The Drug Czar Who Cried Wolf

Face it - most Anti-Marijuana “education” comes down to some sort of variation of this:

Hey kids, if you ever give in to temptation and smoke marijuana, you are immediately doomed to a life of shooting up heroin and prostituting yourself for twenty dollars a pop while living under a bridge.

Take for example the ONDCP’s newest ad campaign: Become a Burrito TasterRadley Balko, Drug WarRant, and Bruce Merken have already commented on the absurdity of this particular tack by the Drug Czar. Windy Pundit, NorLa, B12 Solipsism, TBTEAB, and others have weighed in on the Agitator’s project of listing successful marijuana users.

But there’s a larger issue here as well. There’s no real need to list successful marijuana smokers. You are seriously deluded if you believe that the act itself of lecturing high schoolers (or whomever) about the disastrous consequences of marijuana will reduce comsumption.

Whether or not they read Radley’s list which disproves the Drug Czar’s assertion, I suspect they already know it’s not true. So when you preach “marijuana = death” you lose all credibility. And it wouldn’t hurt to have some credibility left when you try to educate children about the actual deleterious effects of using cocaine and heroin.

[Author’s Note: Nothing in this post shall be read as an endorsement of the over-criminalization of the “harder drugs”.]

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Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
sourmonkey - December 23, 2008 4:06 PM

Thank you for blogging about this, and cannabis prohibition in general. I am an ethnobotanist and I have studied cannabis for a long time. drug addiction is a mental health issue, not a law enforcement issue, but when you live in a country that has a poor record of treating mentally ill people, I guess it's no surprise that law enforcement is left with the task of prosecuting drug addicts. However, cannabis is not chemically addictive, like cigarettes, caffeine, or alcohol. The very fact that someone can test positive for cannabis weeks after consuming it is itself proof that cannabis produces no chemically addictive molecules. Yet, despite this, and the fact that the Texas Health and Safety Code provides allowances for medical investigation of cannabis, The Federal and Texas legislatures continue to define cannabis as a non-medical drug with the tendency for addictive abuse. This is nonsense, but the U.S. and Texas have both had nonsense laws in the past backed by nothing more than dogma (like slavery and Jim Crow). Unfortunately, cannabis prohibition ultimately undermines the rule of law and the integrity of American-style government, nevermind that prohibition also censors science, medicine, and the economy. Cannabis has been used and cultivated by humans for over ten thousand years. The genotype of cannabis is unique in all the plant kingdom, suggesting that a millennia of human cultivation is responsible for its existence today. It is shameful that most people don't know that cannabis fiber powered the great european naval expansion to the New World, and that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew it as an important botanical resource (ironically, if Jefferson and Washington were alive today, they would be felons).

Well, America is in decline because we have failed to use out botanical resources responsibly. Instead of prosecuting pot heads, American farmers could be growing cannabis to produce biofuel, plastic, building materials, food, and medicine. Instead, we have the War on Drugs. Now, I like America, and I want to see progress here, but when people make laws without doing the proper research, everyone suffers, and quite frankly, we deserve to fail for incarcerating people that grow and consume this plant.

I would rather see our government go bankrupt prosecuting cannabis-related offenders than continue with the status quo. Reform must happen, and it must happen soon. Otherwise, the Great Experiment will fail, doomed because We The People fail to stand up for human dignity and progressive knowledge.

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