American judo fighter Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the Olympic Games after testing positive for marijuana. The Olympian claims he accidentally ate food that was baked with the substance prior to the start of the Summer Games.
We'll never know for sure whether Delpopolo is telling the truth or not, but regardless this puts the attention back to the war on drugs yet again. I'm in no way advocating that any Olympic athlete "dope up" or use substances that give him or her an unfair advantage, which of course is questionable anyway when it comes to marijuana; however, it's an opportunity to take a look at the drug war through the eyes of objective reality.
The war on drugs has been a colossal failure since its inception during the Nixon administration. The delusional thinking on this is obvious and embarrassing, yet the United States government continues spending billions every year trying to stop American's from getting high. Apparently we're so stupid we need to be saved from ourselves.
I find it astonishing that for 236 years Americans were smart enough to change the world through innovation, technology and independent thinking, yet our own government doesn't believe we are smart enough to manage our own lives. Didn't we learn this lesson during prohibition? The 18th Amendment outlawing alcohol was as big a failure as the drug war, the only difference is we repealed prohibition after 12 years.
Where is the critical thinking in believing the drug war would be any different? After all, isn't alcohol a liquid drug? Marijuana creates a softer effect than alcohol, yet our jails are full of people who like to use and sell it. The drug war philosophy is a zero-sum equation, which is, who owns our bodies? If you say the United States government owns our bodies, that would give them the right to ban substances that harm us. But I don't think anyone would say the government owns our bodies. So if we own our bodies, shouldn't we have the right to drink, smoke or ingest anything we choose?
Make no mistake: the drug war hasn't stopped Americans from doing drugs. You can buy any drug you want in any city in America without knowing anyone by simply approaching a few people. The drug war has made the drug trade so profitable that damn near everyone is in the business. Finding a drug dealer is easier than buying beer at 7/11, and they don't even ask for ID.
Most people who do drugs are casual users who still get up for work the next day and live responsibly. Only a small percentage of people become addicts, just like only a small percentage of people who drink become alcoholics. Instead of spending billions of dollars pretending they can squelch demand, the government should legalize drugs and invest a tiny fraction of the savings in educating people on the dangers of drugs and helping the addicted.
Not only would legalization save billions and empty half of our jails, it would also save tens of thousands of lives around the world from the vicious drug cartels. More than 47,500 people were killed by drug cartels in Mexico between 2007 and 2011, and that's only in one country. Critical thinking says if you remove the profit you remove the violence, but logic and reason don't always prevail in America. The moral police do. These are people who believe they know how to run our lives better than we do, and they are here to save us from ourselves.
These crusaders believe they are morally and intellectually superior, and they have blessed us with their presence so we too can see the light. These are the same clowns who can't balance the budget and stop themselves from emailing lewd pictures to college girls, but they are here to guide us. What a joke.
Here's my critical thinking solution: get out of our lives. We own our bodies and in a so-called free society we have the right to use them as we please, as long as we're not hurting anyone else in the process. If I get high on heroin, that's my problem. If I get high on heroin and hurt someone, I go to jail. The people that say hard drugs cannot be legalized are kidding themselves. Millions of Americans are using them every day. The only logical solution is to stop spending money trying to slow them down. It isn't right and it doesn't work.
I'm not advocating drug use. Drugs scare me. What I'm suggesting is applying critical thinking on an issue where none exists. The government should use our tax money to protect us, not to tell us how to live.
Just the fact that alcohol is legal but marijuana isn't, is proof of how screwed up our legal system is. I mean really, how can we justify one and not the other? Have you ever smoked pot? All it does is put you to sleep. Alcohol, on the other hand, is rough stuff. If alcohol and marijuana were animals, alcohol would be an anaconda and pot would be a pussycat. Yet pot will land you in jail but you can drink alcohol in the Whitehouse.
The big controversy now is medical marijuana. So let me get this straight: there are sick people who feel better smoking pot, and we have to debate whether or not they can access it? Some cancer patient feels nauseas from chemotherapy, smokes pot to get through it and we throw him in jail? Where is the morality in that? Where are all the religious leaders on this one? It's inconceivable that in 21st century America we're still having these child-like debates.
How about we take the money we save from legalizing pot and give this poor guy as much as he wants so maybe he can sleep through the night? To score points with the public, politicians love to claim that America is a Christian nation founded on Christian values. But if they really believed that would they allow our cancer patient to suffer by denying him medical marijuana? What would Jesus do? Would he deny relief to this suffering man or would he pass him a joint? Is allowing someone to suffer for the sake of suffering moral?
In some ways America is advanced, and in others our society is the emotional equivalent of a spoiled teenager. This is why critical thinking rooted in logic and reason must replace delusional thinking based in emotion before it's too late.