New drug bans

Different Marlboro Menthol cigarette boxes.

Different Marlboro Menthol cigarette boxes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The European Union is banning menthol cigarettes.

Are legalization advocates troubled by this? I’m asking sincerely.

Same thing with K2 and Spice. They were banned in Michigan earlier this year, without protest.

At what point does the conversation turn to the issue of eliminating restrictions on access to prescription drugs? If recreational use of pot or heroin (I recognize that a lot of pot legalization advocates do not advocate legalizing all drugs.) are legalized and regulated, why not fentanyl and vicodin? What principles or values should guide these decisions?

2 Comments

Filed under Controversies, Policy

2 responses to “New drug bans

  1. Shane R. Brady, PhD

    I think most legalization advocates (By no way all) make a distinction between prescription drugs manufactured in some way shape or form to alleviate or address a medical condition verses recreational drugs that have the primary purpose or goal of getting folks high. The Marijuana camp is split in many conversations because many people do believe that it is a drug with medical properties that should be viewed differently than heroin or cocaine; however, others feel that it belongs in the same category as heroin or cocaine, but should be legal and taxed with the other two nonetheless. Just as treatment providers and those in the addiction field are split over medical detox, harm reduction, and gender specific treatment, so too is the drug legalization camp.

    • Hey Shane, Good to see your name pop up. Hope you’re well. Of course there is diversity among advocates for legalization, but I have a couple of thoughts. First, it’s just interesting to me that there are moves to ban/criminalize some substances, without protest, during a period where then the broader trend is toward legalization. Second, the ground is moving under our feet at a pretty rapid clip on these matters. The shift from legalizing medical marijuana to recreational took less than ten years, and 10 years ago few mainstream voices mentioned legalization of harder drugs, and it’s become common to read op-eds in the mainstream press advocating legalization. So, I think some broader discussion of the principles and values guiding these decisions is critical.

      Take care!