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How to best treat society’s most vulnerable?

Walt's World with Walter Jones

Published on June 16, 2017

Walt's World with Walter Jones

Two questions: What drug is the most addictive ,and can give you a condition that can kill you ?  

What other drug has the worse withdrawal effects and can destroy your brain? Answers! Number 1 is nicotine. It is so addictive because no matter how much you ingest your body still craves more and as it leaves your body the craving gets more intense.
Over time it can cause lung disease.
Answer Number 2 is alcohol Longtime excessive use can lead to brain damage. It even has a name – Korsakoff Syndrome. You can also die from the DTs if you go cold turkey and are not under a doctors care.
Here's the kicker, they are both legal.
We are soon to have another legal drug in cannabis. The government states this is to get criminals out of the business. Sounds reasonable to me.
So why stop at cannabis, there are criminals out there selling much more dangerous drugs and by the same logic we can cut off their market by allowing addicts to purchase legally. Tax the purchases and use the money to treat the addicts.
Criminals do not just sell their product, they create more customers by getting more people addicted. Remove the profit and there is no incentive to get more people addicted.
People who are already addicted need treatment, but it is very hard to get them treated, when their world revolves around how to get the next fix.
Remove that problem and you also lower the crime rate. The war on drugs is a joke and as for the argument that it is immoral to sell these addictive drugs to people, well look at the two that are now legal.
How much success are we likely to have with people who will willingly put something into their body that they know could kill them? Opiate addiction is now doing that. You have to be under a lot of pressure to willing take that risk.
Remove that pressure, put money into getting people off drugs and we might have some success. While we as a society feel that everyone should be a productive member of society, that will never be the case. There will always be those who do not wish to contribute and those who are not able.
Remember a government is judged by the way it treaties its most vulnerable citizens.

Walter Jones column appears weekly in the Amherst News