The recent call for drugs to be decriminalised, in order to reduce health risks and crime has, predictably enough, been batted away by the government, using the same old tired bag of conflation, misdirection and causal fallacy.
The Home Office has restated its position on drugs, after the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians called for a review of the law.
Speaking to the BBC, Sir Ian Gilmore said that the ‘the present policy of prohibition is not a success’.
Drugs cause misery
Wait. Let me stop you there. Drugs bring me, and other I know, A GREAT DEAL OF JOY.
And perhaps that’s the real problem here.
Responding to Sir Ian’s comments, a Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis are extremely harmful and can cause misery to communities across the country.
Okay. Stop right there. How is cannabis even in the same sentence as cocaine and heroin?
What harm did cannabis ever do a user? Sure we can exercise arguments about incidence of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, which we can bat away by pointing out the post hoc ergo proper hoc fallacy, and that correlation does not imply causation.
And we can argue about the supposed prevalence of gangs, who grow weed and use weapons and violence to protect their production line. We bat this away by pointing out that if those who wished to consume cannabis could grow their own, for personal use, these violent gangs would suffer a collapsing market. Completely decriminalise pot and they’ve no market at all, unless they go legit and supply to licensed outlets.
On heroin, well, so long as it is pharmaceutically pure and of a known strength, i.e. if it were decriminalised and suppliers were legit, it doesn’t have to be a treadmill to OD and death. It’ll keep Senokot in business though.
Coke? Well, again, the argument revolves around a reliable, unadulterated supply and cutting the hoodlums out of the loop.
Even accepting that heroin and cocaine, can even if pure and controlled, be very dangerous indeed if abused, there remains no justification for cannabis being mentioned in the same breath. There are no recorded fatalities.
But then, it’s a common trick. On the ‘Your Freedom’ repeal bill consultation, Nick Clegg batted away the idea of bringing back hanging and revising the smoking ban in the same breath.
Next, ‘communities’. As it happens John Demetriou has written a good post on this pernicious concept, which spares me the trouble.
Back to the ignorant fascists:
‘The government does not believe that decriminalisation is the right approach. Our priorities are clear; we want to reduce drug use, crack down on drug related crime and disorder and help addicts come off drugs for good.’
And in other news, the government proposes that as of 1 January 2012, the Sun will rise in the west and set in the north. In the event that they are unable to achieve the effect by the conventional socialist approach of realigning the heavens, they will use the social democrat contingency of passing a law to rearrange the points of the compass.
I despair. Same old ignorant, bigoted, narrow-minded authoritarian bullshit.
As it goes, A Very British Dude has done a much better and more thorough job than I on the matter of decriminalisation. See here, here and here.