The perils of a country over run by cocaine fiends


Italy has just made a rather interesting discovery: the country has been over run by cocaine fiends for years now and no one has noticed in the slightest. Which does rather lead to a thought that if the consumption of cocaine doesn't in fact matter then why ban it, with all of the associated violence, murder and misery that the illegality causes? It was, of course, coca tea that was openly and brazenly upon sale. But with sufficient active ingredients that consumption of a cup one day would set off a cocaine test the next:

The company doctor, not wanting to see him suspended, asked him to bring two tea bags to his office, after which he made himself a brew and drank it.

The next day the doctor performed a drugs test on himself and tested positive for cocaine.

As all are noting, this tea had been on sale for years and no one thought anything about it at all. But the reaction is predictable:

Italian police have ordered that a Peruvian coca tea be removed from the shelves, after it was found to contain significant levels of cocaine.

So something that doesn't cause a problem must be banned. Because. As various people like Mill have pointed out the only justification for limiting the activities of a person are that such activities harm others. And there simply is no record of any harm here whatsoever, to anyone. As is actually true of pretty much all drugs all the time. There may be harm to those who take them, there's most certainly harm to the society as a whole from their illegality, thus the correct response is that they should be legal. Not necessarily on the grounds that an entire society tooting is all that great an idea but on the grounds that there are no moral or practical reasons as to why it should not be permitted, if that is what people wish to do.

We might even go further in this tale of our bus driver:

The discovery was made earlier this month after a 38-year old bus driver from Genoa named Roberto tested positive for the illegal stimulant after undergoing a routine drugs test, La Repubblica reported. The driver insisted he had not taken cocaine and had an exemplary 10 years of service at the Genovese transport authority, Amt. He told the company doctor that the only reason he might have failed his test was because the day before he had drunk a large cup of the tea, which he often brought from an ethnic food store in the centre of the city. He said he enjoyed the tea because it made him feel more alert at the wheel.

Coca tea manages the near impossible of getting an Italian bus driver to be alert and paying attention to the traffic around him? Hell, why aren't we subsidising it, never mind banning it?