between the use of marijuana and the development of schizophrenia.

    But that doesn´t translate into an argument for why cannabis should be illegal. Plenty of activities that are much more dangerous to your health are allowed – from alcohol to many kinds of sports (not only extreme sports, soccer players for example are at much higher risk for dozens of injuries that are very expensive to treat compared to people who don´t play soccer), and no one proposes to make those activities illegal. Generally, one could say that just because some activity is supid and / or dangerous for yourself is simply not a valid argument for why said activity should be made illegal. I´d propose to get rid of the double standard that is being applied to drugs and to account for activities like that by higher deductibles in your health insurance – if you have to get treatment for schizophrenia as a marjuana user, you pay higher deductibles just like you would have to pay higher deductibles if you got a torn ligament while playing soccer and need to get treatment for that. That´s the only fair solution IMO.

    • Well I am in no way dogmatic about my belief.

      It is true that on average, alcohol is FAR more harmful than pot.

      However I am very skeptical about your solution.

      1) Anti-psychotics are extremely expensive (das isch een wohre Wohnsinn!)
      2) People suffering under chronic psychosis are extremely handicapped in their ability to earn money for sustaining their need.

  2. I understand your concern about Schizophrenia, but I have trouble with the approach you are suggesting. With legalization, some of the extra money coming in could be diverted to assisting addicts (who I believe would be the most prone to the condition) and toward better understanding and treatment of the condition itself. That puts a big dent in organized crime, unnecessary prisons, and measures to help those who run into trouble.

    I’m not sure how the numbers would crunch, but diverting the money from organized crime and saving the money from unnecessary prisons I imagine would be a significant, if not substantial, amount.

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