Saturday, February 8, 2014

Deepak Chopra Calls for Legalisation of All Drugs

On Thursday's Piers Morgan Show on CNN, during a discussion of the drug related death of  Philip Seymour Hoffman, New Age guru Deepak Chopra called for the legalisation of all drugs.

It was a passing comment on the show and there was not too much elaboration by Chopra, but it seemed he was advocating legalisation on utilitarian grounds rather than libertarian principles. He said that drug abusers tended to be isolationists because of the illegality of drug use and that if all drugs were legalized, drug users wouldn't have to hide their use of drugs, anymore than cigarette smokers have to hide their smoking.

He said it would make drug abuse more visible and alert many more, who could intervene.

I am not sure this would apply to all users. Afterall, there are alcoholics, who attempt to hide their drinking, even though the purchase of alcohol is legal, but it might apply in some situations.

Russell Brand, a recovering drug addict,  in a column for The Guardian hits on the point that Hoffman was alone when he died:
A troubling component of this sad loss is the complete absence of hedonism. Like a lot of drug addicts, probably most, who “go over”, Hoffman was alone when he died.
But Brand hits the nail on the head, more so than Chopra, when he writes in his piece:
  Addiction is a mental illness around which there is a great deal of confusion, which is hugely exacerbated by the laws that criminalise drug addicts.

If drugs are illegal people who use drugs are criminals. We have set our moral compass on this erroneous premise, and we have strayed so far off course that the landscape we now inhabit provides us with no solutions and greatly increases the problem.

This is an important moment in history; we know that prohibition does not work. We know that the people who devise drug laws are out of touch and have no idea how to reach a solution. Do they even have the inclination? The fact is their methods are so gallingly ineffective that it is difficult not to deduce that they are deliberately creating the worst imaginable circumstances to maximise the harm caused by substance misuse.

People are going to use drugs; no self-respecting drug addict is even remotely deterred by prohibition. What prohibition achieves is an unregulated, criminal-controlled, sprawling, global mob-economy, where drug users, their families and society at large are all exposed to the worst conceivable version of this regrettably unavoidable problem.

Countries like Portugal and Switzerland that have introduced progressive and tolerant drug laws have seen crime plummet and drug-related deaths significantly reduced. We know this. We know this system doesn't work – and yet we prop it up with ignorance and indifference. Why? Wisdom is acting on knowledge. Now we are aware that our drug laws aren't working and that alternatives are yielding positive results, why are we not acting? Tradition? Prejudice? Extreme stupidity? The answer is all three. Change is hard, apathy is easy, tradition is the narcotic of our rulers. The people who are most severely affected by drug prohibition are dispensable, politically irrelevant people.


  1. Deepak Chopra is an abysmal moron who referred to 'president' obozo as a "light worker".
    Credibility? GONE.

    As for legalizing all drugs....It's simple reasoning. In a healthy society there would be no need for drug laws.
    Becoming a healthy society requires the elimination of drug laws.
    Just like addicts must suffer the pains of withdrawal and adjustment to 'normal' (health), so must a sick and 'addicted' society.
    This society is addicted to deceit (learned ignorance).
    It's going to hurt!!

  2. Also money, perhaps tradition- there are huge industries in America that benefit substantially from caging individuals exercising choice over what to put in their bodies. A who list of mountebanks are partially to blame: the prison industries and their partners, government contractors like drug testers, parole officers and certain courts, pharma, alcohol, and the tobacco industry all benefit because it limits the choices of their customers. Notice a good part of the industries are part of the "legacy" economy who depend on the license and regulatory racket to maintain market share. A good part of their business model depends on making innocuous behavior illegal.

  3. The drug laws are working well and those who claim the War On Drugs is a failure are simply wrong. The prison guards union, the corporations that run the prisons, the DEA, and the countless law-enforcement agencies that enforce the WOD all employ many thousands at excellent pay levels. These people all spend their pay into the economy, thus helping our recovery from the recent recession. The large pharmaceutical corporations continue to make record profits selling legal drugs thanks to the inhibition of illegal drug competition. So, where's the failure??

  4. @anonymous Feb 8, 2014 1:17p. You forgot to add the /sarc tag or you're too much of a government worship suck ass to rate a response.