Since 1971, Americans have been victims of the war on drugs. Nixon began the war on drugs to target anti-war hippies and people of color, and we still pay the consequences today. As polls show that over 62% of Americans support marijuana legalization and psychedelics continue to help those in need, we are left to wonder why this drug war continues. Isn’t the government supposed to serve us? Aren’t our representatives supposed to represent American interests? Or are there other, less immediately apparent interests at play?
There is hope on the horizon for America. For the first time in three decades, overdose deaths have stalled. Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is hailed as the reason for this decline in overdose deaths. This is a major step forward in the battle against the opioid epidemic in America.
Opioids come in many forms, ranging from painkillers to heroin. Naloxone has been used since the early 70s and has found widespread use by paramedics and firefighters. In April, the FDA approved a generic form of Naloxone, and the results are in.
Recently, several states have furthered bills that restrict abortions. Most notably, the Alabama law has garnered significant attention; 25 white male Republicans who voted for the bill have seen severe backlash from millions of Americans who believe men should not legislate women’s bodies, that women should have bodily autonomy. For what it’s worth, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who signed the bill into law, is a woman. But that shouldn’t be worth very much.
Without a doubt, this law is a disappointing step backward in the quest for bodily autonomy. However, I fear that many who make the argument for bodily autonomy do not truly believe in the ideal. Violations of it permeate our society to its very core, but in most cases, they receive little to no attention.
Once again, Denver, Colorado is at the heart of the U.S. drug debate. Instead of marijuana, though, this time they are debating the decriminalization of psilocybin mushrooms. Initiative 301 is on the ballot, and if passed, psilocybin mushrooms would become Denver’s lowest law enforcement priority. This wouldn’t exactly legalize shrooms though.
Kratom may be the key to solving America’s widespread opioid crisis. As disenfranchised Americans continue to overdose, governments and the media alike scramble for a solution. Some candidates, such and Andrew Yang, have gone so far as to make the causes of the opioid crisis their foremost campaign focus. Yet amidst this crawl towards salvation for middle-America, the government continues to embrace flawed logic and pursue damaging legislation in regards to Kratom.