Substance of Ballot Q # 2 | Teen Ink

Substance of Ballot Q # 2

January 11, 2009
By Lisa Wang PLATINUM, West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Lisa Wang PLATINUM, West Roxbury, Massachusetts
21 articles 0 photos 0 comments

As a natural progression of evolution, human beings develop the organization and the technology to control nearly every aspect of life. We cherish our ability to take accountability for our actions and take pride in our independent ideals. In this day and age we are capable beings capable of making our own choices. To be addicted to a substance is the loss of these choices. An addict is defined as “…a person who has become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a substance.” Aren’t we worth more than a substance? As human beings, shouldn’t we have the control over our lives? Why should be let anyone or anything control us? Life should be defined and guided on the terms of the people living it. Addiction to illegal drugs is taking away a life. It is taking away these choices. It is a deadly dependence that will chip away at the core values of our integrity until we can sink no lower. Possession of illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin should mean more to us than a few nights in jail, a mark on our record, and a fine. It’s imperative that the worldwide awareness rise up to meet the high rate of addiction so that every single human being knows that they have the ability, the worth, and the choice to live.
The basic understanding of the effects of drug abuse and addiction is a prerequisite to discussion of drug control policy. But we, as a nation, have forgotten this basic understanding. We must have. Because if we knew, if every we really knew the atrocities laced into the repercussions of drug abuse, the debates over Ballot Question No. 2 would have gone quite differently. There seem to be only two options in legislation concerning controlling the use of illegal drugs. One side argues that the only way to prevent higher addiction rates is severe punishments. The other argues that a more lenient punishment system would be more effective. But I believe that the focus of this argument is entirely wrong. Addiction to substances is the problem. Levels of punishment are only an aspect of the solution. Why are we wasting time and effort debating the number of days and the amount of fines and the quality of punishment when we could be preventing the use of these drugs? Why do we only care once it is too late to prevent? Have we already accepted without question that these drugs, these plant extracts have more control over our own willpower than we do? We must find it in ourselves to determine our own actions. We are all citizens of the world and so we must all stand together and educate and increase awareness of the devastation that drug abuse leaves behind. Knowledge is power. With knowledge we will give people the power to control their lives.
There should be preventive measures that bar the very substances from entering into our country. And we must work harder to prevent smuggling because we must do all we can to prevent these drugs from falling into the hands of innocent people who are unaware of the life they are throwing away. It is important that we know to throw these drugs away. As long as we are human we are a threat. As long as we are human we are flawed and capable of making mistakes. If an alcoholic never takes another sip of alcohol in his life that is simply because he did not live long enough. Unlike most diseases, drug addiction will remain rooted inside you. It will lay dormant in your system until something triggers the addiction to kick into the lytic cycle and restart the program of destruction. Why should we let people make the mistake of a lifetime?
It’s just one taste. One little try. So go ahead. Have one taste. Just a try, c’mon what will it hurt? If you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. And no one has everything so why not breathe it in? For one moment forget all the choices you made. Make this choice. Borrow some happiness for a few moments. Stimulate a high. Feel the rush. Forget the things you can’t remember. The things you don’t want to remember. Empty your mind, empty your soul. Throw it all away. Throw your life away. One try, how much could it hurt? How much will it hurt? When will it hurt? When will you stop? Can you stop?
Addiction is the inability to say no. And if we cannot prevent as many people from falling victim to this all-consuming disease; then we have failed as a society to protect each other. Our silence does nothing to prevent substance abuse. Our silence does nothing to increase awareness. And the worst part of our silence is that we ourselves are not aware of it. We do not consciously note that we have done nothing to protect our society from the beguiling lure of illegal drugs. The first step we take has to be the step that takes imitative and brings our society back from the jaws of the influences that will fight to prevent our free will.

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