Treat the addict
Here comes another letter to the editor about the stupid, failed War on (some) Drugs.
This time, it is about our County Council member, Arthur Brun. If his drug of choice was legal, he would be just another member of the Chamber of Commerce, just like a wine importer, a liquor distributor or a tobacco salesman. Read the Internet and all you see are people typing “lock him up and throw away the key!” It is true that Mr. Brun has been extremely dangerous and irresponsible, almost killing a policeman and in another incident, injuring a father and his six year old son. That is already against the law.
But just because he works for a pesticide company and has some pretty backward political views, does not mean he should go to jail for selling an unapproved drug. Your grandma or great grandma probably took amphetamines for her depression symptoms. Your great grandpa who fought in the World Wars or Korea got amphetamines from the military so he would stay awake and sharpen his focus. Maybe you took some Ritalin, an amphetamine, to study for a big test?
Don’t get me wrong, addiction is a terrible disease and there are often large social consequences, but most of Brun’s sketchy behavior came because his drug of choice was made illegal by well meaning politicians. Statistically, our island probably has ten thousand alcohol addicts, twenty thousand tobacco addicts, fifty thousand caffeine addicts and probably only a few hundred amphetamine addicts. Your grandparents used “pep pills” (amphetamines) they got from their doctors.
Amphetamines were widespread among middle class house wives back in the fifties. These pep pills worked great for depression. Trust me, most of them were not addicts, but some were. Placing blame on a drug is silly. Only about one in ten people who take addicting drugs actually become addicted. Councilman Brun and his little “gang” are probably all addicted to amphetamines. They went into business to preserve their unallowed habit.
Let’s not blame the drug, let’s treat the addict. They deserve our compassion, they need psychotherapy, not jail.
Gordon LaBedz, Kekaha