remember that time Jon Snow invented oral sex?
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compare thought. compare these thoughts with pinecones, or with webs of candy floss, or doubt. tense. these aren’t all there is. you aren’t, either.
dream back, moments, before every dark idea. this is not indulgence.
So there was talk on the radio this morning about removing criminal penalties for incidents of small-quantity drug possession (because this would divert people away from the criminal justice system, and into health programs). This is a great idea. But only useful—only justifiable—if the ‘health programs’ are, in form and scale, representative of and tailored to the real health risks associated with individual substances.
This is relevant because … will they be?
The kind of small possession incidents described in the report—where the most damaging thing to happen to the culprit is the sentence—don’t involve severe substance abuse and don’t—themselves—represent the most concerning health risks.
To force individuals caught indulging in small-scale recreational use of low-risk to benign substances into programs developed to cater to sufferers of severe dependency and addiction isn’t helpful. Similarly, dumping people with more significant problems into the kind of wide-spectrum ‘help groups’ that might be meaningful to white-collar weekend cocaine users absolutely misses the point.
Clearly, meaningful and useful change requires that governments fund meaningful and useful research into what health risks actually are, and that they respond to what’s found… even if that isn’t what looks easiest to market to the voting public.
ie. is this still an idea that interest groups will find attractive if it means accepting that, sometimes, kids taking party drugs at dance clubs might get away with a frowny face?