Model For The Legalization of Opioids and other Controlled Substances
Narcotic use is the right of any adult man or woman, just as the right to marriage and sex. Narcotic sales, just as coffee and fast food sales, is the right of a free market, trademark of a capitalist society. Additionally, narcotic sales should be controlled just as alcohol and tobacco sales; simply in the sense of age restriction - sales limited strictly to adults of 18/21 or older, upon verification with ID.
Opium in any form, opium derivatives, semi synthetic opiates, and synthetic opioid drugs - All should be available in retail markets such as grocery, convenience, drug-stores, department stores, chemist shops and supermarkets - Stocked and sold in a similar fashion to over-the-counter cold medicines, vitamins and other supplements (St Johns Wort, Melatonin, Ginseng). One may purchase a 500-count bottle of morphine or oxycodone tablets, just as they would a bottle of nyquil or liquor. One may purchase an express size blister-pack of 12 Vicodin tablets at a convenience store; either for a pesky headache or to mellow the stress and tension of the day - makes no difference. Dilaudid 24-count boxes or generic hydromorphone tablets may be bought on special some weeks, "buy 2, save 5 bucks", just like a sale on Tylenol. Narcotics available safely and cheaply in a retail setting, offering those with severely painful illness to conveniently manage the pain without hassle, or as simply a remedy for depression, stress, anhedonia and melancholy. A remedy for a lonely weekend or cold night outside, a 'helper' for a draining day at work or a peaceful nights sleep. For those of the organic or fair trade type - raw opium tars, tinctures, powders and extracts may be a short stroll down to a natural food or herb shoppe, and stocked on the shelves next to psilocybin mushrooms, coca-products and cannabis strains.
Needles should be freely and cheaply available, along with sterile liquid opioid solutions which are injection-friendly and distributed with warnings, literature and direction. Privatley (not publicly) funded safe drug use/injecting campaigns should target the drug habituate demographic, and provide truthful but objective knowlege about drugs, precautions, their use and effects.
Public safety is a government issue; traffic enforcement should take a similar model to its current state, except rather than the blanket approach of 'blood testing and arresting', allow officers to arrest or cite based on the individuals percieved level of impairment and ability to drive - For example, marijuana remains in tissues for months but does not impair driving ability for more than 2 hours, and certain drugs such as opioids cause little to no degree of driving impairment at all in many regular users. Moderate doses of stimulants such as cocaine may actually enhance ones ability to remain vigilant on the road. Driving should be approached on an individual basis; officers may arrest a heavily sedated and uncoordinated driver, ascertained by the officers authoritative judgement rather than black and white 'testing'. This may be achieved with the use of field sobriety tests such as the 'line walk' and 'nose to finger' excersize.
Drug overdose should be approached in the same manner as alcohol poisoning (aka alcohol overdose), with a paternalistic treatment at the hospital, offers for treatment, and a boot back out the door. When a user fucks up and takes too much causing death, the situation should be treated as what it really is - a bad or uninformed decision with a tragic and seemingly senseless consequence, just as any death related to alcohol poisoning, cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Responsibility for the death by overdose will be removed from Doctors or Street Dealers, and onto the party who is truly accountable - the OD victim.
For clinical use, narcotics may still be prescribed as necessarry for painful conditions - just as ibuprofen or naproxen may be prescribed; while non medical users buy from retail establishments rather than by prescription - Every 'drug problem' of an individual will then be seen in a rational light as to cause and effect, once allowing true responsibility and accountability a place in our culture.
The FDA may or may not remain in place, however regulatory measures would mimic those of non controlled over the counter medicines; and may only dictate the "advertised indication" of a drug, rather than require its federal stamp of approval for commercial sale - a substance not labeled as FDA approved may be marketed, but simply won't be condoned by the FDA; communicating a higher potential of risk. With the FDA operating by the previously mentioned philosophy, it will take on more of an 'advisory & disclosure' role, to provide 'suggestion' and disclose important safety information, without any lawful regulation.
The ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy) and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) will be legislatively abolished along with the repeal of both the Controlled Substance Act (drug scheduling) and the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act. This will unquestionably lead to tax savings of hundreds of billions of dollars annualy, and improved funding for public education and public safety & service such as police patrol and fire/rescue. With more state and local police funding, potential hazards such as impaired driving and consumption by minors will be managed.
Even better, every federal narcotics agent who is left without work, may be left homeless to rot on the street; like the 'junky scum' he/she used to arrest/abduct for a living.