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Henry Kwan Killed by Archaic Drug Law

June 8, 2013 3 comments

If drugs were legal Henry Kwan would still be alive. The teenager took drugs expecting it to heighten his focus to help study for exams. Instead he had a psychotic episode and leaped to his death.

This tragedy is not caused by any inherent property related to drugs. It’s a consequence of banning drugs. This is what happens when drugs are illegal. Rather than getting a measured dose of exactly what you asked for prepared in a professional commercial lab, you play roulette with something of unknown composition and quality manufactured in a backyard lab.

Pushing drugs underground makes them dangerous and the result is often death. This effect is not unique to drugs. Drugs are not special in this regard. Ban anything and you’d get the same result. Ban cars and they would no longer be manufactured under strict safety and quality standards. Airbags and ABS wouldn’t exist because that technology is beyond what’s capable when manufacturing a car in a backyard. Wheels would fall of because they haven’t been designed correctly. Training to safely operate the car would not exist without government endorsement. Education on risks and how to mitigate them would similarly not exist.

Banning drugs kills people. No doubt. It also gives power to the organized crime gangs that supply the drugs. So problems with bikies, mafia, etc manifest through the banning of drugs. This is not special to drugs. It is a consequence of having them banned. Organized crime would also supply cars if they were banned. They would become rich and powerful through the dealing of cars.

Not only does banning drugs kill people, but it’s inconsistent with other laws. People are treated differently depending on what their recreational drug of choice is. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine are legal  but why are other drugs illegal? Because politicians and “family” associations enjoy the legal drugs but not the others? Is that a good way to decide law?

Actually drugs are no different to any other risk taking activity. Whether it be driving a car, eating unhealthy food or playing a physical contact sport. Safety is garnered through education, training,  risk assessment processes, safe systems of operation and safety in design. All these methods of staying safe are lost when an activity is made illegal. Drugs are not special. Risks associated with drugs can be controlled with the same techniques used to control any risk. It is the law that make drugs dangerous.