In terms of the effort to decrease demand, Dr. Poiré was wary of the movement to decriminalize/legalize/medical allow marihuana, because he argued that more people would view the ban on drugs as arbitrary rather than necessary for security expanding the prevalence of the drug culture in the US. This could in turn increase the proclivity of people to consume drugs. The plausibility of that causal relationship interests me less than the implication that this argument has on how we understand drug culture.
Drug culture in the Unites States to some may draw up words like “pervasive”, “prevalent”, “recreational”, “escapists”, “immoral” etc. We think about drug culture and think of drug addicts, drug traffickers, and pushers. In that perception lies our inability to address the problem of drug use that exist within our community. A professor of mine once told me that our education and social upbringing did not prepare us to deal with pain. He said that ever since we are kids if we have a headache we take a Tylenol. Then, he asked why people were so surprised when people turned to drugs. This startling logic statement presents the point I want you to think about: drug culture is not limited to drug users, it affects all of us. When we don’t want to deal with pain, a difficult conversation, an apology, a loss, and resort to quick fixes by simply avoiding ourselves or resorting to more damaging alternatives like drugs we contribute to drug culture.
I believe that the only way to make a successful approach at curbing demand and lessening the prevalence of our drug culture is by recognizing that we are all complicit to drug culture, regardless of whether or not we are drug users. The change that needs to be enacted is interpersonal and intrapersonal. This is made possible by expanding the space for conversation within our society about that which makes us most uncomfortable our imperfections and our struggles. By surpassing the distance and the stigma that exist towards drug users, realizing that there is not a moral plateau that separates us, and recognizing how we contribute to drug culture we can create a significant change.
By: Cecilia Joy
Can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org