Friday, March 7, 2008

Unforseen advantages; also, the environmental sustainability of drug users

An Alderman in Chicago is trying to convince the city council to ban tiny plastic bags used for selling drugs. The Health Committee chairman adds, ""We need to use every measure that we possibly can to stop [drug addiction] because it is destroying our kids." I admire the "thinking outside the box" that clearly went on here, but there remains one fundamental problem:

  1. This will not, in any way, prevent drug dealers from selling drugs.
HOWEVER, this could still be an advantage as it might encourage drug dealers to use more environmentally friendly means to distribute their products. After all, plastic never disintegrates, and I bet the majority of crack cocaine addicts aren't recycling theirs (and indeed, may not even know what day to put out their recycling for curbside pick-up). This could be an opportunity for some creative re-use, or at least use of more sustainable materials! Possible alternatives to tiny plastic bags: packets made of aluminum foil or paper; the little plastic cases that those tiny memory chips for digital cameras come in; small Tupperware containers (these could be re-used as they are dishwasher-safe); tiny sachets made from salvaged industrial fabric (once emptied of heroin, these could be filled with potpourri and used as drawer/closet fresheners!); film cannisters.

Think about it.
I am filing this one under: "Great ideas."


Candice said...

I just assumed that with no more tiny bags, everyone would be forced to move up to slightly larger bags, filled with slightly larger quantities of drugs. Does that solve the problem? No, I don't think that it does. Perhaps they should mandate even tinier bags.

The bit about how the merchant "reasonably should know that such items will be or are being used" for drugs only suggests to me that they'll have to take the bags out of head shops, and a lot of drug dealers would be forced to start frequenting craft stores, claiming to be interested in little, tiny beads.

Prolix said...

You're completely right! Ever-larger bags of drugs are an inevitable result! Eventually everyone will have to buy grocery bags full of drugs, which will cost thousands of dollars... and addicts will have to "budget" themselves out a certain amount per day. Which will, again, never work.