Legalising Drugs? Part Two
The things were, though, not so easy as they seemed at first. Some problems, I saw fairly fast; others, only as I went deeper into Catholic thinking.
Italy isn’t an island. The freedom of movement within Europe which started in 1993 means junkies from all Southern Europe would have been tempted to move to Italy. To a junkie, drug is the very first necessity, and reason of life. Heroin on prescription, of extremely safe quality and extremely cheap, would have meant the risk of an army of junkies moving to Italy without a job or prospects, as the drugs would have been prospect enough. Being EU citizen would have given them automatic, non-discriminatory access to the national health service. Today this would, of course, apply so much more to a country like England, where smart but lazy people live at the taxpayer’s expense for a lifetime, and there is an extensive system of guaranteed “welfare”. A roof on your head, basic expenses paid, no fear of the future, first-rate medical service and cheap, safe, high-quality drugs. A junk’s definition of paradise.
Not every drug is born equal. Cocaine, for example, doesn’t really have “surrogates”. You can give a heroin addict methadone (and who knows whether he’ll be content with that) but the cocaine addict will accept no substitutes. This alone would be a market big enough to ensure the survival of a drug dealers’ net. The argument that smart legalisation wipes the industry away doesn’t wash.
Drugs (particularly cocaine, which is why it could never be legalised in the first place) can make people dangerous. You can talk a lot about a controlled environment, but in the end a drug addict will tend to have an erratic behaviour. In Italy, drogato is a word commonly used to indicate not only the actual addict, but also seriously unstable people. Ask yourself whether you want a heroin addict neighbour on methadone. In time, there would be a lot of them. Then try to criminalise drugs again, and good luck to you.
Legalisation encourages lack of self-responsibility. It sends the message that if enough idiots put themselves in a big enough problem, Big Nanny will have to intervene and make their lives easy. Not only is this an extremely bad example for an entire nation, but it produces the drug addicts it claims to eradicate. Make no mistake, if your son is a tad stupid and sees drug addicts have all the fun and a halfway normal life, he will soon draw his conclusions. With the present system your car may be at risk of breaking, but your son will be at risk of becoming a drug addict only if he is a serious moron. I know what country I would prefer to live in. With remarkable soundness, the electorate of almost all European countries see this. This is one of the few issues where political correctness flies directly out of the window. A legal junkie next door? Take a hike, Mr MP.
Legalisation is deeply immoral. The Church does not allow to consent to an evil so that another evil may be avoided. Giving drugs to a human being to feed his addiction cannot be right whatever other advantages may be expected from his action. If it is permissible to give drugs to drug addicts in order for them to avoid killing themselves with drugs, it must be permissible to give condoms to sodomites in order for them to avoid killing themselves with AIDS, or to young girls in order that they may avoid suicide following pregnancy. Actually, the latter argument could be used to justify abortion.
Whatever the advantages of a certain situation, I prefer a country that chooses to do what is right and pays the price of its convictions. If it costs more in police and jails, so be it. There is a moral dimension in our lives that cannot be seen merely in terms of material advantages. Similarly, on attentive reflection the idea that a country may fight criminality by distributing to its citizens those very same poisons that it considers so bad as to make the distribution of them a serious criminal offence reveals itself as logically self-defeating, besides being morally untenable.
On the same vein, I prefer a country that calls people to pay for their own idiocy. Small idiocy, small price; big idiocy, big price. Self responsibility is the salt of life. Unless one learns this lesson one cannot call himself an adult, merely a very heavy baby. God believes in self-responsibility to the point of condemning to an eternity in hell, but some people cannot even accept drug addicts are responsible for their own addiction. One wonders.
To throw oneself from the bridge and then to expect Super Nanny to fly to the rescue whilst one is in mid-air because one didn’t know how gravity works – but thought flying is great fun! – isn’t really how it’s going to work. Rather, it is fitting that the one who chooses to throw himself from the bridge reaps what he has sown and smashes into the ground; the fathers will then lead their own sons to the bridge and show to them the trajectory and the destination. Highly educative, I assure you. In the Papal States, fathers led their sons to executions, that they may see what happens to criminals. Smart fathers, they were.
In the case of the drug addict, of course, things aren’t so brutal. The smashing into the ground happens very slowly, and the possibility of saving oneself in mid-air is still given, if one really wants to – operative words here are “if one really wants to” – . But I am sure you get my drift.
These, my dear and very patient reader, are the reasons why yours truly is on the side of the Bishop of Rome, at least in this matter. Notice, though, that on this occasion it is not yours truly who is being progressive, but rather the above-mentioned Bishop of Rome who is being, semel in anno, conservative.