Monday, May 21, 2012

Peter Hitchens Blames Kids For Drug War


In the the Google+ Debate on the War on Drugs, Peter Hitchens blamed drug users for the violence in the drug trade. I laughed so hard. And let me say that I very strongly AGREE with Peter Hitchens that personal responsibility is of paramount importance in this issue, and any issue really. That's just axiomatic. We are persons.

But is it really demand that is the culprit here? The suggestion is beyond laughable. The demand for ILLEGAL DRUGS may, in some economically surreal drug warrior world, be to blame for our current situation. But the sensible and obvious solution is not to curb demand i.e., attempt to socially engineer the appetites of millions of individuals, but to remove the legally prohibited status. DUH!

I doubt Peter Hitchens will ever read this, but if by some miracle he does I must address you directly: Your comical naïveté will be shattered if you take six and a half minutes to learn about America's experience with alcohol prohibition. I have previously discussed the detrimental effects of the War on Drugs on society and its freedoms and finances.

So let's talk personal responsibility and demand. Is demand responsible for our current situation? Yup, it sure is. But it's not the demand for drugs. It is the demand for their prohibition. What's a drug anyway? Both heroin and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are drugs. Alcohol and cocaine are drugs. All four are in demand, but only two are illegal. Only two have violent black markets. Guess which two?

We continue to see such blood in the drug trade today not in spite of prohibition, but due to it. Support for the Drug War comes not just from ignorant citizens, but includes the pharmaceutical industry and the cartels themselves, both of which profit from restricted markets. Each and every one of these drug warriors are personally responsible for the deaths due to it, between the State and cartels and between the cartels themselves. And, of course, all the innocent.

That is a lot of blood on your hands. Do you really want it, Pete? Are you that evil or just that ignorant? As always, I give the benefit of the doubt that it's just blind ignorance.

Percentages vary by drug and time but, for example, a 1998 poll by the Family Research Council found that 82% of those polled supported the continued prohibition of heroin and cocaine.

However, public opinion has finally begun to shift in the last decade. Most people now consider the war on drugs to be a failure

The militarization of police i.e. giving them TANKS, the ridiculous expansion of the prison-industrial complex, the siphoning of private resources from private society to federal, state, and local drug bureaus incalculably outweigh any benefit of the War on Drugs. To believe otherwise demands a special kind of brain.

The arguments of ignorant drug warriors like Peter Hitchens are so hollow it's absurd. You would think they would see the last few decades for what they are, a failure, and yet they continue their idiotic, counterproductive, and immoral project, imperiling us all.

3 comments:

  1. I've read it. If you visit my blog and check the index for 'cannabis'and 'drugs' you will find this whole subject thoroughly debated, including the tired and misleading comparison between laws against marijuana and US alcohol prohibition.

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  2. You're right, it's worse than alcohol prohibition. Look up LEAP and these brave police and prosecutors http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LayaGk0TMDc

    First, the link in your name does not lead anywhere. URL please.

    Also, you missed the point. I never said that drugs were not dangerous.

    What I DID say is that the Drug War has militarized law enforcement and that is not worth fighting a futile war against chemicals because it is insane.

    There is nothing misleading about it. And I am not discussing ONLY marijuana prohibtion vis-a-vis alcohol prohibition.

    I am discussing prohibition itself.


    Prohibition creates violent black markets. IN ANYTHING THAT IS PROHIBITED. That is socioeconomic fact.

    Unfortunately, though you said you read it, you completely ignore that.

    All said, though, I was positively giddy when I saw "Peter Hitchens has commented..."

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  3. Great article.
    My own 200 cents (adjusted for inflation).
    When libertarians chat about the potential damage government do by attempting to prohibit drugs (etc) - they always seem to try to hit the ball from a awkward angle, and it often results in a somewhat weird trajectory for the conversation.
    The only robust angle (IMHO) to address the subject is (the same angle which should be used for security, healthcare, etc): the government is NOT there to prohibit anything (not to provide healthcare for that matter, nor protection, etc). It just wants your taxes. Period. It's a business. It needs your fear, it's like religions, it wants to tax you, like a farmer gathers his eggs. Government care as much about the little people as the farmer cares about his cows. They can't smell us and ideally they would really be delighted to be able to do without us. All they want is gullible fearful and susceptible kids. Nothing makes for more clear and stable revenues (not even oil for that matter) than fragile hearts coerced into fake moralities through the visible-taxing-hand of the ruling class.
    All this to say, my take is libertarians run great risks when they attempt to jump into the ring of statistics (any) when discussing whether farmers do a great job or not at preventing animals from chewing on some of the weird mushrooms.
    It distracts from the main topic.
    I have seen economists (Bob Murphy) argue & reason stuff like "Drug prohibition [from government] raises the marginal benefits and reduces the marginal costs to drug dealers of using violence against their competitors. In addition, the incentives of prohibition lead producers and consumers to shift to "harder" drugs, which leads to more overdoses and other health problems".
    and I think that's cool.
    But governments are not there to "prohibit" drugs. They don't care about drugs. What they do has nothing to do with prohibition.
    Saying governments prohibit drugs is like saying Google is a search engine. It's wrong, Google is an advertising agency and they make their revenues with advertisement - the search engine bit is just a small tool to get to their advertising revenues...
    Anyway, great article, glad to see Peter Hitchens bothered to reply. Small world. Great stuff. Thanks & cheers.

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