Thursday, June 09, 2011

Big-time prohibitionist speaks big-time nonsense

The rhetoric of key prohibitionists is being pushed back as the debate about regulated legalisation of drugs develops and receives more balanced media exposure, with US 'Drugs Czar' Gil Kerlikowske, admitting on a government blog that you can't arrest your way out of drug problems.

However he then launches into an almost amusing assertion that his policy of prohibition is science-based, quoting a whole lot of 'associations' between drugs and Bad Things, again based on fallacy as all the Bad Things are either highly disputable or apply to a fraction of one percent of drug users, hardly a reason to criminalise the other 99%.

He then asserts that drug use is not a victimless crime, quoting "the tragic impact drug use has on newborn babies". He links to an article which turns out to be about prescription drugs, not illicit drugs, a sly twist that typifies prohibitionist rhetoric.

But it convinces some of the ignorant, so truth becomes secondary to convenience. It apparently has not occurred to Mr Kerlikowske that, as men don't have babies, the cohort so affected would be cut by yet another 50%. Nor are drugs like cannabis or MDMA addictive in any real sense so his baby argument fails to justify the prohibition of those drugs.

But the tricky part is his implication that all drug use (not abuse) creates victims. His wording is revealing and typical of prohibitionist propaganda.

On top of that, all the Bad Things he quotes are happening in a country with one of the toughest prohibition regimes among western countries, so, prima facie, prohibition is not working.

Mr Kerlikowske also asserts that "legalising illicit drugs increase drug use" (sic) but provides no evidence for this, ignoring the fact that more Americans use more drugs than most countries despite his precious prohibition.

If he admits you can't arrest your way out of dug problems, how else would his prohibition work? It's self-contradictory.

It's remarkable that such a senior government official can produce this nonsense with a straight face.


alice said...

I loved the editorial by Gideon Warhaft in the latest User's News:

A beautifully-put ode to the stupidity of drug laws.

James said...

The prohibitionists are in full swing over here in Perth at the moment. Fake weed, come Saturday, will get you a possible $100,000 fine or 25 years in prison.
Politicians are personally and directly responsible for 90% of the problems associated with drugs and I'm sure they know it.
The Government has just pushed a huge amount of customers back into the black market, the one controlled by organized crime.