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December 2007
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Easy solutions that don’t exist

Near the end of the question and answer period with Antonio Maria Consta, when he was starting to get testy and short with his answers, he said that if we wanted to solve a particular problem, that was easy — just stop buying drugs.
I was reminded of that today in a post discussing the adjustments in the crack-powder sentencing disparity, when I saw a commenter that essentially said: “It wouldn’t be an issue if people didn’t use crack.”
It’s a common argument. It’s true — and it’s completely moronic and fatuous, because it’s meaningless.

  • There would be no drug problems or drug war problems if people didn’t use drugs.
  • There would be no teen pregnancies or STDs or abortions if people didn’t have sex.
  • There would be no obesity if people didn’t eat fattening foods.
  • There would be no religious wars if people didn’t turn to religion for answers.

All true… but meaningless.
Because, you see, people are… human.
People will use drugs. That’s a certainty, not an option. Any discussion of policy must start with that basic fact.
Suggesting “if only people didn’t use drugs,” isn’t an argument. It’s the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “Nya, Nya, Nya, I can’t hear you!”

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