Monday, January 21, 2008

The case for strengthening laws on illicit drugs

An oldie but definitely a goodie. This argument by Theodore Dalrymple* provides a cogent philosophical and legal case against legalising illicit drugs.

A newie but also a goodie. Despite the psychological (psychosis, addiction) and physical damage (lungs and lung cancer) cannabis is known to cause a rearguard group of drug industry leeches are setting to prevent its upgrading to a Class B drug in Britain. They will lose as they should.

Australia should strengthen not weaken its laws against cannabis use by continuing to prosecute users in the courts as well as suppliers.

* Dalrymple has appealling views on the myth that individuals cannot overcome the difficulties of addiction. I also appreciate his objectively accurate views of heroin users - these are not an 'alienated' group of sad individuals unable to adjust to an unfair society. In the main they are low IQ, dishonest losers who deserve no adulation. I like Dalrymple's attempts to de-mythologise.


conrad said...


so I can pay for more people to sit in jail and learn how to be criminals, for no real reason apart from that some bunch of conservatives isn't willing to admit that making drugs like marijuana illegal is a completely lost cause (as was basically admitted with decriminalization).

Why not offer a cost estimate of all the money lost to marijaua and harm minimization vs. all the money spent trying to police it? It seems now all you are doing is complaining about something worthy of figures.

As for heroin -- I'd much rather my local train station junkies take that than substitute it with ice. They can vomit and drool on themselves all they like for all I care. This is also going to be another lost cause whenever the new supplies in Afghanistan hit Australia, as it was in the mid to late 90s.

In fact, I'll bet you that once supply starts ramping up again (presumably in the next few years), the police are able to take less than 5% of the total off Australian streets, even by their own figures (and about 1% of the marijuana) -- what are the figures now?

derrida derider said...

Well I for one am glad responsibility for the supply of these dangerous drugs was taken out of the hands of medicos and entrusted to the criminal elements of our society. That free market is so much more efficient than those highly-regulated doctors, unencumbered as it is by concerns for the consumers' welfare. </sarcasm>

Your comments about the type of people who use heroin is correct as far as it goes, but surely our better response is pity rather than contempt.

As a friend once said "it's not rocket science - some people have awful lives and drugs make them feel less awful". An effective anti-drug policy might therefore be to try and make their lives less awful.

CocaKolaNut said...

Have to admit Harry, I stopped reading when Dalrymple compared drug use to raping a corpse in public.

I have to agree with DD too...

Sometimes it seems as if you have trouble visualising drug users as people, let alone possibly your child, brother or sister, mother or father, neighbour, friend, lawyer, politician or local copper.

And surely if one of your loved ones was in an unfortunate situation such as addiction, you would still want them treated with the same dignity and respect that all people deserve.

Anonymous said...

More self-hatred from Harry the drug (alcohol) enthusiast