As far as drugs and alcohol are concerned, I feel as though having a father who struggled with them most of his life and a mother that did her best to keep my brother and I away from that lifestyle, contributed greatly to my views on them. Even though I was young when my mother divorced my father for his problems with drugs and alcohol, as I got older I realized how it can tear families apart and how it continued to affect myself and those around me. Throughout my life, I can’t say I’ve ever gotten drunk… the most I’ve ever had was a glass of wine with dinner or a glass of champagne on New Years, and even then it wasn’t a full serving and I didn’t particularly like it. I don’t like the notion of drinking to get drunk because I like to be in full control of myself and aware of what’s going on around me, and I have a hard time accepting the things that were responsible for a lot of disappointment, sadness, and anger in my life. At times, I often want to say, who cares if people do drugs and alcohol, that’s their choice and I don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s not being done around me or affecting me directly. But then again, I always have that lingering voice in the back of my mind saying: Look what drugs and alcohol have done to your family and countless others’. But I can’t make my own decisions for other people. I really don’t mind if people choose to drink, I just don’t like seeing people wasted or all drugged up, especially if they’re friends and family, or someone I care about, because it fills me with a sense of pity for them and because I don’t want to see something bad happen to them or those around them because of their choice to engage in drug and alcohol use.
Overall though, I do support the legalization of marijuana, and perhaps even lowering regulation on other substances because I feel as though when you completely restrict something or make it absolutely unattainable from a legal standpoint, people rebel—and people rebel by doing the things they “aren’t supposed to do.” Ever since the War on Drugs, crime rates have skyrocketed and prison populations have exploded. When we look at other countries, like a lot of Scandinavian countries, that have more lenient drug and alcohol laws and incredibly low crime rates, it almost makes you wonder: What are we doing wrong?