In the late 18th century, the East India Company of the United Kingdom sold opium to China. This resulted in 2 opium wars and a corrupted empire on the brink of collapse, with the result of China being compelled to sign unequal treaties granting favourable tariffs, trade concessions, reparations and territory to Western powers. Some time later the Eight-Nation Alliance launched a combined offensive into China and plundered it.
Drugs are explicitly banned in many countries with harsh penalties because of its harmful impact on the people and the nation as a whole. It weakens and corrupts the drug addicted population and profits the drug suppliers and dealers. In fact, countries like Singapore executed more people from drug dealings than from murder.
I will not go into an endless debate of whether drugs should be legalised or not and the benefits of medical marijuana. Morphine is even used medically for pain treatment. The difference between a medicine and poison lies in the dosage, and commoners who are not certified medical practitioners have no idea what to use, when to use and how much to use. The premise this article is based on is that drugs are harmful.
If that is the case, then why do some countries still legalise drugs? Does it seem strange that the very Western powers which plundered China with opium are now pushing for drug legalisation in their own countries? Drug addicts aside, surely the politicians who pushed for it are not stupid. Then why?
In countries where the laws on drugs are not as harsh as Singapore and China, drug abuse is more rampant. It is also indeed a fact that more people die from drug overdoses in these countries. But that leads to a problem. The country spent resources in the form of medical and education among other public goods to raise up the next generation, but they died early before they can even repay the country. People are the core of any country’s development, that is why fertility rates are given so much attention. That is why they cannot die too young.
This is where the path splits – traditionally countries banned drugs. But now there are people talking about safe consumption of drugs. In fact, drug consumption sites had been set up in the Netherlands and in the US. You take your drug, walk in openly and there are professionals who jab you with this poison. This immediately eliminates the risk of drug overdose, and if anything happens, professional medical help will be available. Sounds ridiculous that the governments are opening centres to jab drugs into their citizens, but yes this is a fact.
Let us now take a look at the lifespan of drug users. The graphs below show the life expectancy of drug users based on how many times they take drugs in a week and in a day.
While we do not go into the extreme of 5 heroin jabs per day and have your life reduced by 51 years, a more reasonable drug use frequency could range from twice a week to once a day. But if we look at the graph and think about it, we will realise one thing – these people are set to die just about the time they retire, ie they can die once they are of no more use to the society.
Society need people to labour and produce goods and services, to spend and contribute to the economy and of course to produce the next generation. People is a critical resource by itself. These countries prevent overdose of the drug users at an early age, so they can contribute to the economy while young. But when they have outlived their use, there is no point keeping them anymore.
Most countries have either 1 of the 2 types of retirement plans – the first being a type of forced savings like CPF in Singapore or the 401k in the US. The second being the high tax high welfare pension system in the European countries. For CPF and 401k, your nominated beneficiary can still get your money upon your death, but especially for countries which operate on a high tax high welfare system, your early death could be a good thing for the country. You contribute via high taxes as you laboured while young, but when you are old and useless, it is better for you to be dead so that the country do not need to waste free medical care and pension on you.
Mathematically, if you work everything out on the taxes you paid and the benefits you get, you will realise that drug users who die off just about their retirement age have been paying and supporting a system in which they do not benefit. They are just cheap labour all their lives without knowing it.
Drug money is good. With popular figures like Pablo Escobar and the media portrayal of the crime syndicates, there is no doubt that drug brings riches at the expense of others. With legalisation of drugs, syndicates and individuals can ply their trade openly. While these groups of people earn a cut, but guess who earn more behind the scenes?
Human lives are one of the most profitable commodities. From slavery to prostitution, organ sales to drugs, from underground fighting matches to war, anything that deals with human lives is one of the most profitable forms of business. In fact some human lives can even go through a few of these processes. First the syndicates force feed the drugs into women and make them prostitute themselves. The women will pay a huge cut of their earnings to their pimps and using the rest of the money to buy more drugs. After they get old and/or die from overdose, they are killed and their organs harvested. At the end of the process these women earn nothing, trapped forever in the pits with no hopes of ever reaching the light while the syndicates earn 3x from the lives and bodies of these women.
Or, ravage a country with war and convert their land into poppy fields, forcing the people to work in the fields so that drug export money could be earned worldwide.
In the process of trading the people’s lives for profits, these people justified their actions through a series of smart moves and ended up looking like a saint. This is one good example of a high level scam where you thank the good man for fleecing you dry.
Black is black. White is white. There is no grey. Those who tell you things are sometimes grey either wants to confuse you or simply want to justify their unwillingness to do the right thing. Drugs are bad. Accept it.