Monday, February 13, 2012
One of the really big Elephants
I don't wish to offend anyone or speak ill of the dead; but how did Whitney Houston somehow become relevant? I said goodbye to her and mourned her loss in the late 80's. By the mid 90's she was tabloid fodder and her voice was gone. I do not deny her talent and beauty, I just don't think it rates the impact it seems to be getting. I am not stating or implying she died of a drug overdose-prescribed or otherwise. I am saying it certainly had something to do with her eventual demise. Enough on that-we can argue it endlessly. The legacy of all the celebrity deaths should be Americans (and society in general) getting off their collective duffs and doing something about the scourge that is drug abuse in this world. The elephant in the room is the cost these drugs have on society and our inability or lack of willpower to do anything about it. Our jails are overflowing with folks that; other than a minor drug offense, were valued and productive members of society. We have the vicious circle that feeds enforcement and abuse at the same time. Unfortunately, if you cannot dampen or control the demand, you will never control the abuse. I believe that almost every criminal offense in this country is intertwined with drugs and its culture. Six degrees of separation doesn't even apply here. The fact that law enforcement has had little impact on it seems to not have lessened their zeal. As in so many things these days that seem to have grown beyond our control, we become polarized and seemingly unable to correct it. We need to seriously consider controlling it through legalization and equanimity in enforcement. Eliminate all the skulduggery and criminal element. Look what happened with prohibition. There is an answer here, if we face our demons head on. I think there are more productive places for the occasional drug user than jail. I think once the mystery and intrigue is removed from it, drug abuse will abate and first time users won't find it to be such an attraction. You are always going to have people that push the envelope, that seek that elusive "high" in their lives. It's how we deal with them that needs to be addressed. Hopefully the loss of luminaries, much less common citizens can galvanize us into action.