The Conversation On Drugs Sean Penn Wants
|English: Sean Penn at the premier for Milk at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, October 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
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First of all, I'd say, it is fair for US law enforcement to have thought of El Chapo a Bin Laden like figure. I have not read up much on the whole legalization of drugs thing, but I am pretty sure that debate does note venture beyond marijuana. Serious brain altering chemicals are a one way road to addiction that cripple you as a human being. If Bin Laden was the most wanted man in New York City, El Chapo was the most wanted man in Chicago. Lives have been destroyed in the wake of the drug trade. The intelligence craft that got El Chapo is rightly Zero Dark Thirty material. And let's get one thing off the bat, US law enforcement does not exactly have the luxury of taking part in the debate and discussion on the legalization of drugs. They are not lawmakers. A duly elected government pays them a salary and swears them to an oath. They have a job to do. It is a very difficult job requiring specialized skill, and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. The capture of El Chapo is a major victory for the forces of good.
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America is a democracy. Of course we can talk about the War On Drugs, just like we can talk about everything else. Heck, I myself want to participate.
The number one thing is, we as a people, as a species, lag way behind when it comes to understanding and doing something about mental health. Mental health is still such a taboo topic. We know so much about the harmful effects of smoking. But what do we know about the effects of loneliness? When we catch a cold, we are aware of some over the counter stuff we can take. What are the mental health equivalents? Do we even become aware when we catch cold? Mental health is nowhere on par with physical health. Efforts should be made. One of the things that will emerge is we will put much more emphasis on our emotional infrastructure. We will look at family, friends, and colleagues in a new light. We will do more about self help groups, hotlines, and therapy and medication. A lot of the drug consumption is people going to the quack doctor because nothing else is available, people getting abortions and risking deaths, because abortion is illegal.
This is my primary thing to say.
As for the broad policy called the War On Drugs. I wish there were ways to get guns and drugs out of inner cities. I know people are trying. But what has been done is not enough. America supplies guns. America gets supplied drugs. These are humongous problems. The best people are at it, but the results are not good enough.
Does Sean Penn have a right to meet El Chapo? Of course he does. He went as a journalist. Journalists do have a right to meet and talk.
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