Drug trafficking must be done away with, once and for all

Monday, May 24, 2010

Drug trafficking is an authentic and gravely serious threat to world stability and, after so many years, we now have a worst-case scenario: trafficking in drugs is now accepted as a “collateral effect” of the economic system, of our imbalanced and confused global leadership that has made the marketplace the protagonist of world politics, replacing democratic principles.

As long as there is demand, there will be offer. The high price of drugs doesn’t prevent those who first seek them, and then need them, from obtaining them. They will do everything imaginable (and unimaginable) to get the dose they require.

As is the case with alcohol, drugs should be available to those who decide to consume them, at affordable prices, very cheap. This would rapidly put the drug mafias out of business. It would be a decisive blow, which would erase one of the greatest blights on the face of the earth. I sincerely believe that this would be the only way to eliminate drugs. It has already been shown that they cannot be eradicated by force.

A huge anti-drug campaign should be launched, with the collaboration of all of the communications media and the participation of civil society, to convince people not to use drugs.

Some may object, as I as a neuroscientist did years ago, that this would risk increasing drug consumption... But that’s not true. At all levels the traffickers are already making drugs readily available in the streets to consumers who are progressively younger and more gullible.

Drug addiction produces very negative health effects, especially neurological damage that affects the will and in the lives of drug addicts... and their families. I have seen so many families destroyed, impoverished, ruined in all senses of the word, by drug consumption. And ultimately, given the dimension of drug trafficking and its economic and criminal impact, drug consumption affects society as a whole.

We must combat drug addiction with the same efforts that we have dedicated to the consumption of tobacco, and with the influence we use to convince society to combat climate change, poverty or AIDS. This is a huge challenge. The welfare of many human beings depends on a radical rethinking of this problem, which should not be considered an irremediable “affliction” of today’s world.

Drug users should not be stigmatized, but rather involvement must be sought from all governments, which to date have consented trafficking on a supranational scale, and which have shown themselves incapable of closing down tax havens once and for all. As long as there are tax havens, there will be trafficking, international crime and mafias. From the richest and the most powerful to the poor neighborhoods and alienated ghettos, all are ultimately emissaries of this evil capillary system.

We must help addicts rebuild their lives, to take responsibility for themselves, to be themselves again, so that they can fully enjoy the mystery of their existence. And drug traffickers must be brought before the courts or, better still, we must make them disappear by rendering their “merchandise” worthless.