Attitude is a very powerful thing, on the part of an individual and also on the part of a nation. In this respect, we hear all the time that attitudes are changing. From my perspective, I am not sure they are changing for the better, and this is especially true when it comes to non-prescription drugs. In the past I would have said "illegal" drugs, but some drugs today that were once illegal are now legal.
As one who has never used any kind of drugs, other than those prescribed by a doctor, I am biased and will just state that up front. Another thing I will state up front is that I do not claim to be an authority on this subject. I do have an attitude about illegal drugs and that is what I want to share with you here.
There is a question that I believe deserves an answer, "Are we becoming, or have we already become, a nation of drug addicts? The best example is the number of different states that are legalizing marijuana. For any discerning person not using drugs, it is easy to see why they are making them legal. The states love the tax revenue generated from marijuana sales in their state. The state’s attitude is like the air traffic controller in a small airport down South with only one runway. There were two planes coming in to land at the same time and the controller gave one pilot instructions to land from the south and the other from the north. When confronted by both pilots the controller said, "You-all be careful, hear!!"
The so-called "war on drugs" has been going on for many years, and we have had some successes and we have had some failures. The drug warlords in Mexico, South America and other places in the world will kill you if you get in their way. Again, this is because of the vast amount of money involved. The main argument that many people use who want to legalize all drugs is that we get the tax revenue and eliminate much of the competition for territory, thereby making it safer for everyone.
The truth is this: when we take mind-altering substances into our body, whether it’s alcohol, marijuana or hard drugs, it alters and impairs judgment. This is fatal to many innocent people in our nation each year. It also hurts the addicted individual, who often exists in a living hell because of what it does to their body and often forces them to a life of crime to support the habit. It is not a pretty picture and yet we have an increasing number of Americans who want to make it legal. One thing for sure, you can sure reduce crime rates very quickly by doing that.
For hard-core users, this column will make little or no difference, but just maybe it may reach some who love their children and grandchildren and will do everything possible to make sure they never use drugs of any kind. It should be interesting to note that a recent study conducted by the Harvard Medical School revealed that prolonged marijuana use definitely impacts brain cells and IQ points among regular users.
Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, asserts that there needs to be more recognition of current research especially in a political environment that is gradually growing more accepting of the drug and the movement to legalize it expands. For me, it’s a question of buy now, pay later but the price may go way up before later ever comes to pass. Again, the question we should all answer, "Are we becoming a nation of drug addicts?" I hope not. While I am only one person, because of the havoc they wreak on people’s lives, I would never vote to legalize any of them, ever.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit www.bookcaseforeverychild.com. You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)