It’s pretty clear that the 30-year War on Drugs waged by the United States has been spectacularly unsuccessful at best and criminally wasteful at worst. Within our borders, jails have become overcrowded with small-time offenders while the rate of new usage continues to increase. Outside of these same borders, a new generation of druglords continue to show the world that Pablo Escobar was an amateur.
I guess the thing I’ve never understood is, why are drugs so bad? Yes, I understand why abusing drugs is bad in the same way that I understand why abusing people or anything is bad. But there’s a big difference between using and abusing. I use alcohol in that I have a beer with dinner. I don’t abuse it, though, because I know what the effects would be. Plenty of people use marijuana in the same way and quite honestly, I trust them a lot more than I trust my alcoholic friends.
So why do we continue to demonize drug use even as we profit from it? It’s the same thing with drug use in sports. I don’t want to see guys abusing the stuff but if a small dose of some sort of PED from time to time can keep a guy healthy, why not? We already know what kind of a toll the rigors of professional sports take on the human body. And yes, the athletes know what sort of risks they face. But why wouldn’t we do all that we can to ensure their health and safety?
Honestly, I’m tired of reading about A-Rod or Manny or Ryan Braun. McGwire, Sosa and Bonds? That’s something else. That’s abuse. But those other guys? I really couldn’t care less. If regulated use of PEDs could help players stay healthy, play until they’re 40 and enjoy life post-baseball, that just makes sense. But, so does de-criminalizing marijuana and collecting taxes off of its sale. I don’t expect to see either one anytime soon.