Remember the 1920's with the gangster shootings, bathtub liquor, moonshiners, and such? Yeah, me neither. What I do remember is the crime, destroyed lives, violated liberty, and militarized cops resulting from the newest chapter of Prohibition. The so-called "drug war". It's actually the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs, and it is wrong.
Drug abuse can undoubtedly be harmful, but at least there are ways to receive help for addictions to substances, such as contacting this 1-800 number for drug addicts and their families. Prohibition causes even worse harm, and help is nowhere to be found for that problem.
In case you are under the mistaken impression that the first Prohibition was repealed, I am sorry to inform you it wasn't. The government got jealous of the freelance gangs and decided to take over. A piece of the action wasn't good enough; they wanted the whole ball-of-wax. So instead of liquor being "illegal" everywhere for everyone, we got saddled with liquor licenses, minimum drinking ages, and lots of money flowing into government coffers. Is drinking alcohol wrong or is it right? Either way, should "immoral" automatically equal "illegal"? No, it should NOT! If drinking alcohol is wrong, does paying government for the "privilege" make it right? Sorry, that doesn't hold water, either. I think, that like most things, alcohol is ethically neutral. It can fuzz up your thought processes, but you are still responsible for your actions, drinking or not.
I also believe the same thing about other drugs. Some are obviously less dangerous than others. Caffeine is less dangerous than opium. Marijuana is less dangerous than heroin. Does making a drug "legal" or "illegal" change its properties one iota? No. Do I think it is smart to smoke crack? Of course not. Is it your right to do so if you wish? Absolutely. Either you own your body, to do with as you wish as long as you harm no other person, or you do not. If you don't own yourself, who do you suppose does own you?
Safety is not the issue. We all do a lot of things that other people see as dangerous. Because of a bicycle wreck when I was 12, two wheeled things like motorcycles scared me to death for years. It took me over twenty years to really ride a bike again. I also have trouble understanding why anyone would ride in a car without a seat belt. On the other hand, I have grabbed full-grown, angry raccoons by hand in an animal rescue situation. It may have been stupid, but I knew the risks and was willing to take them. It is not the government's place to forbid me the freedom to take the risks I am willing to take.
What about innocent bystanders? Or "society"? Eliminate the profit motive, and drug related crime would dry up and go away. It did with alcohol without the prohibition even being totally ended.
What about people driving under the influence of drugs? Drowsiness, illness such as the flu, depression, or even a bad day can cause bad driving. That is a poor excuse to destroy lives, liberty, property, families, and ultimately, America.
You should always stay aware of other drivers no matter whether you believe they are sober or not. I know from personal experience that marijuana is less debilitating than alcohol. I have also never observed marijuana causing anyone to go around picking fights. If safety were the real justification, marijuana users would be ignored by "law enforcement". No honest cop, if there were such a thing, would ever arrest a person for using drugs; just doing their "job" or not.
The drug war has been used as an excuse to militarize the local police, to kick in the wrong doors in the middle of the night (murdering innocent people in the process), to set up illegal traffic stops, to violate the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, and generally go against everything America is supposed to be. It spawns such evil as the D.A.R.E. program which teaches children that it is good to betray their family to the government. There is no justification for this evil behavior. None of this even reduces drug use anyway. Even the government's own statistics show this. The lives supposedly destroyed by drugs are actually destroyed by the drug warriors and the consequences of prohibition. Notice how few of the ill effects are really caused by the chemistry of the drugs, and how many are caused by the politics and the "law". What it all comes down to is this: People who are in prison or on probation for non-violent drug "offenses" are not criminals, they are political prisoners!
One final warning: If you DO get addicted to some substance and your addiction causes you to end up in a gutter somewhere, don't come looking for government handouts. You make your choices; you live with the consequences. I choose to use my drug of choice, caffeine in the form of Dr Pepper, regardless of the damage that it may do to my health because I understand the risks and am willing to take them. Everyone has the same right.
Drug Tests - Just Say "No! You Pervert!"
Why is it so important for employers to become perverted "urine collectors"? For most jobs, it probably wouldn't even matter if someone came to work slightly "impaired". For the jobs where it does matter, it doesn't matter whether an employee is impaired because of chemicals, emotion, illness, or lack of sleep. All those things impact performance. I don't want a surgeon cutting on my brain with any of these issues hanging over his head. Why are "drugs" singled out?
Your personal time is just that: personal. What you do on Friday night is not your employer's business on Monday (or a couple weeks later). Liability for your employer wouldn't be an issue if we could get back to holding people individually responsible for their actions and any harm they cause. But then, Congress would all be facing the death penalty, wouldn't they?
Which drugs are OK to use? Ibuprofen? Benedryl? Alcohol? Caffeine? Chocolate? Broccoli? Every single substance you ingest or inhale affects your body chemistry in some way. Some have more of an effect than others, but if you are able to do our job without putting anyone, other than yourself, in increased danger, then you should be left alone, and any bodily fluids you contain should be yours to do with as you see fit. If you apply for a job that demands a urine sample, give them one right then and there- all over the floor. Let them get a sponge if they want to put it in a cup. It is time to stand up like humans with dignity and say a loud "No!" to this sick behavior on the part of government and its worshipers.
Now, I recognize that employers have a right to require just about anything they want. On the other hand, no companies had even thought of this intrusion until it became a government fad. It is also not necessarily the right thing to exercise every right you have in every situation. You also have a right to refuse a job if they make ridiculous demands. Without the blessing from government, fewer companies would try to get away with this sanctioned molestation. In a future, free, society there will be enough companies and opportunities competing for your skills that you will be able to pick and choose among those who respect your rights.