Time to Tackle Drugs Problem in New Ways
Deaglán de Bréadún
The reports of a major international drugs bust are impressive testimony to excellent police work and international coordination. But we need to tackle this problem in more than one way.
As mentioned in my previous blog-post, I have been shocked by anecdotal evidence of the level of consumption of cocaine in this town by people who should know better.
The depravity of the international drugs trade is well-known. There is no excuse for anyone who helps to perpetuate the problem. If someone takes a drink and goes for a drive, it is accepted that s/he is at real and legitimate risk of legal sanction.
But there seems to be no such feeling among drug-users. I am not talking primarily about the pathetic addicts we see asleep on our streets at night. These are people plunged into despair by terrible circumstances.
No, the users I want to target are the middle-class, well-educated and, by definition, well-paid individuals who are doing well out of this society and have a responsibility to maintain certain minimum standards of behaviour.
Surely there must be a way of dealing with these people who pass themselves off as respectable members of the community but through their personal lifestyles are propping-up one of the greatest evils of our time?
The age of drug-taking with virtual impunity should be brought to a close. For a start, it would help if elements of the media ceased covering the drug habits of ageing rock-stars in a tolerant and amused fashion. Drug-taking should incur the same level of public obloquy as, for example, paedophilia. I am talking mainly about cocaine and other drugs of that class, not a marijuana joint passed around at a party – although the suppliers may be the same people.
The practicalities, of course, are difficult and challenging and I would welcome comments on how these obstacles could be overcome. We do not want a reign of terror. It would not be necessary to impose heavy punishments: as with drink-driving, even a mild brush with the law would send most of the current users, in the social layer I am speaking of, running for cover.
There is a poster campaign around town with a slogan along the following lines: “Litter is disgusting and so are those responsible”. Why isn’t there such a campaign about coke-users?