I find a lot of stories interesting, amusing, strange but this one is just heartbreaking. 16 year old Danielle McCarthy died because someone wanted to get tough on drugs.
Going through new materials on the Drug Policy Alliance site (for all of us fighting the war against the war on drugs) I ran across this story they highlighted from the Seattle Stranger. It’s called a Death in Edmonds. You can go to the source for the details but what it boils down to is that a teenage girl, Danielle, took Ecstasy, had an adverse reaction, and died, because people were too frightened of the possible consequences, to call for medical help. She is just the latest case and others are described where people knew that if they called there was a good chance they would end up in prison. The author of the piece, when he was 17, was handcuffed and interrogated by police for hours after calling for medical help when a friend showed up at the door suffering from an LSD overdose.
If you give or sell someone drugs, and then if they react badly to them and you call for help, and the person dies, you may be charged with homicide. Some people might say that this is pretty straight forward; just don’t give anybody drugs. But life isn’t quite that simple, you get into situations, and if you’re young and feeling good, and you have drugs, why not share with your friends. Should someone actually be at risk of dying, or of facing prison time just because they wanted to feel good, and wanted others to feel the same?
This in an American situation and so if this happened in Canada it would be a little different but the government we have right now, and it is right, now, I could easily see attempts at adopting a similar law.
It beggars understanding. Now, I’m pretty hard line on this issue. I think that crimes that hurt people in any way are very bad. I also think that your body is your own and you have the right to make it feel good, and if that involves putting substances into it, who cares? I think that drugs or not, you are responsible in your interactions with society and you better still support whoever you have to, make sure your children are fed and have a roof over their heads, be attentive to your loved ones, do your job, and don’t endanger anyone while you are high, just like you should not drive when drunk.
The stalwart warriors in the war on drugs have decided that this is such an evil that if some people die as a result of these measures, well that’s just a price we have to pay. I know that I am probably preaching to the choir on this one but after reading this tragic story I felt I had to say something. These moral guardians do not give a shit about your children; their rhetoric spouts off about saving the children but their moral crusade does nothing but cost lives. If these guardians are not evil, they are ignorant, and that is no excuse when the stakes are this high.
Imagine a world where people just didn’t care about drugs. Billions of dollars and so much effort that could go to solving real problems. They think that the only thing stopping the world from descending into chaos are their efforts but think about how many people don’t do drugs. Not because its illegal but because they just don’t want to. Other people live in hell, and drugs make it bearable. And for others, it might just be for fun but whatever, its wrong being persecuted for it.