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More on the Harmlessness of Drugs

This story is getting weary, but needs to be told as long as the drug legalization crowd keeps telling us that drugs are harmless or nearly so.  It's just point-blank false.  And it's no excuse to say that people freely choose to put them into their own bodies.  The choice is not truly "free" when the consumer is too young to know what he's doing, is addicted, or has been misled about the supposed "safety" of these things  --  a myth to which legalizers themselves give currency, even when, for fig-leaf purposes, they decline to endorse it directly.

The latest is here.  How ironic that the account appears in Rolling Stone.


So by your logic, it makes sense to lock people up for doing something they do not do freely? "Consumers could not freely choose whether or not to use drugs if they were legal. Somehow its okay to send them to jail for years on drug possession charges, though, in spite of the fact that they apparently did not freely choose to use drugs."

Can't have it both ways, Bill. Either people lack free choice and thus lack culpability; or they have free choice and can decide for themselves whether the health risks outweigh the "fun" benefits.

1. My post was written to point out that illegal drugs are dangerous (in this case lethal), a fact you don't and can't deny. Legalization will increase their availability and use, and thus increase the harm to living persons (and the number of deaths) they cause.

If you want that result, have at it. I will not be joining you.

2. If people are forced to use drugs, then I am not for locking them up. Where did I say otherwise? If on the other hand they use drugs of their own volition, that's a different matter.

3. To be more specific: You conflate intentional use with informed use. There's a legal, moral and practical difference between the two. When a person intentionally violates the law, then, yes, he is and ought to be legally liable, even if he's making a big mistake about subsidiary facts. Example: When he takes heroin thinking it's PCP, he's woefully misinformed about what he's getting into. But the misinformation doesn't make any legal difference, because he intended to do something the law forbids.

4. Before you worry too much about my supposedly wanting to have it both ways, you might want to ask why those of you who want to legalize Ecstasy can't even have it a single way.

Or in other words, do you find it a little odd to proclaim the triumph of your mind-like-a-steel-trap logic, only to fail to win even 1 of 535 votes in Congress? If your logic is so airtight, why are your results so abysmal? Because everyone is out of step but you?

The reason why we disagree with your take is that many of us have personal experience with drug use and know that many of them can be used safely. Besides my own occasional use, I am surrounded by friends who are regular drug users (they smoke weed on the weekends and will take drugs like ecstasy at clubs or festivals).

Nobody I know has died or suffered from that sort of drug use. They all have jobs, many are in good relationships and/or married, and some have remarkably high incomes. Thats not enough to prove that they are perfectly safe and not life inhibiting but it is enough to make me look at the stats rather than just newspaper reports. Ecstasy is statistically a very safe drug (much safer than alcohol) and it could be made even safer if the production was regulated by a legal market, rather than an illegal one.

As for the votes in congress question, public opinion can change remarkably quickly. Gay marriage would have been unthinkable a generation ago. Now it is happening (though not exactly spearheaded by congress, I suppose). People reject drug use because many people don't have personal experience of it, in the same way that most people will never experience a gay relationship. And there is a natural tendency for people to reject what is already illegal because many people respect the law regardless of its content (that is sometimes a virtue, the ability to follow laws without fully understanding their justification; it is not always).

v.i. morofski I "Ecstasy is statistically a very safe drug (much safer than alcohol)" I

Considering the unwashed billions of consumers of ales, wine, & spirits, including altar boys and children at Mass over the aeons…

No, you're right, a glass of red wine with dinner is oft-fatal.

Comrade, you so casually raise the spectre of "daemon alcohol." Your argument is thusly as helpless as a Polish cavalry unit facing Panzers in WWII!


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