Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Podcast Episode 23: What to do about harmful and addictive substance abuse

Allow people to sue for addiction recovery

How can we handle dangerous and addictive substances?

Current problems:

Making substances illegal:

Creates black markets that lead to crime and abuse.

Funds criminal gangs

Addicts are criminalized

People who are addicted are at the mercy of the dealer with no recourse

Costs a lot of money to enforce

Difficult to enforce

Creates privacy issues


Moral? I think it is immoral to make substances illegal

I think we can all agree that illegal substances generally do a lot of harm so if we don’t make them illegal then how will society handle it?

Many people argue that from a moral perspective if people want to take addictive substances it is up to them.

But as I’ve thought about the issue and listened to debates from different experts I think that is only true when the person is able to make the decision themselves.

For example, we generally don’t allow children to make their own decisions until they become adults.

I would argue that when people are addicted they have lost the ability to make a rational decision and therefore are no longer truly making the decision themselves.

I think this is proven by the fact that many people try to quit but can’t. If they are trying to quit isn’t it their decision to not do it?

I think that they should be treated less like adults making a rational decision and more like a child that is not liable for their decisions as much.

So who is liable? Well if an adult/company influenced a child to do something, the adult/company is held at least partially liable for the outcome. I think the same could be applied to addictive substances.


Legalize all substances

Allow addicts to sue the seller of the substance for rehabilitation costs

Also apply to gambling/pornography/etc

Will this work?

I imagine that companies selling drugs would have to be very careful to not allow their customers to be addicted. I can only guess as to how they would handle this but off the top of my head I have a few predictions

Creating/breeding for less addictive substances

Monitoring of Customers, if they suspect that a person is getting addicted then they might require a doctor or specialist of some kind to sign off on letting them purchase more

Go out of business all-together


Enforcement would be basically non-existent

Black market would be greatly reduced

Potentially helpful drugs that are currently illegal could help more people (cannabis)

People that do get addicted would be helped

No need for the government to violate privacy. If you buy drugs from someone you know who they are if you need to sue them.

Another benefit would be that companies that make addictive pharmaceuticals would also be able to be sued. If this had been in place the opioid crisis I believe would’ve been much less. And at least the companies responsible wouldn’t have made a killing off of the problem that they caused.

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