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C2H6O: The Terror of the Moralising Busybody

Rhys Clarke

Naked Politics Blogger

The fear of public stigma has silenced me for too long. Our society is amidst an unprecedented moral degradation that has culminated in the widespread accessibility of a legal high known as C2H6O.

The effects of the drug on the physical condition of the human body are quite devastating, with persistent abuse culminating in the increased risk of heart and liver disease, cancer of the liver and bowels and that is before we get onto any of the serious social problems derived from a prolonged use of the substance, which includes unemployment, homelessness and divorce.

Of course, the scourge of C2H6O goes far beyond the UK. The menace of this drug and its potential impact on the health of the general global population is so catastrophic that the World Health Organization identified it as one of the five most significant risk factors for diseases, with more than half being chronic conditions.

In 2016-17 there were 337,000 C2H6O-related hospital admissions – a 17% increase over the previous decade – and circa 5,000 per year resulting in death, which is around ten times the homicide rate to put that into context.

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Women bear the harshest burden. Not only does it inflict more damage at a lower level of consumption over a shorter period of time, but it also contributes to the abhorrent crimes of sexual assault and rape.

The destruction wrought by C2H6O, more commonly known as alcohol, has been indulged in for far too long. So, my fellow moral crusaders, will you join forces with me in calling for the government to step in and prohibit the sale and consumption of such an abhorrent poison? Or maybe not!

This moral outrage is the primary tool of the prohibitionist and it is the first thing that must be dismantled in the war against the war on drugs. It should be considered that all of the arguments made by apologists for the prohibition of marijuana – that it is unhealthy, contributes to poor mental health and is surrounded by a subjectively frowned upon culture – could easily be made for the abolition on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the UK. Even more so when you consider the fact that marijuana use is much safer than the consumption of alcohol!

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In truth, I would oppose any sort of alcohol ban. Not only because I enjoy a good lad’s night, which would be greatly hindered by substituting the booze with lemonade, but out of principle: It is not the place of the government to legislate what I put into my body!

Such a mentality, more often than not, is born out of a desire to indulge in sanctimonious outrage, based on entirely subjective pet hates. Fast food, much like alcohol, is connected with numerous negative health outcomes, which is most probably one of the reasons it is now ranked as the most overweight nation in Western Europe, yet nowhere in the mainstream media do you see anyone trying to push for the prohibition of fast food.

It is only regarding “drugs” – a nebulous enough term that the most sinister of connotations can be attributed by mainstream media outlets – that a blind spot suddenly emerges.

Prohibition did not work in the US. Instead, it simply pushed the market for a good drink underground, where it was subjected to the unregulated viscous squabbling of violent thugs, as demonstrated through gang-related atrocities such as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. In the same vein, the prohibition of marijuana in both the USA and the UK has failed to end usage of the drug, and instead, makes criminals out of non-violent users whilst enabling the dominance of this market by less than respectable individuals.

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While the principle of individual liberty provides a compelling enough argument, my opposition here is one of pragmatism. According to a study in The Economic Journal, the legalisation of marijuana for medical purposes has resulted in a decline in the rate of violent crime – such as robbery, murder and aggravated assault – as American citizens are no longer dependent on Drug Smuggling Organisations. Certainly, this seems to be far more of an indication of success than the sharp increase in the incarceration rate of drug offenders since 1980.

The real terror of the moralising busybody is that they will continue their crusade on behalf of their conscience with neither concern for the liberty of their fellow citizens nor the pragmatic arguments against their position and one does not have to indulge in a behaviour that they perceive as contentious in order to resist the totalitarian conclusion of their moralising once implemented into law.

I have never smoked marijuana in my life and, for that matter, I’m not even that particularly fond of alcohol. Certainly, I am no fan of some of the effects of alcohol, the least of which is a nasty hangover. All I ask for is a little consistency from the moral crusaders.

GSsT[1]

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