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Just Say “Know!”

29-May-09 11:28 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

eading the CBC News website this evening resulted in my chancing upon a story concerning a landmark Supreme Court (of Canada) ruling.  The case involved a woman who was facing having her house confiscated as a “proceed of crime”, having been previously convicted of running a “grow-op” in her home.  The “grow-op” was relatively small scale and not operated for the purposes of trafficking, so the court ruled in her favour – to wails of “shame” from those who argue for more aggressive (and unfair) drug laws in Canada.  Although most of the comments I read were members of this pro-police-state crowd, there were overwhelming votes of disapproval on each of the comments indicating a silent majority agreed with the Supreme Court ruling.

I couldn’t resist adding my own reaction to the comments – risking having my name being associated with a view that might elicit vigorous disagreement.  Admittedly, I do sometimes worry that a colleague, employer or potential client might disagree with my libertarian perspective or draw conclusions about me from them which could well be untrue.  (In a fashion similar to a proponent of free-speech being mistaken for a sexual deviant after being caught defending a pornography vendor across the street from a high school.)  But sometimes it’s important one announce their beliefs lest we, as a society (and democracy), mistakenly conclude that voices are silent because nobody agrees with us, or those who disagree with us feel justified in stifling our civil rights because our seemingly low numbers make our beliefs insignificant.

The following is my response to the story linked above…

“LOL – the "just say no" crowd again feigns its shock at how unpopular their views are when exposed to the public.  Presumptuously, they contend it must mean that because those of us who disagree must just not know any better.  Some even cite their rehab experience (where they’re ritually indoctrinated with "just say no" dogma in tandem with other treatment) as being ironclad evidence that all drugs are all bad all the time and in every case.

Of course, it doesn’t ever occur to this sanctimonious bunch that there might be some of us who’ve used drugs – have used for many years, and didn’t have that same experience.  We must be either lying or a statistical anomaly – because drugs are always harmful, and there’s no such thing as moderation.  And don’t cite alcohol or tobacco – they’re not drugs.  Not really, anyway – they’re much "weaker" than real drugs.

Okay, an overdose of sarcasm there.  Sorry about that, but it’s hard to understand how people can be so rigidly wed to ideas that can’t withstand the test of evidence staring ya right in the face almost daily.  It’s particularly hard when the consequences of a more enlightened attitude toward recreational drug use could so richly benefit our society and improve the lives of those who’ve had their lives destroyed not by drugs, but ignorant, unfair laws around drugs.  Laws that, unlike any other, ignore individual liberty under the guise of protecting society from being overrun by potheads or other supposed "addicts".

Unfortunately, my rant here will do little good.  All I can do is urge any readers to treat drugs as any other topic about which they are unlearned: if empirical evidence isn’t an option, then read, chat, ask questions and above all think criticallyDON’T JUST SAY NO!”

Story comments, “B.C pot grower won’t forfeit house,” (CBC News, 29/05/2009), by Ross Holder writing as ross613.

Not much has happened in the past several months in the “war on drugs” file.  Well, Canada doesn’t really have a “war on drugs” (thank God), but every so often the Conservative government makes noises about strengthening already hefty police powers or increasing jail time so that there’s less room for real criminals like murderers, rapists, thieves and child pornographers.  For some reason, those crimes don’t offer as many opportunities to attract the glare of television cameras.  Anyway, this case will stir things up a bit and we’ll follow with updates to this story as they arise.

Categories: Law and Public Policy
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