18 March 2010
Legal Equals Safe
Two teenagers have died after taking MEPHEDRONE!!1!
(oh and alcohol and methadone.)
The toxicology results won't be back for weeks. Until then, we don't know how these young men came to their sad end. But the press have decided: they died because of mephedrone.
What has alarmed me about today's moral panic is the prevalance of the attitude that 'legal' must mean 'safe'. I find this a terrifying attitude for individuals to take towards their own well-being.
This is yet another conseqeunce of prohibition. When the government's remit becomes to protect people from themselves, some people - perhaps inadverently - outsource their personal responsibility to the state. When the daudling machine of government is inevitably too slow to keep pace with social progress, the people who handed their personal well-being to the government are left without a safety net. This will always be a failure of an authority-led society, no matter how democratic and well meaning.
It's one fucker of a problem to solve. Moving away from a culture of state dependancy for our own safety after decades of the nanny state is an almighty effort. All we can do is keep pointing out how the prohibitionist solution fails us. Over and over and over.