SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



By Catlin Rettke


April 09, 2006
Sunday PM

"Why is it that some folks look to non-medicinal brain function-altering chemistry to achieve feelings of worth, to relax or for recreation?" (Drugs-Bondage, John Maki)

Just like vitamins, Pain killers, and weight loss pills, Chemical alteration of the mind is an easy way to achieve what people want. Whether it be pain relief, happiness, or relaxation. Drugs give people what it is they want in an easy to use form. Though recreation, relaxation and feeling of self worth are not the only reasons one may choose to use drugs.

While most use of drugs will fall under recreation, there is another very touchy reason one may choose to use drugs. This is for religious purposes. Drugs and religion go back thousands of years. Most people are familiar with native americans using peyote in their religious rights, and that it was decided their use of peyote was protected by the constitution.

The fact that they decided that it was protected is a tribute to the religious uses of psychoactive chemicals. Though I find it unnerving to think that they simply grant specific rights to specific people, when America forces equality and tolerance on its citizens regularly.

In short, people use drugs because they want to. That seems like a good enough reason to me.

"Just where is the freedom in addiction? Where does freedom fit when non-smoking people are forced to pay taxes and increased health insurance premiums for the tobacco caused cancer treatments of smoking people they have never met?" (Drugs-Bondage, John Maki)

The freedom in addiction lies with the fact that no one has to be addicted to any drug. It is a known risk of drug use/abuse. It is the responsibility of the user to keep his drug use at a safe level. No one forces one to use drugs.

The insurance premiums are an interesting example of how others may be affected by the use of drugs. However, its not directly hurting them. If one man smokes it does not cause a rise in the insurance premiums, except for himself.

I would also like to mention insurance companies are making money, lots of money. So the insurance premiums are misleading and almost irrelevant. An example would be the introduction of the mandatory vehicle insurance law. While we were told the insurance premiums would drop and everyone would be better off, the prices simply rose. Helping almost no one, with the exception of the insurance companies and those ill-fated enough to get into an accident.

"Considering the costs of just these two legal drugs to individuals and to society, do we really need more legal recreational drugs? We aren't doing real well with two we have made legal." (Drugs-Bondage, John Maki)

I understand the costs in both money and life that alcohol causes every year. It is sad to see people get into car accidents and even worse when it's with other law abiding citizens. There is not much argument one can make against this specific statement.

However, I propose more law enforcement be put on the watch for intoxicated drivers, and less looking for citizens who only crime is the use of chemical alteration of the mind.

"Freedom with responsibility should never be confused with Freedom from responsibility. Starting at elementary school age and reinforced through adolescence, kids need to be armed with the facts and images to equip them when temptation finally comes their way." (Drugs-Bondage, John Maki)

I completely agree with this statement. I do not condone use of drugs by children. I also agree, children do need to be armed with the facts. But not the DARE facts. No, I find their exaggerated and often false "facts" about drugs demeaning not only to them as "authoritative" figures, but to the children and adults that believe them.
(Though I have seen a certain level in improvement over the last 5 years and I am thankful that they no longer exclusively employ scare tactics.)

"Youth need to learn that complete freedom is also complete chaos." (Drugs-Bondage, John Maki.)

This statement is true, however I don't think that legalizing drugs is the same as legalizing murder, rape or theft.

To summarize,

Drugs serve many purposes, whether it be religious or recreational.

Drug use is a choice, and there is such a thing as responsible drug use. Addiction is a risk one faces if they choose to use drugs. Not everyone who chooses to use a drug will become an addict.

I do not think children should use drugs, and I agree that drug education is necessary.

But, once more, I personally feel that prohibition is a strike against the very thing America holds dearest.

Catlin Rettke
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Catlin Rettke is a 19 Year old resident of Ketchikan.

Related Viewpoint:

letterDrugs - Bondage By John Maki - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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