The New York Times has a very strange article on Mexico’s recent partial decriminalization law: In Mexico, Ambivalence on a Drug Law
That “ambivalence” apparently stems from the New York Times talking to two people: a drug addict and a former drug addict.
â€œNo one should live like I live,â€ [cocaine and heroin addict Yolanda Espinosa] said. â€œItâ€™s an awful life. You do anything to satisfy your urge. You sell your body. It ruins you. I hope this wonâ€™t make more people live like this.â€ […]
At one Tijuana drug treatment center, a former addict was not convinced that going easy on those found with drugs was the right approach. â€œWith everything thatâ€™s happening, we need to distance ourselves from drugs,â€ said the former addict, Luis Manuel Delgado, 50, who is also the centerâ€™s assistant director. â€œImagine if I told the people in here that it was now legal for them to have a little. No way.â€
Jailing addicts helps them reach rock bottom and decide to turn their lives around, Mr. Delgado said.
Even putting aside the fact that today’s addicts got there despite (and maybe partly because of) massively repressive laws, and that evidence shows much better ways of helping those who abuse drugs than the “rock bottom” approach, does it make sense to turn to those who have problems with a substance for advice on policy for everyone else?
I have problems with certain types of food, in that I find them hard to resist, which makes me overweight, and could cause future health problems. What if I said that anybody who eats those foods should be thrown in jail as a way to force myself to stop?
Or should a video game addict call for anyone who plays Zelda to be imprisoned? Or maybe someone with a sexual fetish should call for a complete prohibition on women’s shoes?
I’m not saying that those who abuse drugs shouldn’t be allowed to speak about drug policy — of course, everyone should. But the New York Times seems to be pretending that drug abusers are the only ones with a dog in this hunt, which is ridiculous.