Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Thursday, October 19, 2006

On drugs and social capital

Charleston Daily Mail,
Dear Dave,
(please consider, or forward on to your letters to the editor section, with thanks./Blair)

Judge Shawn Taylor ["If the addicted cost us...", CDM Oct16] describes examples of where criminalisation fails as an effective intervention in preventing societal damage from drug misuse. "Drying out" in jails fails because it is both coercing a behaviour and guarantees the profits [marginal risks] drugs have that leads to aquisative crime and early entry into the criminal gateway. One can get over an addiction but 'a conviction' is for life. Drug rules create dishonesty. Without 'informed consent' coercion is masquerading as treatment. The outcomes are predictable. Innocent people are victims of 'policy'. First do no harm principals are abrogated. Federal drug policy is not performance tested for delivery of its outcomes.
A professor of addiction science usefully commented on Fox News yesterday 'we wouldn't put a diabetic in jail' but the policy is worse than that, it creates the very outcomes it sets out to curtail. The American response to drug use (as it is here in New Zealand; we imported your rules) is surrounded by a complex tautology reducable to; 'drugs are illegal because they are immoral and immoral because they are illegal', yet drugs couldn't be cheaper, stronger or more available. It is thus moraly reprehensible of governments to abrogate control of these substances to criminal networks suggesting that is in policy reform the stuff of social capital will be found, not at the end of a 'coercive care' imprisonment.
Blair Anderson, Director
Educators for Sensible Drug Policy,
50 Wainoni Road
Christchurch, NZ

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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