Whilst the British police cannot arrest you for thoughts alone: by working to control the chemicals the allow individuals to alter their neurological states and correlating psychological states (including thoughts, which are shown to be at least partly caused by neurological states) – they are, in effect, thought police.
In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four the thought police represent one of the state’s instruments of oppression and control. They use psychology and omnipresent surveillance (such as telescreens) to monitor, search, find and arrest members of society who could potentially challenge authority and status quo, even only by thought, hence the name Thought Police. It has been argued that the desire to control some of the drugs that are currently prohibited stems from the fact that some of those drugs produce psychological states that are a threat to authority and the status quo.
LSD is a good example: it had a clear role in precipitating social unrest in 60s/70s America. It allowed people to deconstruct the power-structures they had been raised to conform to, to question the moral and spiritual status of the military-industrial complex in which they found themselves, when the military tested LSD on soldiers what disturbed the military superiors the most was that the soldiers no longer wanted to kill other human-beings any more.
It is unfortunate that the individuals who join the police force with good intentions are forced to behave in, effectively, a terribly unethical way. Every time they arrest an individual for possession, they are personally committing an act of injustice: they are potentially ruining that individual’s career, or even depriving them of their basic liberties, when that individual has done nothing morally wrong.
The policeman or policewoman no doubt joined so that they could catch rapists, murderers, or save people from domestic violence, exploitation and harm. But each time they arrest a drug user, they usually do more harm to them than that drug would have done.
It has come to the point where a great many people in our country, especially the young, look at the police only as potential sources of trouble. There is a great deal of anger and disrespect towards the police and other authority figures: the drug laws, which are seen as unnecessary and oppressive by most young people, are a major cause in this.
Perhaps being a police officer and enforcing drug laws would be ethical if those laws were effective deterrents: but they are not, if they were, it would not be the case that one-third of all adults in the UK have used recreational drugs. If an individual wants a drug, it is not difficult for them to find it, besides – have you ever known any one who wanted drugs and chose not to use them because they were illegal?
Isn’t it time that we allowed the police to focus on real crimes with real victims? Isn’t it time we healed the rift between the many responsible drug users in the public and the police who are forced to oppress them?
It is injustice, pure and simple: and our society raises us to fight injustice wherever we see it. Tax-paying adults should have the right to do with their minds and bodies as they see fit, so long as they do not harm others. We need to enshrine the freedom to control our own minds and bodies as an inalienable human right: we need to take back the freedom that we were born with, we need to take it back now- before it is too late.