America is in love with its highs. I thought of this while seeing a commercial for the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. He was one of several, who made their living as comedians by making us laugh at the lovable drunk.
But drunk is not really that lovable and neither is high. However it appears we have moved from laughing at the lovable drunk to laughing at the lovable pothead. Some people would like to go further and legalize all form of drugs.
At what point do we begin to admit our love affair with being high is self-destructive.
Once upon a time in America we had enough people who saw alcohol as a danger to society that we made it illegal. I assume the decision was like deciding it was more important to avoid the destruction of those who would become alcoholics than it was for individuals with control to have their casual drinks. During the days of prohibition, illegal alcohol changed the face of crime. The criminal aspect of it became so strong that it didn’t take long to decide to legalize it in order to cut down on the crimes surrounding it.
Please notice, prohibition was not overturned for the sake of the drunk, it was despite the drunk. Illegal drinking became trendy. This made illegal booze very profitable and the black market became dangerous. Making alcohol legal again was essentially a measure to take the power and money away from the gangs.
In essence reversing prohibition allowed an attitude toward alcohol which is now expanding to other intoxicants. Namely that allowing a certain number of people to lose their lives to the substance is preferable to withholding the high from the public or fighting the crime of those who will get their high even if illegally.
If this is the decision society ultimately makes, the number of people losing their lives to substances will increase. Some substances are massively more addictive than alcohol. Are we sure, the cost will be worth avoiding the fight?