The recent and unnecessary death of Amy Winehouse is a sad event. But the revelation that she died from what might be called an overdose of alcohol should refocus our approach to alcohol, one of the deadliest drugs available to society and easily available to almost everyone over the age of eighteen or twenty-one.
But I don’t want mislead here: I am not advocating more control of alcohol. That never worked before and I am too libertarian to even suggest it. But why is alcohol, which kills how many millions of people each year, either directly or indirectly, ready available and even socially acceptable when less dangerous substances like marijuana can put you in jail? And consider the costs to society: with alcohol a considerable fortune is spent each year in caring for the damages caused by the drug, but with marijuana a considerable fortune is spent each year in attempting to control the use of the drug and to incarcerate those that are users of the drug.
There are plenty of low-level drugs in this country that are barely recognized. I have even heard it said that carbohydrates are a drug. Imagine if we sought to eliminate all forms of chemical stimulation … no more chocolate, no more rye bread, no more fat cigars, no more alcohol, no more perfumes, no more coffee … and on and on.
In a truly free society everyone would have the freedom to do themselves in taking drugs, overdosing on alcohol, or exploding on Double-Stuffed Oreos. The meager buffet of freedoms offered to the average citizen of this country is only there to keep them from looking into the private dining room and seeing what the élite few in control are having for dinner. Let’s face it: this country was founded on the idea that it could best serve humanity and it turned into a nation of greed and mendacity.
It’s clear to me that when it comes to drugs, the real concern is greed, not health or safety. The minute marijuana becomes legal we’re going to see major corporations come out with fancy packages of smokes and the airwaves will choke with flashy commercials and catchy tunes.
So I am saddened by the passing of Amy Winehouse but I cannot avoid the conclusion that she had the right to die, even if it was accidental. But I also uphold the right of a stoner in Albuquerque to try to smoke himself to death, whether with cigarettes that will eventually do the trick, or with marijuana that will lead to ultimate failure but he’ll be smiling all the way.