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Is there any other aspect of our modern lives as complicated as drugs?
Drugs have extended our lifespans and saved us from once-fatal illnesses. They have also ruined lives, broken people, and led to epidemics of deaths. Recreational use has destroyed judgement, yet also led to spiritual revelations.
The politics of drugs has put millions of nonviolent offenders behind bars. The economics of their manufacture has created an immensely wealthy industry that has sometimes whitewashed its misdeeds through donations to our most august cultural institutions. The growing and trade of illegal drugs has upended governments and fueled endless wars around the world. Debates over legalization, regulation, and their contribution to rising healthcare costs have come to dominate political discourse.
Some ideas we’ve been thinking about:
- The opioid crisis in America is killing friends and family members across the country, but it’s something Quakers don’t talk about much. How do we help members in their addictions and how do we stand as a society against those who profit against addictions?
- Many Friends were active in the temperance movement against alcohol. Where do and should we stand today on this and issues like legalized marijuana?
- What about the growing trade in pharmaceuticals? They have helped extend lives while also sometimes creating new economic hardships and addictions.
- How do we support or challenge people in our community who are addicted?
- What does recreational drug use look like in the Quaker community? How do Friends include or exclude the use of mind-altering substances like alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis in their spiritual lives or social gatherings?
As always, these ideas are just suggestions. We’re happy to read whatever readers think about the issue of Friends and drugs.
Submissions due October 21, 2019.