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Will Godfrey Will Godfrey

Why Stop at Drugs? Prohibition Has So Much More Potential!


Menaced by a terrifying array of other threats to public health, it's time to apply America’s time-tested drug strategy across the board.

46 Substance
Score


Government has a moral responsibility to protect public health—something that Richard Nixon and Nancy Reagan understood well. One of the best things about America is that drugs—which are only ever used addictively and cause nothing but depravity, death and disrespect—are illegal. (Except for alcohol and cigarettes, which are harmless fun and an enjoyable way to pass an evening with friends.)

In America, appropriate and color-blind deterrents prevent all trafficking, dealing and abuse. A gleaming network of prisons protects millions of criminals from themselves, while protecting the Land of the Free from them. Who would want to live in a country where it’s possible for normal people to obtain drugs?

And yet, is the government really doing enough to keep us—and, above all, our children—safe from the many other dangers we face?

It’s time for a more compassionate, health-focused approach, applying prohibition far more widely for the benefit of all—and federal bans on the following three harmful and undesirable pursuits would be an excellent way to start.

 

Sports

We need no reminder of shocking recent media stories that conclusively link the NFL with abuse and violence; the poisonous nature of professional sports is obvious. But for amateurs, too, the effects are devastating.

Frequently involving large weekend gatherings of youths and even young children, sports go by street names like “hockey,” “football” or something called “soccer,” believed to have been brought over the border from Mexico.

These sports abusers claim their activities are “exhilarating” or “a way to bond and build team spirit.” Indeed, the “rush” of sports has become a crutch for many who lack the ability to form normal human relationships. But week after week, they reap the consequences of their behaviors—including bruises, torn ACLs and our nation’s chronic epidemic of athlete’s foot. Some abusers suffer the lifelong humiliation of a crooked nose or a limp. And sports also cause excessive sweating, which may lead to dehydration—which can be fatal. Why should health insurers and taxpayers pay the price for this indulgence?

The “rush” of sports has become a crutch for many who lack the ability to form normal human relationships. But they reap the consequences of their behaviors—including bruises, torn ACLs and our nation’s chronic epidemic of athlete’s foot.

Some apologists for sports claim that moderate use is acceptable. “I just do a little ping-pong on the weekend,” snivels a typical abuser. “Where’s the harm in that?” In fact, table tennis, badminton and other so-called “soft” sports have many negative side effects, as studies have clearly shown.

Even if sports abusers—often recognizable by their unnatural musculature—don’t care about harming themselves, what about the harm they do to others? Second-hand sports are associated with drunkenness, violence and profound disappointment (the “Clippers effect”). When your toddler’s little gym class is all too likely to act as a gateway to harder sports, isn’t it time to think about the consequences of your actions?

Happily, recovery from sports abuse is possible. Millions of proud Americans have been able to triumph over the lure of physical activity and give this country the world-class obesity rate that it enjoys. A federal ban on sports would encourage everyone else to join them.

But in implementing such a law, let’s prioritize public health. A smart approach dictates that before we start slinging athletes in jail, chronic abusers should be permitted to taper off, using treadmills at gradually reduced speeds, as a pathway to a sustainable walking pace for a slow, safe life.

 

Screens

As demonstrated by the hours abusers spend staring at iPhones, iComputers and iTVs, these devices—frequently imported from East Asia—are horrifyingly addictive. And they are being distributed in greater numbers every single day.

Screen abusers may claim that their activities are “normal” or even “necessary” elements of their lives. But do short-sightedness, social isolation and a tendency to utter nonsensical phrases like “I’m crushing candy” sound vital to you?

Many abusers also suffer from “Laptop Neck,” due to the prolonged maintenance of an unnatural sitting position. Although nothing whatsoever is known about this condition, experts say that it invariably leads to paralysis and death—and could be contagious.

Like all addicts, screen abusers will go to great lengths to sustain their habit. “I’m just trying to make a living,” they might tell you, or “I’m watching a movie,” or “I’m texting my mom.” Such statements are a cry for help. (The kindest thing you can do for an abuser in your life is to crack any screen that you see them using, perhaps using a small hammer. Don’t be discouraged if your intervention triggers fits of rage in the addict—this is merely confirmation of the power of their disease. Remain resolute. They will be grateful later.)

Screen abusers may claim that their activities are “normal” or even “necessary.” But do short-sightedness, social isolation and a tendency to utter nonsensical phrases like “I’m crushing candy” sound vital to you?

If the government were to outlaw the sale and use of screens, billions of cumulative hours of human lives would be saved from oblivion. Again, this should be done with compassion: Programs should be implemented to retrain screen-trade workers for more useful occupations, like anti-screen enforcement.

Imagine a world where everyone had the chance to experience the joy of being present in the moment, screenless and clean, just like you.

Inevitably, shrill arguments will be raised against mass destruction and prevention measures—mostly by addicts and Big Screen interests. “Screens are just a part of modern life,” they will claim. “You can’t hold back progress!” Actually, you can—take the Dark Ages. Let’s join together for a screen-free America.

 

Sex

Of all the harmful pursuits known to humankind, this habit is so patently damaging—so clearly responsible for innumerable tragic outcomes like unwanted pregnancies, heartbreak, jealousy-fueled violence and chafing of the nether regions—that few people will need convincing. The embarrassing and debilitating side effects of sex also include the indignities of nudity and pubic lice, and the often-overlooked suffering of second-hand sex users, who frequently become screen abusers to boot.

Some who engage in sex—which is suspected of having been invented by the French, or somesuch—reportedly claim to “enjoy” what they’re doing (and an unduly happy demeanor may be one way to identify a sex user in your vicinity). Others even claim that their actions are motivated by “love.”

But science has linked sexual activity with the overpopulation of the planet and the disturbance of neighbors’ sleep—selfishly putting all of our futures at risk for the sake of personal gratification. That’s a very strange kind of “love.”

The embarrassing and debilitating side effects of sex also include the indignities of nudity and pubic lice, and the often-overlooked suffering of second-hand sex users, who frequently become screen abusers to boot.

While certain so-called “harm reduction” advocates champion measures like condoms, heavy petting or mutual respect, the only real way to eliminate the harms of sex is to enforce abstinence.

Thankfully, modern reproductive technology makes sex unnecessary. So let’s rid ourselves of the misery that this extremely addictive behavior causes (some poor souls may even use sex every day). For the sake of compassion and public health, it’s time for the government to take this progressive step.

And to build a few more correctional facilities. If the case is made properly, people are bound to embrace a sex-free life and stay clean. But if they don’t, well, we’ll keep the prison showers cold.

Will Godfrey is the editor-in-chief of Substance.com.