One of the many reasons why Libertarians are proud of our presidential candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen is that she is a key lecturer at Clemson University for Psychology. She recognizes that addiction is a medical issue that requires medical attention.

With the current war on drugs, addicts are treated as having criminal issue instead of having a medical issue. Dr. Jorgensen sees the war on drugs as an incorrect procedure to handle a serious medical issue. Would you give a ticket to a cancer patient? Would you arrest someone for having HIV? No. Every one of these people would receive proper medical care in a safe and secure medical facility.

Anthony Cristo is a high school English teacher in San Antonio, husband and Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress in district 34 of Texas.

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(3) comments

Shepard

While I also agree with both types of legalization and De criminalization of most recreational drugs, the issues are more complex than you intimate.

1. Parameters - which drugs will ‘make the list’?

2. Employment testing - will employers still be allowed to test individuals and terminate employment in certain fields?

3. Healthcare - who is to pay for the drug treatments?

My personal opinion is that marijuana should be legalized by the Federal government and ‘controlled’ as is alcohol, with the states having a measure of that control. Likewise, I believe that being under the influence or having a reduced capacity for driving, work, etc. can and should be enforced like alcohol.

There are no other ‘recreational drugs’ that I am aware of.....so further expansion would not be required.

Point to note here on criminalization; current data indicates approximately 50% of all drug arrests / convictions in Texas are for marijuana, with ~99% for possession. Setting a reasonable threshold for possession and corresponding guidelines would eliminate 99% of all arrests, or about 135,000 per year in Texas.

Though against any type of drug use myself, I think it goes against good sense not to alter the laws on marijuana and move it to parity with alcohol.

Julian Mardock

Mr. Shepard, when I was a boy, my father was the Assistant Dallas County Health Officer. Which means that he was the jail doctor. He told me, "Now look, son: all drugs are bad. But the worst is alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal is life-threatening . Alcohol causes permanent brain damage. Even when you withdraw an alcoholic, he is probably incompetent. " Narcotics addicts can go back to work as airplane mechanics, accountants, or whatever they did before they became addicts. Marijuana users were never endangered.

Shepard

While I agree with your premise, I do know several former alcoholics and they are functional contributors to their profession and society in general.

Your main thrust that alcoholics cannot reintegrate is nonsensical.

There are differences in substance abuse dependencies, with early termination being effective in many cases for most if not all substances. I have known many people who used marijuana over the last 40 years, many of which ‘outgrew’ the usage. Unfortunately, even marijuana can have both short and long term effects depending on frequency of use.

My original point still stands; parameters on class of drugs, employment testing, healthcare all are issues to address, as is making marijuana have ‘parity’ with alcohol from a regulatory stance.

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