Mendax News Service
East Virginia today became the latest state to legalize the production, sale, advertising, transportation and ingestion of all drugs. As she signed the bill into law, Governor Pecunia DeNero said that she is personally opposed to recreational use of drugs, but didn't want to force her beliefs on others if they think it's right. At the signing ceremony, the Governor said that she thought the use of drugs should be "safe, legal and rare," but is pro-choice on the matter.
Anthony Comstock, the chief opponent of the bill, predicted that it will lead to widespread use of drugs and profiteering by drug companies along with increased crime and mental health problems. The bill's supporters said that they thought it would make safe drugs legally available and eliminate the unlicensed, back alley drug dealers. Supporters cited deaths from botched drug refining and violence brought on by turf wars over drug sales, claiming that these plagues will be eliminated or reduced by legalization. One supporter, Representative Tim Leery said, "Make no mistake, as long as people want drug use there will be drug use, but this gives the state control over it."
The state Department of Education is planning on introducing Drug Education courses, starting in kindergarten to make students aware of the dangers of using alcohol and addictive drugs. Opponents fret that telling children about drugs and their effects will only cause them to experiment with them. Educators dismiss these concerns as having no precedent or merit. Funding for the courses will not come from the state budget, but will come from grants provided by the drug companies and liquor distilleries. Some tobacco companies have suggested a similar program of tobacco education to warn of the dangers of smoking and chewing.
The federal government has warned that it does not recognize the state's power to legalize drugs and will prosecute residents under federal statutes. Representative Peggy Hames, the bill's author, says that her bill recognizes a person's right to control his or her own body, but federal Justice Department officials claim that no such right exists. Hames counters that the Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to regulate intrastate drugs. Justice Department Spokesman Louie Carroll stated that the Constitution "means just what we choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
Whatever the outcome with the feds, there are sure to be many more battles at the state level. Already there are proposals to require a parent's permission before anyone under 18 can purchase hallucinogenic drugs, with opponents arguing that, if enacted, the bill will force children to buy drugs on the black market. Supporters say that parents should be aware of what drugs their children are using, what kind and how often.
Many teaching professionals feel that it's best if parents are not included in a child's decision to experiment with drugs since many parents are fettered to old paradigms and outmoded ideas about health, morality, prudence and acceptability.
There are already rumblings about providing free drugs to children who will stay in school. It's an example of thinking outside the box, but educators say that if it keeps kids in school and out of trouble, it's worth considering.