The following is a response to:

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2011/03/2c-e_overdose_blaine_one_dead_drug.php

Death is never easy to accept.  Revenge is a predictable byproduct of death, especially unnatural death of someone in their “prime.”  But how do you exact revenge on something inanimate?  Or rather, alleviate the desires for revenge?  How can you achieve peace of mind?  Well, there are two ways to go about such a task.  The first, involves creating awareness of this danger which has been put in the spotlight.  Yes, tell everyone about said danger in the hopes that no one else need be sacrificed.  Pretty simple concept.  The other thing someone could do is condemn the dangerous thing.  Banish it, destroy it, criminalize it, and install a sense of fear into everyone with the ability to listen.

Articles like this one seem more and more common, if you can call them articles.  A serious lack of actual investigation and reporting went into the making of these blocks of text on the internet.  First of all, as you might notice, there is a picture of some powder with the caption “2C-1, the drug being blamed for the overdoses.”  Where to start?  First of all, there is no such thing as 2C-1.  That is not a chemical that exists either theoretically or physically.  I assume they meant 2C-I, which I guess kind of looks like 2C-1, however this article is about 2C-E, so you’ll have to pardon my confusion when it says “the drug being blamed for overdoses.”  Enough of that, let’s keep going down this path, I like where this is heading.

The author immediately goes into chemical background.  I’m sure the same level of detail-oriented craftsmanship can be expected in the body of the text and not just the captions.  “2C-E, is the chemical cousin of a relatively new, synthetic hallucinogen called 2C-I.”  Alright, I know this is splitting hairs, and the word “relatively” is very clearly in the sentence, but 2C-E and 2C-I both had their syntheses published in the 1991 book PiHKAL by Alexander and Ann Shulgin, twenty years ago.  I wouldn’t say to someone “I’m relatively new to videogames” and that’s because I’ve been playing them for twenty years.  Forget it, let’s move on.

“Since it first surfaced in the early 2000s, 2C-I built a reputation as a” – hold it right there.  How can you, as a writer, input into your keyboard a sentence using the words “relatively new” and then immediately follow that sentence with a sentence about it’s already existing reputation from last decade.  I mean come on.

“According Anoka County Sheriff commander Paul Sommer, 2C-E is actually legal.”  Not true.  2C-E is illegal for human consumption.  It is only legal as a “research chemical” which means when you ingest 2C-E it’s the same as ingesting paint thinner.  There are warnings all over the packaging telling you to NOT eat the contents, and for good reason.  One thing paint thinner has in common with 2C-E, is they are both lethal in high enough doses.  But then again, what isn’t?  It’s possible to overdose on nicotine patches, acetaminophen, alcohol, and glue, yet all of them are readily available at a store near you.  Hell, a poor diet will lead to cardiac problems and diabetes, moderation is the key.  In the drug community it’s called “Harm Reduction” and it’s a very serious thing for the hardcore drug geeks of the world.  Harm reduction produces fewer headlines.  Fewer headlines mean less drug laws.  Less drug laws means the ability to buy things like 2C-I and 2C-E and the hundreds of other “legal” chemicals available to, not just Americans, but almost every developed nation.

“It’s not on any controlled substance tables in the United States,” he says. “I guess you wouldn’t even call it a drug. It’s kind of marketed as a research chemical or something like that.”

That’s a hell of a quote.  I’m not sure how I feel about the Sheriff Commander ending his sentence with “or something like that.”  I guess ambivalence and confusion are far better reactions than fear and loathing, but it’s a short road from one to the next, and only a matter of time before one of two dramatic conclusions occurs.

Option A – Decriminalize all drugs and legalize the non-addictive and non-lethal varieties.  The government can tax and over-see the manufacture and distribution of these plants and chemicals, maintaining standards while generating capital.  The prison system becomes less crowded, less money is spent on inmates, and more money is put into public healthcare to assist drug addicts and alcoholics.

Option B – Create a blanket law that outright criminalizes any “substance with recreational and/or psychedelic effects” without needing the emergency scheduling process.

Right now in America for a drug to become illegal, or Scheduled, it must first go through emergency scheduling which requests medical information on the dangers, or possible benefits, of the chemical in question.  After a short period of time, I believe it’s 30 days but I can’t remember, if all goes according to plan, the chemical is placed in the list of Scheduled chemicals.  Because of this, combined with the hard reality that new psychedelics are invented, synthesized, and ingested every year, it’s incredibly difficult for the government to quickly determine which, if any, of the new chemicals are dangerous enough, or popular enough, to require Schedule placement.

So those are you’re options.  Embrace the inevitable, accept the fact that humans have been altering their minds and perceptions for millenia, and plunge in head first, or clamp down even harder and burn more cash fighting the most popular recreational activity in the world, substance abuse.

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