Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gunter gets it

Lorne Gunter is totally (well, nearly) on side with me with his column on the government's new drug policy:
Rather than declare that there are "no safe drugs," as Health Minister Tony Clement is expected to do when the anti-drug campaign is launched, the government should consider accepting that -- for good or bad -- drug use is a personal choice. As such, there is little it can do to prevent it. But given that it is a personal choice, society has little obligation to pay for the consequences of misuse. Legalize most drugs, but also declare no welfare for addicts. Let private charities supply relief and health care for those who abuse drugs. That would at least compel some users to confront the economic costs of their choices and might -- might -- discourage more Canadians from taking drugs than any preachy government advertising campaign or assault on casual drug use.

I would personally legalize all drugs, but Gunter gets it - legalize drug use, which doesn't hurt anyone but the user, and, if your social spending policies are in conflict with this, then change your social policy before you quash peoples' freedoms like bugs. With the resources that you free up, fight real, violent crimes. Catch rapists. Put more murderers in prison. Etc, etc.

Mainstream journalism and common sense drug policy. Together at last!

4 comments:

leftdog said...

So the Conservatives are going to SAVE us from 'Reefer Madness' eh?

Peter M. Eyre said...

And not only would it allow law enforcement to allocate their scarce resources more efficiently, but it would lessen crime rates across the board (i.e. homicides committed to control distribution territory and because deals cannot be disputed in court and property crimes committed to pay for artificially-expensive habits) significantly. But not that I needed to tell you that..

Charles J said...

"Let private charities supply relief and health care for those who abuse drugs. That would at least compel some users to confront the economic costs of their choices and might -- might -- discourage more Canadians from taking drugs than any preachy government advertising campaign or assault on casual drug use."

The economic costs have absolutely no bearing on an addict's need to use drugs. The addict is a very sick person, compelled only by their body's dependence on drugs. Furthermore, most addicts are already relying on the charity of others just for survival, and not because they want to.

"legalize drug use, which doesn't hurt anyone but the user"

Why are we trying to hurt the user when we can treat them?

Just wondering.

Janet said...

charles -
The point is that it's an individual's choice whether or not to use any drug, from alcohol to nicotine to pot to heroin. There are a lot of people who are very against drug use, and these people often use the excuse that we can't afford to pay for the health consequences of drug use, and so they need to remain illegal. This is what I meant by the economic costs, not the costs to drug users.

More often than not, drug use doesn't even harm the individuals using drugs in any significant way (most drug users - if you don't count cigarette smokers - are not addicts), and if you really wanted to decrease the damage of drug use education and specific doses of a drug rather than wildly differing potencies (which won't happen without legalization... during prohibition alcohol could be any percentage, or made from wood alcohol... hence the high rate of alcohol-related deaths during the '20s) would be much better methods than prohibition.