Monday, September 29, 2008

Drug use: a more humane approach

Here is the Register's editorial on Proposition 5 on the California ballot, which would build on the success of Prop. 36 (passed in 2000) that mandated more treatment and less incarceration for non-violent drug users. It's another proposal from the Drug Policy Alliance, the most constructive thing billionaire George Soros does with his money.

The Register endorsed this proposal, but I actually have mixed feelings. It would certainly be less inhumane for the state govt. to offer treatment rather than incarceration to drug users, but it reinforces the impression that any use of "illicit" drugs is a problem requiring treatment. Sometimes, especially with (most) marijuana use, it is simply harmless and doesn't require expensive treatment, but the government simply getting out of the way and allowing adults to be treated like adults who can take responsibility for their own actions. I'm inclined to think most meth use is harmful to the person doing it, and cocaine and heroin can cause damage to the user. Whether treatment, especially tax-funded treatment, is the proper approach is not necessarily obvious.

Still, little steps away from criminalization may be the best we can get for now. But total decriminalization is the proper goal.

No comments: