The Denver Elections Division just announced that Denver residents will have an opportunity to vote for the decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms. As a Denver resident, I feel it is important that I do my part by weighing in on this issue, in the hopes of helping to cut through some of the paranoid conservative rhetoric surrounding it.
I’m not going to bother putting it lightly. Everyone who argues against decriminalizing drugs is wrong. Period.
Countries that have decriminalized drugs have seen their usage and recurrence rates plummet. Decriminalization cripples cartels by removing their ability to turn a profit. Psilocybin and MDMA have both been proven highly effective in treating depression, PTSD and other mental health issues with far fewer dangers and side effects than most pharmaceutical drugs. The opioid crisis has been precipitated by the pharmaceutical companies, their lobbyists and their immoral involvement in our politics. The #1 way to end it is to give people access to safer, healthier alternatives. Safe injection sites reduce the spread of intravenously and sexually transmitted diseases. Non-violent drug offenses comprise the vast majority of our overpopulated prison system.
The war on drugs has been lost. It was a lie from the get-go. The facts are flat-out not in favor of anyone who disagrees. The only arguments they have, or have ever had, are slippery slope fallacies that usually involve some paranoid fantasy about cocaine and heroin being sold to minors at gas stations, with no statistical or factual basis behind it. I cannot reiterate enough that stigmatization and criminalization, which go hand-in-hand, increase the prevalence of drug usage and related drug violence.
Right-wingers are completely wrong about everything. Literally everything – science, the economy, even morality. Their theories about “marijuana and homelessness” in Colorado are anecdotal, and overlook a much larger issue: that wealth inequality is growing nationwide, and has nothing do with so-called “illicit drugs” and everything to do with crony Capitalism. We can no longer waste our time engaging them, because none of these facts matter to them. We can only outnumber them. Colorado has the power to single-handedly lead by example. If we don’t let our schizophrenic Libertarianism get in the way (i.e. bending over for the oil, gas and coal industries), I believe we will do just that.