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Cognitive Distortion

It’s been kind of nice the amount of attention my recent local letter to the editor received (including some very nice emails from acquaintances in the community). The letter has been in the top 10 most commented recent stories for the paper, with over 130 comments.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that all the comments have been particularly intelligent — this is the letters to the editor section of a central Illinois newspaper. And a lot of the volume has come from some strange back and forth exchanges in the nature of “You need to prove why marijuana should be made illegal.” “No, you need to prove why marijuana should be legalized.”

What’s interesting to me is that my letter had purposely avoided any discussion of the relative benefits or harms of marijuana and focused solely on the harms of prohibition versus the benefits of regulation. And yet, the discussion immediately was all about whether marijuana was bad or good. Several attempts in the discussion thread to force anti-legalizers to address prohibition were simply ignored.

It’s as if they can’t see past their… hatred(?) for marijuana (or marijuana users) to even reasonably discuss the facts surrounding prohibition.

I just found it interesting.

I think the most humorous moment for me in the comment thread was when one very vocal anti-marijuana legalization advocate decided to show how absurd legalization was by giving “ridiculous” similar examples…

Then why not legalize prostitution? After all, it’s between consenting adults, and one could make the argument that you pay for it anyway – dinner, entertainment, gifts, etc. This would put all pimps out of business, or at least regulate and tax them, require them provide insurance to their whores.

Why not legalize all drugs, including cocaine? After all, it’s my body and I should be allowed to shoot up, snort, sniff, smoke, etc., as much as I want! The government could tax and regulate the drug dealers who would be required to provide insurance in their pre-teen lookouts and other junkies.

I’m sure none of this would cause any legal, political, moral, ethical, or medical issues in the least, and I’m sure that by having it taxed and regulated, there will be no cause for alarm for anyone abusing the system to get their fix, or have any sort of increase in crime as drug use increases.

Although completely unintentional, it was the most logical and reasonable argument he made in the entire thread. Other than some of the snark thrown in there, that’s a fine argument for legalization.

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11 comments to Cognitive Distortion

  • ezrydn

    I wasn’t aware that Schedule II drugs were referred to as “illegal.” Evidently, the writer isn’t aware of what Schedules actually are.

    Legalize Prostitution?–NEVADA! Sky hasn’t hit Terra Firma YET. Without Prostitution or Gambling, Nevada would have gone under long ago.

    Have you also noticed that when they talk about drugs being legal, if two more users are added to the list, it’s considered a “rise in crime?” If it’s legal, where’s the “crime?”

  • kaptinemo

    EZ, I long ago classified the prohibs into the Machiavellians and the Useful Idiots. The former are the paid professional DrugWarriors, the majority of whom know by their own experience (and intelligence, yes, they do have some) that the DrugWar is inherently unwinnable and for all the reasons that we regularly have to repeat for the second class of DrugWarriors, the Useful Idiots.

    The second grouping is inherently incapable of reason (based upon decades-long observation, so take the conclusion as you will) and functions largely on emotion, which is why they are endlessly and easily manipulated by the first group.

    So…what you regularly have in response to any published intelligent critique of ‘drug control’ policy is the second group being urged by the first to add their (devalued) ‘tuppence’ to the issue, which in turn is no more informative than car horns blowing, dogs barking, infants flatulating and your local ‘bag lady’s shrieks and mumblings.

    (In fact, I wish some enterprising soul would come up with a YouTube wherein the reformer makes a valid point, and the counter to it by the prohibs is a mish-mash of the above mentioned noises cued to start the moment a prohib opens their mouths.)

    So, given the (reduced) expectations provided by long experience with the severely limited responses that can be provided by Useful Idiots, such exchanges show which side evidently has the mental wattage…and which side’s bulb burned out the moment the switch was flipped.

  • claygooding

    Most prohibs,when voicing their concerns and fears of drug legalization don’t seem to be able too hear what they are saying because they are answering themselves with information that actually points out the very reason that legalization is the only answer. In their eagerness to call advocates idiots they point at you as an idiot with 1 finger(sometimes the middle one) and at least 3 of their fingers are pointing at themselves.
    And they end up winning the argument for you.

  • Gilberto

    Yea the old camel nose under the tent argument. Old and played out like the gateway drug fairytale. The dreaded “slippery slope” (gasp!) one toke and your a crazed Manson moonie looking to do whatever to score! These people really need to smoke one and lighten up Francis.

  • ezrydn

    I was just perusing the “Drug Czar Required To Lie” page and noticed something. When reading what Pete has noted, from the law, one can only conclude that the government forsaw that a legalization attempt might be mounted and the only thing they say is that the Drug Czar is to do all in his power to stand in the way of it.

    Now, I find it interesting that that “consideration” is even noted. There is no “blanket blockade” in place, as a law against legalization attempts. Just “Sad Sack” Gil.

    We’ll have heartaches and joys, come November. However, our numbers will surely rise. The People are starting to listen to us. The Media is beginning to listen to us. Legislators are listening to us. We saw the Perfect Storm while the seas were still calm. Now that it’s getting “choppy and dicey,” the truth is hitting home. Get aboard the seaworthy ship “USS REFORM” or get swept way.

  • Mike

    This was my favorite stupid comment. It was in response to someone saying that studies have shown that marijuana is not a gateway drug. S/He went on to argue that Marijuana use leads to other drugs, therefore it should be illegal.

    “Where do you buy pot from, drug dealers? This puts you in contact with other people that sell and use drugs right? If your doing pot whats to stop you from trying other substances especialy since your exposed to that culture?”

    And in turn spat out a legitimate argument for legalization, removing the criminal element.

  • Chris

    “What’s interesting to me is that my letter had purposely avoided any discussion of the relative benefits or harms of marijuana and focused solely on the harms of prohibition versus the benefits of regulation. And yet, the discussion immediately was all about whether marijuana was bad or good. Several attempts in the discussion thread to force anti-legalizers to address prohibition were simply ignored.”

    This is my argument whenever it comes up. It doesn’t matter how good or bad weed is, it could be crack cocaine but it’s still not relevant in any way. Health effects do not change the fact that most of the problem (if not all) is a result of prohibition. Even heroin would benefit from being legalized, despite the obvious risks it poses, because prohibition is just that bad at what it’s supposed to do.

  • Tim

    It’s as if they can’t see past their… hatred(?) for marijuana (or marijuana users) to even reasonably discuss the facts surrounding prohibition.

    It’s not just commenters. They prohibs can’t win on facts, so they push this discredited ‘pot causes psychosis’ nonsense.

    The good news is that people aren’t buying it. A well known science journalist, David Suzuki, has been getting no end of flack for putting his name on a poorly-researched screed by a stealth prohib called Bruce Mohun called “The Downside of High.”

    There are complaints in with the network and a few other places. One colleague ran into him recently in Spain and it appears that he regrets giving that filmmaker a platform.

  • GUy#1

    Wow, it’s right in front of him, that’s so sad.

  • strayan

    A prohib said to me once: “why not just legalise theft”

    He was unable to grasp the concept that legalising theft wouldn’t deprive gangsters of anything, whereas legalising drugs would deprive them of tax free income.

    He was, undoubtedly, a useful idiot.

    As for legalising prostitution, Australia has been so successful that you’re less likely to get an STI from a sex worker there than a member of the general public.

  • maryjanesuncle

    logic is waisted on the closed mind, facts will never over ride personal views with many people,