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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Alcohol as legalized drug

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Not being addicted to smoking, alcohol, drug, and being vegetarian sometimes provides me opportunity to take morally superior position to others. Two things work against me though. First, I am product of my culture, society and upbringing so my decisions (to not consume) are shaped by my circumstances rather than my choice at will, which renders my morally superior position not morally chosen one but thrust upon one, hence invalid. Second, with society changing its outlook to these habits, position itself is increasingly considered less morally superior by others. And while I respect and understand individual choices of people, and have long since realized that telling anyone more than 10 years old anything they don’t want to listen is not going to change them, that feeling sometimes crosses my mind nonetheless.

I came to this revelation that alcohol is nothing but legalized drug sometime last year. Society is very much against hashish, pot, charas, ganja, brown sugar, etc.; yet because society is also very much addicted to alcohol they have given it special status to allow adults to consume it, even though it is no different than the rest.

That one has to be adult to consume alcohol legally proves that alcohol is not natural diet and is harmful for our bodies, since no natural product will differentiate between young and adult body. That we don’t let pregnant women and children drink substantiates its harmful effects. Now I do know some research on good effects of limited drinking, but we all know those who drink, don’t drink it in medicinal quantities. That one is not allowed to drive vehicle or operate machinery after use and loses senses, alertness, passage of time, clear thinking and inhibitions after consumption suggest drug-like effect of alcohol. There are crimes committed because of, and for, alcohol consumption. To top the list, it’s addictive too. What difference remains between alcohol and cocaine, except for degree of harm and legal status? Why did we legalized one but not others? What right do alcohol consumers have to look down upon other drug users?


David Eugene said...

Hi Ashish,

I really enjoyed reading your blog entry as I found it very insightful coming from someone who has never had any issues with alcohol before. I, myself, have gained 95% of all my knowledge on this topic through pain.

You make several valid points, even one I have never considered. You state, “That one has to be adult to consume alcohol legally proves that alcohol is not part of our natural diet and is harmful for our bodies, since no natural product will differentiate between young and adult body.” This is a very powerful idea I have never considered nor have I heard anyone else bring this interesting concept up at any time.

You ask, “Why did we legalize one (drug) but not others?” I think I can answer this for you. I don’t know how much you are up to speed on American history but in 1920 through 1933 the United States tried “The Noble Experiment” better known as “Prohibition”. Prohibition prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption. This was mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. To make a long story short, it didn’t work. During this time, organized crime flourished due to the high demand, hence the term "Bootlegger". This law became very, very, very unpopular and in 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt basically signed an amendment to again allow manufacturing and consumption of alcohol in the U.S. After he did so, I'm sure he poured himself a drink and had a "party". I wonder how he felt the next morning.

Anyway, about 6 years ago I wrote a little book called "20 Good Reasons to Stay Sober (even if you don't have a drinking problem)". Your post has basically echoed the battle cry I have tried to teach for several years. You can check out my website at: www.ReasonsToStaySober.com

That was a good post, Ashish.

Take care,

David Eugene

Ashish Gupta said...

Thanks David. That was useful bit of history. I know that government keep this product for revenue reasons and people are world are so used to it that my post might even seem foolish to many. And of course, as you said, crime will flourish and activity will go underground. My idea was basic wondering on why did humanity got addicted to this one drug more than others, and so much more that it has special legal status.

Der said...


What about caffeine? This is my hardest vice to quit!

Ashish Gupta said...

Well, caffeine is bad too but at some level I'd say it's better to indulge in mild vices to avoid pushing yourself into serious ones. If we remove everything, because some may say salt and sugar aren't good for body too, and no chips and sodas, etc. then what are left? Do we all wanna become saints?

Sheila said...

Excellent column Ashish !!!
And excellent response David !!
We need more voices like both of yours, for sure !
Don't give up, as many of us have been trying to get our Gov't to pass mandatory Health Warning Labels on all containers, and have yet to hear either yes or no.
Good writing guys !!!!

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