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June 2007
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Science: Another victim of the drug war

One of the things that is the most frustrating about being a drug policy reformer is fighting through the assumption by the uneducated (drug war uneducated, I mean), that the only reason to be in favor of drug policy reform is so people can do drugs.
And, of course, if they said that, the easy response would be: “You stupid twit. People can do drugs now. They do drugs now.” But, of course, they don’t give you that option. Most times, they don’t actually say it. They just look at you with that expression that says “what a strange reason for him to invest all this time and energy.”
Of course, the reasons for supporting drug policy reform are too numerous to count, including: taking the profit out of the black market and de-funding violent criminal enterprises; reducing corruption in police and public officials; reducing overdoses and dangers from tainted drugs; doing a better job of keeping dangerous drugs from kids; restoring our constitutional rights; injecting some sanity into foreign policy; stopping the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars; increasing business productivity through reforming human resource policies; teaching children how to be responsible free citizens; restoring sanity to medical practice; and a whole lot more.
Science has long been one of the victims of the drug war — ever since Anslinger distorted science to fit his drug war fantasies.
This article at Memepunks: America’s War on Science, provides a chilling picture of the future of science education (and the encouragement of young scientists).
Whether it’s concern over homemade fireworks, methamphetamines, or homeland security, it is now almost impossible to get useful chemistry kits for kids to learn and experiment.

In an attempt to curb the production of crystal meth, more than 30 states have now outlawed or require registration for common lab equipment. In Texas, you need to register the purchase of Erlenmeyer flasks or three-necked beakers. The same state where I do not have to register a handgun, forces me to register a glass beaker.

Mr. Wizard (who died last week), is probably spinning in his grave.

For example, when a current company tried re releasing a kit based on the one marketed by Mr. Wizard himself back in the 1950s, they found that they could only include five of the original chemicals in the set. The rest of the items were replaced with inane things like super balls and balloons.

So no, drug policy reform isn’t just about letting people smoke pot legally. It’s about saving the country from a host of serious ills related to prohibition.
Some people get stupid when they do drugs, but that’s usually for only a few hours. The drug war reduces the intelligence of the entire country’s future.

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