Psycho-active substances’ legalization part 2

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We will try in this post to focus on the possible social applications of the analysis described in the previous post. We will begin again with cannabis.


1) Cannabis

In my opinion the access to cannabis should be made under medical advice like for tobacco (see the post : ” Ecological democracies part 2″, point 3). Each person of more than 16 or 18 years, according to countries and legislations, would be allowed, after having been clearly advised by specialized doctors about the possible risks of the substance if wrongly used, to have access to high quality cannabis coming from various species (cannabis has a wide range of psycho-active substances and some species have different levels of concentration of these active molecules) at reasonable price (with of course taxes like for tobacco or alcohol).

Good quantities of high quality cannabis are easy to make, for example in open air State cultivation in some remote mountain valley, or individually. Apart from Holland, Switzerland allows since many years the production of cannabis for private or public medical use. Each adult citizen is allowed to grow a few plants for personal use. Some states in the US (California for example) allow patients suffering from various diseases (glaucoma, post operation or chemical treatment problems, insomnia, some stress, anxiety or nervousness related problems…) after medical certification to have access to high-grade medical cannabis with different levels of concentration in active molecules. I think that it is a very interesting and useful initiative because the medical properties of these complex substances are really multiple and should be well-studied, especially if there is a demand from the general public.

We could also imagine that during medical advice, a small leaflet or book of maybe 20 or 30 pages, a summary of the general precautions and advice concerning the use of cannabis, could be given to each new user. A special care should be given to psychotic phenomena. These kind of phenomena can arise quickly especially if strong doses are used frequently in the beginning. If such phenomena do occur, be careful because according to your own physical and mental constitution, cannabis abuse may lead to permanent psychotic phenomena, and even if it does not happen often, it can be really annoying at the individual level. So medical advice should be sought on these cases, it is better to be careful if any troublesome effects appear.

Cannabis and driving seems (according to me and the dose) less dangerous than alcohol and driving. You are more prudent and less violent or aggressive than with alcohol. Nevertheless reflexes and attention can be, according to cases, greatly reduced. Therefore, legally, like abuse of alcohol, abuse of cannabis (according to the dose) while driving should be fined.

More generally, all works with responsibilities (like machine driver, drivers for collective means of transport…) should avoid the use of cannabis while working. It is possible to work with cannabis, for sure, there is no question about it, but the work should not be too strenuous, dangerous or delicate. The best is not to use cannabis while working, it gives in my opinion more enjoyment during “free” time.

According to Rastas, cannabis is “the healing of the nations”. Its legalization could be a way to globally slow down the social and economic pace of our crazy societies (see the post : “We are going too fast”). It could alleviate the maybe difficult social conditions coming from possible future economic crisis. It would also ease the maybe painful changes towards more ecological models, changes that will become more and more necessary. A last positive effect would be maybe a reduction in the global (over)-use of tobacco, alcohol, artificial anti-depressant molecules and other “smart” (but not fully understood) drugs.

We can also say that we should find ways to make State agencies and so-called “mafia” organizations work together (for example by allowing small-size plantations in under-developed areas, or peaceful transit of cannabis coming from various origins).


2) Heroin

Heroin epidemic is a real social issue. Heroin more or less quickly destroy completely the user and its capacity to enjoy life without its substance. Highly addicted heroin users very rarely (example : John Coltrane) have the strength to fight their addiction, especially when they can easily find heroin.

Therefore I think that it would be a good solution to give the opportunity for heroin users who want to, to “cut” from their habit and the “normal” society. Special centers in country-side locations would give optimum conditions of comfort, tranquillity and occupations to these persons in order to slowly go out of the addiction and heal themselves.

Addiction to intravenous injections being the worst, we could imagine for these addicted persons to begin with using heroin by other means. After a while heroin would be replaced by opium (and maybe cannabis for those who want) until a personal and social healing transformation can take place.

All this work on physical addiction must be helped by all kind of medical, spiritual, meditative, artistic, sport… practices to ease the process. To have the head busy is essential : work, education, reading, pastimes… We could imagine that the works would be directed towards the functioning of these centers (cooking, farming, gardening, cleaning, administrative tasks…), which would become like independent communities (this would reduce the costs linked to such initiatives).

After some time, when the addiction is reduced and the physical, psychological or social problems are settled, two solutions would be offered : or to continue the work in a similar center to completely go out of all addictions, or to go back to normal life (with maybe the possibility to have access to opium with medical advice).

Of course the access to these centers should be voluntary and not something forced. No heroin should be found in the black market. The States would grow poppy or buy it from traditional circuits (example : Afghanistan…) but there is nothing new, historically or politically, about it (see the opium wars in China fought by Great Britain or the “regie marocaine des kifs et tabacs” created by the French State during the 19th century).

In a way persons addicted to heroin would have the choice to go into special centers or stop by themselves. However some people use heroin, work and have a normal social life. It will be maybe difficult for them to find time to go into special centers, so these kind of special cases should be dealt with doctors who could on special occasions deliver heroin to these persons and maybe help them to go out of the addiction by other means. We have to be flexible and open towards all these kind of particular cases, the global objective being to control in the best way possible the heroin epidemic.  

Opium is a psycho-active substance often used in traditional tribes for old people (because the problem of addiction is less important than with young persons) to alleviate all kind of troubles and pains. We could imagine that opium could be authorized for persons over 70 years old, as a social possibility, but since medical researches have made progress on the opium-derived drugs, it is maybe not so much essential. 


3) Other substances.

One problem frequently found among the persons opposed to cannabis legalization is the fact that the black market problem might transfer to other drugs, maybe more dangerous than cannabis : if cannabis is socially accepted, then people will maybe be tempted to go for stronger prohibited substances.

First we said earlier that good quality cannabis gives a sense of contentment and really do not push the users, in most cases, towards stronger substances. Secondly, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD or psychedelic mushroom users really did not wait for cannabis legalization to use their substances, they are widely spread (and in my opinion are a result of the deadly mix alcohol+tobacco, more than cannabis).

Nevertheless I think that we should not be shy in the psycho-active substances’ field, because it is a fact that the negative effects linked to the prohibition of cannabis can be found in the prohibition of all other psycho-active substances. So, in my opinion, to really tackle the prohibition problems we should extend, with care, intelligence and adaptation, the legalization logic to other commonly used substances also.

For cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and psychedelic mushrooms (plus maybe other minor psycho-active substances), two main solutions could be found :

a) De-penalization (de-criminalization) of these substances when possessed in small quantities. In Holland for example, if police catch you with less than one gram of cocaine, they confiscate the drug but do not start any legal action.

b) Like for cannabis or heroin, the States could invent systems to safely distribute these substances to persons who want them. We would therefore have two kind of “medical advice” centers : one for tobacco and cannabis, as previously described. And one for other more “serious” psycho-active substances.

Persons addicted to heroin could be orientated towards “healing country-side centers”. Cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and psychedelic mushrooms should not be authorized before 18 years old, and weekly or monthly doses could be distributed after medical advice and prescription (6 months or 1 year ?). The amounts may be difficult to judge, for cocaine I don’t know, but for LSD or ecstasy, 2 pills every week is more than enough, and one dose of psychedelic mushroom every week also. Psychedelic mushrooms were allowed to be sold in the open market in Holland but are now forbidden because many problems with foreign tourists happened (now you can find in Dutch “smart shops” some “psychedelic truffles” which according to some reports are much more dangerous that the normal psychedelic mushroom which were previously sold).

After these major substances, the whole range of other psycho-active substances should be studied (old or new, like “smart drugs”) and maybe some particular substances could be allowed under special conditions.


Obviously all these proposals are very general and theoretical and it seems at present that many countries will have difficulties to accept them (Muslim countries, China, Japan, Bhutan… ???). Maybe we could imagine that in such countries opposed to psycho-active substances’ legalization (and especially cannabis), special areas with legalization logics could be created, without the country being fully legalized, allowing the persons interested by these kind of policies to move to such “free” areas. By allowing such small experiments in their countries, opposed States could see how the general public react to the idea, gather social data, and see how it could be intelligently and softly implemented according to each specific condition, hope and need.


About buddhananda
independent spiritual researcher, I find inspiration mainly into the buddhist, hindu and new age fields. I try to find connections between religions, philosophy, economy and technology. My aim is to contribute to the emergence of a better world. I also practice reiki.

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