Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pot Logic and Illogic

Very nice catch by Pam Clifton at Think Outside the Cage of this article analyzing the nuanced views of Americans polled about pot. You have to get to the end to find out why the drug warriors are nevertheless entranced by their battle. We failed with alcohol, we failed with cigarettes, we’re failing with pot,. . . bit let’s keep doing the failure. My point here, again, as someone who has never used illegal drugs, even growing up in the 60s, is that drugs should be treated the same. We’re best served, not perfectly served but best served, by leaving the decisions up to health professionals, not law enforcers who have institutional and personal reasons behind their decisions. If we’re going to punish, then punish all drugs used recreationally (in a broad sense of the term). And tailor punishments to effects and don’t keep pretending they’re all the same, all “irresistible” and “immediately addicting.” Alcohol is worse than pot, so punish it worse. And if you let it off the hook, don’t punish pot worse. And if we have legal drugs that are not different chemically or in effect from illegal ones in significant ways, then acknowledge that and get them in line. Be consistent and equitable. Otherwise, the law becomes, well, what we have now, corrupt, disparate, ignored, abused, ineffective. And that has ramifications far beyond arresting this guy and letting that guy use. But by all means, let’s keep doing it this way. Maybe someday we’ll get a different result.

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