So now we read that there are two new artificial drugs on the illicit market which are called para-fluorofentanyl and metonitazene. These drugs are often taken with, or mixed with, fentanyl , which has itself reportedly caused more than 100,000 overdose deaths in our country. But these new drugs are even more lethal. Often injected or snorted, their victims frequently crumple, collapse and die, sometimes even before they have had time to inject themselves with the full syringe. So our nation’s failed policy of Drug Prohibition continues to kill people. How can I say that? The reason is that there is no quality control in the illicit drug market. Thus people do not know what they are putting into their bodies. That was also true with our failed policy of Alcohol Prohibition under the 18th Amendment. Just check the hospital emergency room statistics from 1920 until it was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933 – during Alcohol Prohibition thousands of people died from poisoned liquor. But when Alcohol Prohibition was repealed, that number quickly plunged to almost zero. (And that is not even to mention the robberies, extortions and murders of people because of the huge sums of money to be made today by the selling of illicit drugs.)

      So why do illicit drug dealers use these genuinely dangerous artificial drugs? That’s an easy question to answer. The artificial drugs are more powerful and less expensive than natural drugs like heroin and cocaine, so illicit drug manufacturers use them to increase their profits. And, of course, being sued for impurities in their products is the last thing those dealers are worried about. So do you want to save lives? Lessen the danger of using drugs by repealing Drug Prohibition and bringing them under the strict regulation and control of the government and our justice system. That will bring in quality control for the products, as well as medical and psychiatric counseling for the users. And then we can use the Criminal Justice System to hold people accountable for their actions that affect the safety of other people instead of for what they put into their bodies. The Criminal Justice System was designed to protect us from each other, and is quite good at that. But it was not designed, and is terribly ineffective in the effort, to protect us from ourselves.

      BTW, did you notice? Last Wednesday was actually Twos-day, since it was 2-2-22. And the last Twos-day of this century will be two weeks from tomorrow: 2-22-22.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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