Should Recreational Drug Use Be Criminalised?

Douglas Husak, a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University in the US, combines hard fact and rigorous moral reasoning in his cogent analysis of the drug law debate in his excellent book Legalize This! The case for decriminalising drugs. In this two part series (from Background Briefings section of website), I summarise his arguments to help the reader decide how they feel about the central question of the justice of drug laws. While Husak argues about the situation in the US, much of what is said is relevant to the UK and to many other countries.

Husak points out that we need to ask the right question when looking at drug policy. He emphasises that the onus has always been on those who want to change drug laws to justify why there should be changes. In fact, the onus should be on those who support current policy to justify their position. This rarely happens.

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It’s Not Just About the Drug, Part 3

I continue my series of blog posts focused on drug, set (the person) and setting (the social context) [Part 1 is here]. Drug, set and setting is not only of relevance to addiction, but also to overcoming addiction.

The path into and out of addiction
The ‘person’ and ‘social context’ factors influence early substance use and the likelihood that a person will develop problematic use and addiction. In general, individuals are less likely to develop substance use problems if they have fewer complicating life problems, more resources (social, personal, educational, economic), and opportunities for alternative sources of reward.

One explanation is that these individuals develop a weaker attachment to the substance in that for them substance use does not serve as many emotional, psychological or social needs.

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‘WA Attorney General: Please don’t sell our family home of 30yrs – don’t make my kids homeless’

ZqLhKcpfLOAFEhi-556x313-noPadSomething pissed me off today! I came across Valerie’s Story on change.org and immediately signed the petition. My comment was: “This situation is disgusting and is a clear human rights issue. Why are we so backward and so willing to disregard basic human rights here in WA?”

Please read and sign the petition. I don’t know the lady, but this story does not surprise me.

‘A few years ago I was at a desperately low ebb in my life. I was a 40-something single mother of three kids who had just fought my way out of an abusive relationship.  I worked hard at a range of jobs (book keeper, courier driver, Avon rep) but money was always tight.

Then I somehow fell into the darkest years of my life. I fell in love with a man who used drugs and I started using too, soon after I started selling some (to people already using) to fund my habit and to make ends meet. I know now it was wrong. I wasn’t thinking clearly but I became trapped in this world and didn’t know how to get out.

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