Would Whitney Houston be still belting out those songs today if America had decriminalized drugs? That's a possibility. In Portugal, reports FORBES, all drugs were decriminalized. ALL. Today, drug abuse is down about 50% in that country. Not that decriminalization accomplished that decline single-handedly. Simultaneously the nation beefed up humane treatment services for those who were convinced they could function without the alternate reality provided by substances.
There are those who have a lot to say about substance abuse. But many of them know little about its psychology or dynamics. That could be changing. More students in medicine, behavioral sciences and law enforcement are attending 12-steps meetings. They ask permission from us members to do so and we're thrilled to have them learn from the frank sharing.
One reality about chasing after banned substances is that the experience is exciting. Take away that thrill and society deflates the feeling payoff. Another reality is that being an outlaw is fun. It's also a clear identity for those who have those holes in them about who they are. Being bad trumps being nobody. And, third, forbidden fruit tastes so sweet. It's a fundamental of reverse psychology not to say no. Do that and the miscreant simply stops whatever.
Those lawyers with influence might save a lot of lives worth saving if they pushed to legalize all drugs.