Prompted by “The Leafly Legalization Roundup: Guess Which Plant Drug Cartels are Growing Instead of Cannabis?”: https://www.leafly.com/news/headlines/leafly-cannabis-legalization-roundup-6-22-2015
“In a twist of events too strange to be foreseen, Mexican drug cartels, previously one of the largest sources of marijuana in the United States, are now requesting and actively seeking legal, American-grown cannabis. The growing trend of cannabis legalization has been hurting business for the cartels, dropping the price of their cash crop to pennies on the dollar, and now connoisseurs in Juarez are requesting Purple Haze and Purple Kush, high-quality cannabis that is available legally in the American market. Since the wave of legalization began spreading in the U.S., many cartels have been turning to harder drugs, such as meth and heroin, and, actually, even growing vegetables to sustain their business. That’s right, the cartels are turning to subsidized tomatoes over marijuana as a cash crop.”
Legalization (not decriminalization) removes drugs from the black market, because then all such drugs can be far more inexpensively provided to drug users. That’s the first step towards actually addressing drug abuse, because it removes problems associated with impurity and heavy expense (which leads to theft, perhaps including violence).
Even the prohibitionist U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse understood the true nature of the drug problem back in 1995:
“Researchers have long recognized the strong correlation between stress and substance abuse…”
Drug availability is not the problem, which is wonderful news when considering prohibitionists (as consistently reported in the annual U.S. National Drug Threat Assessment) also effectively confess (ironically in tough-talking form) to maximally apply a tiny and temporary dent in illicit drug supply (at enormous cost in lives and resources). Moreover, drug supply includes parental medicine cabinet raids by teens, so another area where militaristic law enforcement cannot sanely reach.
Unhealthy stress is the problem, and it comes from two places fundamentally. First is leveraging recreational drugs to manage serious pain (often due to convenient access and lower costs). Second is applying that leverage just for fun. When the high is too high, reality’s necessary balance in the form of a low that’s too low forms a terrible cycle of ‘bliss to hell’ that too often ends with critical stress causing death.
Entertaining education (part of the logically upcoming Entertainment Age) is needed by essentially all entertainers to bring psychological success from advertising techniques to optimally warn the public about the ‘bliss to hell’ cycle for prevention, and inclusively educate the basics of survival in general by way of such techniques (i.e. help people live better lives — not just to ultimately sell a potentially misfitting product/service).
In other words, entertainment, education, and advertising can (and likely will) come together from the Information Age to form the Entertainment Age, so all entertainers fittingly insert the right educational messages for their audience’s health as part of social responsibility and credibility enhancement (e.g. simple and educationally effective images in social networking posts, etc.) — without the scaremongering and demonization that has so boldly failed for generations and counting.
As a healthy stress signature is important for improving societal health in general (including reducing the ample burden on the healthcare industry and promoting more efficient productivity), this fully honest ‘Education Not War’ approach should not only be the unalienable-right-to-liberty-embracing front against drug abuse, but the overall front for humanity to better understand stress for worst through best (equal to better understanding harm for better survival odds).
With cannabis reaching increasingly into the mainstream, it’s urgent that we leverage that success to follow through on repealing the Controlled Substances Act and all laws (including state and local ones) rippling from it clearly against public safety.