Mescaline Costs Too Damn Much

Either the ghost of Hunter is with us again, or we’ve got an A.I. chatbot mimicking his style. Normally I’d consider the latter except this was left in the old dusty Remington on the Sports Desk, which is what you might call an airlocked secure system.

Why don’t you be the judge? -Editor

Listen up, you brainless sheep, the War on Drugs is a G–damn shame. And not just because it’s a complete and utter failure, but because it’s costing us a fortune. We’re talking more than a hundred billion dollars every year, just to keep the prisons filled with nonviolent drug offenders while killing off all the ones with any guts. It’s time to face facts, folks: the War on Drugs is a f—ing disaster.

But I’ve got a solution, a way to turn things around. Let’s take all the billions of dollars that we’re pouring into the D.E.A., into armored cars and machine guns and fighting the cartels, and let’s divert them to something that actually works: poverty reduction programs.

Think about it. A lot of the drug use and distribution that we see on the streets is driven by endemic poverty. People turn to drugs — and drug dealing — because they’re desperate, because they don’t have any other options. But what if we could give them those options? What if we could provide them with education, job training, healthcare, housing? That’s what poverty reduction programs do, and we know they work.

And the best part? We’d save a ton of money, and we’d reduce the prison population at the same time. What’s more, we’d also reduce the street price of narcotics. That’s right, by reducing the demand for drugs, we’d drive down the price. Which means that people who are using, say, Mescaline, responsibly — for serious, scholarly purposes — would be able to get it a helluva lot cheaper. Talk about a win-win situation!

But seriously: Let’s stop this madness, let’s end the war on drugs. Let’s redirect those funds to something that actually works. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is, and start making a real difference in our communities. (And hey, if we can save some cash along the way, all the better!)

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Leading image is the title page illustration of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, by Ralph Steadman, and TNFN asserts no copyright and employs it out of Fair Use. Instead of buying a new copy, get a used one, and find a way to give Ralph some business at — Jann bought the illustrations for a song, dammit, and doesn’t need any more money for them. (Editor: This message was on the typewriter as well, and we had nothing to do with it.)

NOTE: The A.I. chat bot in question is called Assistant, and was trained by OpenAI. It did not compose the above essay, but it did have some input. How much is a question with a really terrifying answer.

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