Every now and then this ridiculous argument shows up in some serious-sounding piece about legalization and it’s important that a stake be put through its heart before it breeds more stupidity. This time, it showed up in Mamon McKinnon’s Drug Legalization Chic, which I mentioned a few days ago.
“…If the war against drugs is lost, then so are the wars against theft, speeding, incest, fraud, rape, murder, arson, and illegal parking. Few, if any, such wars are winnable. So let us all do anything we choose…”
This is, certainly, nonsense of the most outrageous kind, and it takes a special kind of dementia to see any logic therein.
Of course, the glib sarcastic response is “If you don’t know the difference between marijuana and rape, you won’t get invited to any of the good parties.”
In comments, Old Soldier took a stab at setting people straight:
Rape has a victim. Smoking hemp doesn’t.
In the true sense of the meaning, absolutely right. But unfortunately, this argument gets us nowhere, because there’s always some git like David W who moronically replies:
Tell that to the children? In Dallas Police were called to an apartment. It was full of pot smoke, and there were little children in there. One woman who was smoking was holding her toddler in her arms. What kind of life does that child have to look forward to, even if they some how remain healthy?? How about the organization I belonged to that had it bank account wiped out because our treasurer was a “recovering” addict and stole the money to finance her habit? Or my uncle who abandoned his family (granted, he started on pot when young but had graduated to heroin when he abandoned his wife and two children). No victims my foot.
Completely sidetracked. Mention victimless “crimes” and you’ll always get someone who thinks that secondary victimization is the same thing. And we’ve completely moved away from the topic of legalization. Dave W’s pathetic stories have nothing to do with drug legalization. In fact, they all apparently happened under criminalization. No value to the discussion at hand in any way.
Fact is, the real difference between marijuana and rape (when it comes to the discussion of eliminating criminal penalties) is… economics. Supply and demand.
As long as there is a demand for drugs, there will be a supply. Putting people in jail for selling drugs doesn’t do any good at all, because there’s still a demand, so someone else will step right up and fill the vacancy. That’s why criminal drug laws are always failures, as are interdiction and all other supply-side efforts.
There is no demand for rape.
Whey you arrest and incarcerate a rapist, you take a rapist off the street and make the place safer. Nobody steps up to take their place. There’s no lucrative job opening as rapist to handle the non-existent demand from all the people out there wanting to be raped.
Marijuana and rape are different.
The failure to understand such basic economic principles is just one of the things that makes our legislative output so utterly mindbogglingly stupid.