Monday, 24 September 2012
One of my favorite things to debate about is the legalization and regulation of drugs, though few people agree with me. (And that's all right, some days I am not even sure I agree with my ideas.)
Anyway, historically many things were legal, common and acceptable that are no longer seen this way. Here is a brief tour.
Absinthe - A very highly alcoholic liqueur, or spirit, that has a psychoactive effect. Although it has been in existence since 1550 BC in ancient egypt, it was banned in the US in 1915. It was particularly popular in France and served in all cafes and bistros. "After having been banned for over a century in most countries, Absinthe is re-establishing itself as a (legal) cult favorite, and the drink of choice for people looking to become inebriated as quickly as possible."
Cocaine - Used as a cure all, it was popular in drinks (Coca Cola) and a numbing agent for all ailments, including toothaches for children.
"Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup was an indispensable aid to mothers and child-care workers. Containing one grain (65 mg) of morphine per fluid ounce, it effectively quieted restless infants and small children. It probably also helped mothers relax after a hard day's work. The company used various media to promote their product, including recipe books, calendars, and trade cards such as the one shown here from 1887."
Opium - For rest, of course!
Heroin - Bayer has always had a handle on pain!
Though none of this is new news, it still makes me smile to see the old ads. After prohibition, things were much better regulated. Mid to late 20th century offered cures with Valium, methamphetamines, and treatments for disorders of various types - remember the lobotomy?
Today we are dealing with other types of legal and illegal drugs (and legal drugs that will soon be illegal and illegal drugs becoming legal) - with some of the big ones being Prozac, Ritalin and anti-anxiety meds.
I am a believer in regulation, and I know that all drugs are not created equally. However, if the government would use their resources to develop, test, regulate and tax drugs of all varieties rather than to find a reason to not allow them (I am not just talking about illegal drugs here, I am also talking about new therapeutic drugs for chronic and terminal diseases), our country would have much more money, fewer people in prison, lower crime, and more treatment options for ill people.
This isn't the first time I have posted about this, and I do understand and mostly agree with the objections I have heard. Drugs ruin people's lives. But I would hope that with regulation and the elimination of the criminal elements, the effects of drugs wouldn't be so negative.
Ok, maybe I am a dreamer.