The Right to Our Body
Of all the greatest defenses of the right to use drugs, the most popular is the idea that we have rights, and these rights end only insomuch that they limit the freedom of another. By shooting a gun randomly in the street, for example, we are imposing on the right to life of other people. But by injecting, snorting, smoking, or swallow a substance, how are we interferring with the rights of others? We are not. In New Orleans, one Heroin addict repeated an ancient wisdom to me, “To each his own. Let every person do the drugs that they want, or no drugs at all. It is your own, personal decision.” And I agree with him wholeheartedly.
In this world and under this government, we have a right to walk on any sidewalk, to apply for any job, to enjoy any hobby that catches our interest — to love the emotional nature of the romantic writers, to let our souls be carried by the music of our heart, to live everyday as though it was our first and last — freedom and liberty are the components of civilization. Without them, civilization becomes a toil, simply a technologically advanced society, devoid of happiness or creativity, making primitive lifestyles almost desirable. The freedom to speak what you want, to believe in any religion or political theory (or conspiracy theory) that you wish, to know that your body is the instrument to your heart’s desires, to know that it is no crime to pick up any book off the shelf and read it — freedom of the heart and mind, these are the greatest of all things one could wish for in this life. They are but intrinsic to true development, to learning, to understanding this Universe and its inhabitants. To let anyone do as they will, so long as they harm none: this is what I believe, and I will never condemn someone for a personal preference. That a person can listen to any music they desire or read any book they want. This is freedom, and it is what I believe.
Naturally, it will take little imagination to understand how disgusted I am with the current drug laws in the United States. Our leaders will speak of our liberty, and what our founding fathers had fought to create, but they will not mention how their laws will force you into a prison for a personal decision — how we have never lived in freedom, that immigrants have been under attack in the United States two hundred years before the rise of Nazism in Germany, that America had kept African slaves for longer than any other civilized nation, and that it only revived this slavery in a system of wages. They will speak, our politicians, and they have nothing to lose, because they are simply trying to gain our loyalty. Once in office, they will become the epitome of corruption. Interested in nothing but keeping things in the status quo, they will enforce legislation to empower corporations and disempower citizens’ power. The right to speak or think or act as one pleases, these rights will hold little meaning in their life. For them, it is about power, not liberty — profit, not people.
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Of these great rights which have been fought hard for, one still remains in suppression: the right to use mind-altering substances, or recreational drugs. If a person can think what they want, or read any book they want, or say whatever their opinion is, then why is it that they have no right to take those chemicals which alter their mood? The government already failed to enforce prohibition against alcohol, and it is failing just as much in prohibiting street drugs. The reason why I believe any person has the right to do any drug that they want is simple: because I believe in freedom. With a drug, depending on which one it is, a person can go through so many learning experiences, they can discover things which they had never seen before, they can relive old memories, they can — in a very fantastic sense — even fly. To relive old memories, there is nothing comparable; to be able to go back to that old spot, where you confessed you loved that beautiful face, where you discovered that a friend betrayed you, where you survived a traumatic event; to be able to do this, and relive these old times, it can put to rest those daemons that have haunted your psyche — it can give your mind a greater leverage in dealing with those issues that have plagued your struggling mentality. Of course, this would be only with psychodelic drugs. Most drugs work as relaxants, in that they simply relax the user — though the relaxation is so powerful and strong that users would find the word “relax” to be unfitting. When we use chemicals to improve our lives, emotionally, recreationally, we are making leaps and bounds ahead in our personal development. The idea that any drug is a poison is outdated, and even the public is losing faith in the “War on Drugs” idea.