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January 2010
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The big lie

Prohibitionists use a lot of deceit and misdirection to further their cause (in fact, the drug czar is required by law to lie). What else have they got? Any kind of clear analysis of all the facts will show that ending prohibition in some way is the only thing that makes sense.

The biggest lie, however, is the one where they say they’re doing it because they care about the safety of people.

Just from the broad outlines of prohibition, you can immediately see that isn’t true — from the violence in Mexico and our streets to the overdose deaths of people afraid to seek help.

But it goes beyond that. The sado-moralists who dominate prohibition legislation want extra assurance that people will die (or at least be harmed in some way).

So they oppose needle exchange (yes, even voluntary non-taxpayer supported ones), despite the fact that all studies show that needle exchange saves lives without increasing or encouraging drug use.

They oppose providing Narcan kits (which can stop overdoses from being fatal) to heroin users.

They oppose reality-based education on drugs (or sex, for that matter) because they’d rather have kids die than know the truth.

That’s right — it’s not just in drug policy that these sado-moralists thrive. I was astonished to learn that in some cities possession of condoms can be used against you as evidence of prostitution. How absurd, and how wrong, is that? To set up a system where they are essentially encouraging sex workers to not carry condoms.

That’s sado-moralism, all right. And we’ve got way too much of it in this country.

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13 comments to The big lie

  • jhelion

    I think also the prohibs enjoy inflicting a sick vengeance upon those with whom they don’t agree – they don’t want social harm reduction, they want punishment at any cost. They argue that they don’t want to pay for potential “druggies” health problems, but have no problem paying for the bullets and battering rams.

  • claygooding

    The biggest shortage we have in this country is legislators with common sense and down to earth people in our congress. But how do we fix this. The only people that can get enough money to pay 3 million dollars in election funds for a $100 thousand dollar a year are the people willing to sell their soul to big business to raise the money. Or they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth and don’t have the slightest idea what working for a living means,so how do they know what is best for the vast majority of American citizens. All they know is to continue keeping
    the rich rich,and the poor in prison.

  • claygooding

    left out job behind a year,,,,oops

  • DavesNotHere

    Good article here today.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/connelly/414149_joel13.html?source=rss

    The Doctor treating hard-drug patients makes the point that all of his patients were abused as children. Drug dependence typically isn’t their biggest problem, just a symptom. But all we know how to do is lock people in cages to “help” them and “keep them safe”. That’s sado-moralism alright.

    Nothing is solved or improved, but the control freaks feel better about themselves because they punished someone and made them suffer instead of actually helping them.

  • rick boston

    We here in Missouri have a man, a Mayor of Cottleville Missouri. His name is Don Yarber. He is an outspoken realist, trying to get Cannabis out of the closet and on to the state’s authoritarian attention. We apparently are the “Show Me State” for a reason. Some of our represenatives seem as though they are on a differant PLANET than the rest of the country. Now 14 states are able to use Medical Cannabis in the U.S. This is a man, who has witnessed Cannabis’s effectivness himself. We need our politicians to join with Don, and help him get this taken seriously in this state.

  • Tim

    Dr. Gabor Mate is amazing. And he’s right.

    And a lot of their shrill opposition is fear based.

    A saw the anti-pot group held a press conference complete with a logo on the podium. I’m too young to remember, but did the Klan have press conferences after debates on civil rights legislation?

  • Dante

    “The Big Lie” only works because people are lazy. Anyone who spends a few minutes actually investigating the history of cannabis can see that the prohibition of cannabis has resulted in harms that are 10,000 times worse than any harm associated with the use of cannabis.

    The government is lying. The DEA is lying. Our local sherrif is lying. Our elected representatives are lying. They are not serving the public, they are only serving themselves.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  • BruceM

    Those who best and most frequently invoke “the children” always win. Prohibitionists have been taking advantage of the maternal instinct and invoking “the children” ever since they first decided something must be banned.

    Our problem is that a position that says “X hurts children” will always trump a position that says “banning X causes things that hurt children” since the latter requires thought, rather than mere agreement. A position that requires people to think will always lose out to a position that doesn’t. As such, drug prohibition will never end. At least not while America exists. America is past the point of no return, on the brink of collapse. So the big question we should be asking ourselves is this: what will drug policy be like in a post-America world? I have several thoughts, but I do not yet have a firm prediction.

  • Hope

    Prohibition of cannabis and opium and cocaine had to do originally, and was put in place by white men, for racist reasons, more than anything, in an effort to keep white women from being “seduced” by orientals with opium and those blacks with their devil music… jazz, and their seductive viper weed.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicholas Stewart, Ian 'Cat' Vincent. Ian 'Cat' Vincent said: Today's word is 'sado-moralism' http://bit.ly/6uvSqC (on US moral crusading vs drugs, sex) […]

  • Transform recently introduced me to the term “securitization”, not the bank variety but a term having to do with the Copenhagen School of International Relations:

    Of particular interest:

    “It is argued that ‘security’ is a speech act with distinct consequences in the context over international politics. By talking security an actor tries to move a topic away from politics and into an area of security concerns thereby legitimating extraordinary means against the socially constructed threat. The process of securitization is intersubjective meaning that it is neither a question of an objective threat or a subjective perception of a threat. Instead securitization of a subject depends on an audience accepting the securitization speech act.”

    We knew that, of course, just thought it would be nice to get a proper academic term for it.

  • DdC

    Why should we pay taxes for LIE Makers propaganda,
    or LIE Enforcement hedging their own bennies?

  • […] with me. Not sure Christians would call war on masturbation PRIOR: "Exactly! It's called "sado-moralism", the sadistic pleasure in punishing the "bad" people (often for a profit). The current […]