My whole point throughout this post has been that if drugs were legalized, the regulation of drug use would be very messy.
Can I conceive of herion, PCP, or crack being used responsibly? I guess if there were isolation booths to protect others from one's potentially violent actions, yes. This, of course, is without considering after-effects, addiction, and withdrawal...
Do people who use these drugs illegal use them responsibly?
I never said that legalization is the east answer- but drug laws are inneffective. Drugs are easy to get. Why perpetuate a 'war on drugs' that can't be won, and furthemore, maybe shouldn't even be fought?
I know plenty of children that I grew up with, and people I know now, who were neglected or even abused as children, but not 'taken away.' Why? How many kids do you know that are willing to call the authorities and ask to be taken to some remote foster home, essentially volunterring to be orphans? A lot of neglected children still love their parents, and the line of 'neglect' is a fuzzy one... how about latchkey kids? Should they be taken from their parents? How do you draw that line? How do you enforce it?
'People who would neglect their children would do so for another reason if they could not blame recreational drugs.'
I'm not so sure I agree with this. Sometimes drug use starts out mild, but as addiction takes over, the person would be essentially disabled as a parent. I truly don't believe most people intend to neglect their kids, or even believe that they are doing so.
And what about older kids, when it's not so much an issue of neglect? Or what about when it becomes an issue of health, and a parent becomes physically incapable of caring for themselves?
To play the I-lived-this card, which I usually avoid, when I was 16 I had to call 911 for my mother who had overdosed on Darvocet she had ordered from overseas (I forget where). Do you know what it's like to be told, in the span of a few seconds, "I've been abusing drugs for years, and now if you don't pick up the phone to save me from myself I'm going to die." Do you know what 28 Darvocet does to a person? My mother has never been neglectful, and I love her dearly, but do you have any idea how that feels? How it feels to tell her doctors what happenned, and be reprimanded by my uncle for potentially getting her in trouble? What it's like to have to sign papers and make decisions for my parent when she codes and lands in ICU for two weeks on a respirator?
Do you know what it's like when this is a monthly occurence? Do you know what it's like to eyeball a parent suspciously, noting her dry mouth and her level of coherence constantly? To rummage through sock drawers and closets like a cop raiding a junkie's place? To deal with the role reversal, and the worry, and juggling a job and hospital trips and school without even the time to concern yourself with yourself? To check your bank account and see 600 dollars missing? To sit there helplessly when your belligerent and oxygen-deprived mother rants about things only she sees, and throws a fit about going to the hospital? What it's like to try to drag an addict away from oxycontin? To find drugs she'd smuggle into the hospital? Do you know what it's like to listen to her lie to her doctors about her habits, to listen to her lie to you about quitting, only to find another stash the next time around? What it's like to want to believe someone when you know you can't?
Her drugs of choice were all legal. I say were because I'm in a phase of believing her. Because I haven't found drugs in her room for a long time, and because she really seems to have quit smoking. But, do you know what it's like to this day to bite my tongue when I see that her doctor has prescribed her oxycontin for pain? What it's like to wrestle with whether her pain legitimately rationalizes the use of narcotics she's addicted to? Whether, even if her use of them is legitimate now, it will become abuse again?
Replace Darvocet with legally obtained heroin. My problems sound like child's play.
But, then again, replace Darvocet with illegally obtained heroin.
So, where's the solution? Do we condone this, or legislate against it in vain?
[This message has been edited by hush (12-12-2002 10:05 AM).]