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Charles

Blog: 1/15/13

 
Blog: 1/15/13

       

INSTANT HAPPINESS

At some point, the War on Drugs will come to an end. Governments will acknowledge that the War hasn't prevented humans from obtaining or consuming illegal substances.

Isn't it odd that the drugs the government doesn't want us to have access to are the ones that make us instantly happy or put us in a better mood? There’s no waiting for illegal drugs to take effect. Whether its painkillers or marijuana, the effects are immediate. Is that what the government is concerned about? Instant happiness? Instant pain relief?

It makes no sense to me to prevent people from changing their gloomy mood to something brighter and more engaging as long as their actions don't harm others. If I want to feel happy, if I want the pain to go away, why is that illegal? Does suffering ennoble us somehow? Are we better people because we endure pain, physical or emotional?

I don't know about you, but for me being miserable is debilitating. I don't contribute much when I'm miserable. I'm more productive when I'm in a good mood than when I'm stressed out.

Not all drugs affect people the same way. My father drank heavily yet it never affected his driving skills or his ability to write a newspaper column. He drank all day from the time he got up in the morning until he went to bed at night. He died from a blood clot in his leg which may or may not have been caused by his use of alcohol or the cigarettes he smoked. He had three heart attacks but without any side effects.

I assume my father drank to make himself feel better about himself and his life. He came to depend on alcohol to elevate his mood. Since consuming alcohol was legal, my father could have a drink anytime he felt like it.

The velvet handcuffs of addiction are a concern when people think about using drugs. But if a drug enhances your ability to enjoy life and the addiction isn't debilitating, then what’s the problem? You could say I'm addicted to antidepressants because without them I suffer from depression. I went off Cymbalta, a legal drug, and the withdrawal made me sick for a month.

Legal drugs kill more people every year than illegal drugs. Illegal drugs make us feel better right away. Is suddenly feeling better and being more attentive a bad thing? Is my good mood a threat to anyone? And if do become addicted to feeling good the only obstacle in my way to continued happiness is that the drug I'm using is illegal. That means I'm breaking the law in order to be in a good mood and the drug I'm addicted to will cost more because of its illegality.

The government seems wary of having a nation that’s in a good mood. They've already intervened in the manufacture of the drug Adderall, a drug that enables people to be more engaged with life while at the same time enhancing their mood and stimulating productivity. The government regulates its distribution and availability. Why? For the simple reason that they don't want millions of people running around feeling better on Adderall.

Feeling better because of a drug makes the government suspicious. They're afraid of people taking something that makes them feel happy while at the same time they allow drugs on the market that kill people. Governments, all of them, demand a serious society, beset by problems, hard work, and sacrifice. The last thing they want is to have a bunch of happy people in a good mood setting the agenda because that could change everything.

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