When faced with enduring marginalisation and oppression which has been systemic and emdbedded at every level – personal, cultural and institutional – any opportunity for drug users that brings improvements in human rights and justice is understandably gratefully received. Drugs as a health issue not a crime problem bring such hope.
While we should support those who are now being bold enough to assert that drug users are not criminals and drug possession should be decriminalised – we should be very wary of ‘leaping out of the frying pan into the fire’ by supporting the medicalisation of drug use.
Drug users are not criminals
Drug users are not sick either
They are no more sick or criminal than people who enjoy real coffee, a glass of red wine, or a cigar. Regular recreational drug taking is not a health problem, it is not a sign of sickness.
When people lose control and become dependent on drugs it isn’t a brain problem, a medical problem. Problematic drug use is social and health issue.
We don’t want to jump out of the criminal deviance model of addiction only to find we ourselves left with a disease model of addiction.