I often run into people who have been so conditioned into believing that prohibition is the only option, they cannot even conceive of (or listen to) any alternative. They’re the ones who believe legalization is surrender.
I was thinking about them this afternoon, when I went to visit my friend George in the local hospital. He was over in the new Theodoric wing of the hospital. The nurse had finished attaching a syringe and tube to his arm and was in the process of draining him. I asked him what was wrong.
“Oh, it’s just the flu,” he said, “but the doctor said this is supposed to help me. So far, it hasn’t, but he said that just means they haven’t taken enough blood yet.”
After I spent some time with George (and he blacked out), I ducked into the room next door where a young woman was being covered with leeches.
“What’s wrong with you?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she replied, “except for these leeches. I was doing fine but they told me I had to come here for treatment to purge me of ‘bad humors.’ I think they just didn’t like the way I thought.”
I wandered out into the hall and found a couple of doctors discussing bloodletting techniques. I confronted them.
“Why are you doing this? Bloodletting is archaic and destructive!”
“Oh yeah?” replied one. “What would you have us do? Ignore the sick? Let them die? We took oaths to cure people and nothing you say will stop us from continuing our duty.”
“But you’re not actually curing anybody,” I said. “You’re just making them weak. Can you actually point to success? You need to stop bloodletting and turn to actual proven alternatives.”
“It’s true that we’ve had limited success,” replied the second doctor, “but that’s no reason to give up. And I’m offended by your notion that we should just let these people die.”
And then they called security.
So I did the only thing I could â€” a hospital jail-break with George and leech girl. At least I saved a couple.