Generally speaking, there are two species of illegal drug user: the kind who enjoys getting high, and the kind who tries to find refuge in the drugs from their own pain. Obviously there is far more to it than that, but whatever. It's a generalization.
The biggest problem that we as a nation face is that people are stupid. It's cool to be a complete dumbshit these days. Thus, we have people who glamorize the "drug life" to the point where being strung-out seems something to which they aspire. How the hell else do you explain the prevalence of bath salts, the drug that causes you to run naked through the streets, fleeing electricity or chewing off a man's face? What the hell happened to natural drugs? What, were marijuana and the coca plant not good enough for people? Being mellow or wired was just too passé?
And tobacco fucking sucks. It's a multi-billion-dollar industry built on a drug as addictive as heroin, made even more addictive by adding other chemicals such as trace amounts of arsenic. There are tons of reasons why tobacco is legal while pot isn't, ranging from the fact that tobacco was grown in the original thirteen colonies to the simple truth that tobacco leaves its addicts the most universally functional, able to continue working for their corporate employers while still indulging a habit harder to kick than just about anything.
The name of the game is money. I truly wonder what kind of process corporate climbers must go through to abandon their humanity in favor of avarice. For the leaders of drug cartels and other blatantly illegal ventures, it's pretty easy: one generally starts off with an inclination for monstrous action that is then honed as one gets more and more embroiled in the world of evil. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy set in motion decades or even centuries ago, and an armchair scholar such as myself lacks the motivation to delve into history to trace the true origin.
Now, in truth, I have never indulged in illegal substances. I've never done pot, cocaine, or any other drug. Nor have I ever made use of tobacco. Alcohol is alright, but I only drink rum on the barest occasions. Never had a taste for things like vodka or whiskey, or even beer, since I don't want a drink that doesn't taste good.
Even as a non-user, I can still see that the war on drugs is not working. You can't just shoot at everything and make it go away; the world doesn't work like that. Sometimes humanity has to compromise, though that is the key word: humanity. Sometime soon I'll go into depth on how Alan Moore is overrated and how Watchmen is, in my opinion, a terrible book, but for now we'll stick to real-life compromises instead of artificially exaggerated ones. Drugs, especially artificial drugs or artificially augmented drugs like cigarettes, are bad. Even many pharmaceuticals are bad, created for the specific purpose of selling relief from ailments that don't really matter, the so-called cures being more dangerous than the problems. However, if tobacco is permissible because it makes money, why not legalize and tax all drug consumption? Suddenly that not only puts a lot of revenue in state and federal pockets that before was going to fund criminal enterprise, but the bathtub savants who brew the stuff can be hired to design quitting regimens as well as helping to create new curatives for real diseases. In addition, this would create a genuine war on drugs, as countries caught in the act of not cracking down on their cartels could face fines or even legal/military action from the US for permitting the illegal transportation of a consumable substance. Or something like that. I don't have a law degree if you couldn't tell.
Point being, we could still restrict drugs' use but suddenly we're earning far more revenue and cops can get back to stopping the real problems, like gang violence and the actual producers of illegal drug stashes rather than the street corner distributors. I'll address the problem of finger-wagging at people with no concern for the causes of their actions in a later post, but for now I'm signing off to go eat breakfast.