Speculation is rampant about why Jared Loughner, the
shooter, did it. Initial reports called him a “pot smoker,” as if that might have something to do with it. Indeed, some arm-chair analysts want to put at least some of the blame on Loughner’s alleged “drug use” and the supposed associations with crime and mental illness. “Drugs made him do it.” Arizona
Americans have a love/hate relationship with drugs. On the one hand they maintain an all out war on them, while on the other; they want senior citizens to get their drugs free. If drugs are so bad, why should seniors get 'em for free? Ok, Ok, I have to recognize the dubious distinction between legal and illegal drugs.
Illegal drugs are not approved by the government Authority!
That’s the distinction. Legal drugs are often described as miracles. But when the same drugs are valued for recreational benefits, the miracles become crimes. If your dentist gives you cocaine for a toothache, and it stops the pain, that's a miracle, but if you take it on your own, it’s a demon and you’re a felon.
It’s the potential for recreational use of a drug that really bothers the Authority!
The logic goes something like this: We don’t like marijuana. Too many people use it just to feel good. So marijuana should be illegal. Let's take a vote. Who wants to ban marijuana? There is nothing in the Constitution recognizing the right to use marijuana. We don’t want anyone to have it. We don’t want our kids exposed to it. Marijuana must be banned in order to protect our children.
And if someone who smokes marijuana commits a heinous act, the marijuana must have had something to do with it. Drugs are bad unless we say they’re good, according to the Authority!
Of course, bad things can happen to people with the careless use of drugs, and many other substances, whether legal or illegal, but after all these decades of war; it’s obvious that the single most dangerous aspect of illegal drugs is the fact that they are illegal. By far, most of the violence and damage associated with drugs is because of their illegality -- not the effects of the drugs upon individuals or the public health.
The worst part of using illegal drugs is not getting high, or getting addicted, or getting sick -- it’s getting caught!
So, if Sarah Palin didn’t cause the rampage with her campaign rhetoric, and marijuana didn’t do it, the drug warriors are left to find other more reasonable explanations for Loughner’s crimes.