We all like a good fisking here, and I enjoy doing it immensely, but today will be satisfied with some wonderful jobs done by others.

Scot Morgan has done a hilariously accurate job with What if Day Care Workers Get Stoned on Marijuana and Kill Children?, which is based on a letter someone wrote to their newspaper opposing marijuana legalization:

What about the children’s day care workers? If they smoke it and their senses are dulled by its use and they drop little Johnny on his head, whose fault is it now? If it’s legalized, there is no crime and no recourse for problems it causes.

Scott rips it apart and I particularly loved this moment of snark:

Fortunately, things aren’t actually that bad in real life, especially if you’re not a paranoid idiot. For example, our foremost concerns about bad things happening at day care centers can be resolved satisfactorily in almost every case simply by choosing a facility with a good reputation for not killing the children.

Over at the International Harm Reduction Assocation blog, they’ve got Child rights debates in drug policy deserve better than this. IHRA takes on a paper written by Drug Free Australia’ Josephine Baxter, vice president of the World Federation Against Drugs. The paper is The rights of the child: Ensuring a ‘child-centred’ drug policy is a vital human rights issue for those who influence drug policy

The weakness of the paper, especially given its international law focus, is evident from the first sentence:

“Global drug issues (including manufacture and trafficking of illicit substances) have been controlled through cooperative efforts of many countries, within the framework of the United Nations Drug Control Conventions for 100 years’

See the problem? The United Nations was founded in 1945, for starters. It will be 100 years old in thirty three years. What’s more, the current model came into being in 1961. Earlier conventions were far less restrictive including legally regulated models for opium. Many substances weren’t included until the 1960s, others in the 1970s and others still in the 1980s and 1990s.

The paper goes on to list these 100 year old conventions, starting at 1961.

Baxter throws around non-existent words like unlaterally and unequivably in contexts that don’t even connect to what correct versions of those words would mean.

The problems go on and on… As IHRA notes:

This is lazy, clumsy stuff. Child rights debates in drug policy deserve better.

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13 Responses to Fiskings

  1. stayan says:

    A drug free world is a dangerous utopian fantasy. To eliminate all traces of drugs would require the total annihilation of life as we know it.

    The Prague Declaration puts it nicely:

    A drug-free world – or a drug-free city – is an unrealistic idea and a harmful concept if set as an ultimate goal, just like other utopias that have been set as aims in history.

    Fun fact: in addition to endocannabinoids, the body also produces GHB naturally.

    Does that mean we can arrest Jo Baxter of Drug Free Australia for the manufacture of an illicit drug?

  2. Peter says:

    “as a christian myself i know that my god does not endorse this” (legalisation). dee wideman
    well there you go, end of discussion

  3. Mike R says:

    Baxter’s letter makes perfect sense to me and clearly shows that we should not only maintain the prohibition of marijuana, but we should also institute a ban on gravity. That would probably be just about as effective as the ban on marijuana, but we have to be willing to go to any lengths to protect the children.

    If all you stoner’s quit frying your collective brains with that devil weed, you would be smart enough to make up hellacool words too. Unequivably… pure brilliance there…

  4. Tommy says:

    The bad letter about day care centers reminded me of this Dragnet episode, The Big High, in which the stoned mother drowns her baby in the bathtub.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      I actually read a post from a fellow who claimed that was based on a true story. He was presenting it as a serious reason to keep cannabis illegal. No fooling.
      Here’s Sgt Friday dressing down Dr. Timothy Leary. I have know clue why he calls him Bentley:
      Sgt Fridays says, “LSD is the bomb!

      Bonus points if you can identify the “gateway theory” in Joe’s diatribe!

      • Tommy says:

        The “true story”, IIRC, was about a drunk whose dog died because, during a binge, he forgot to feed it. Webb changed the story around for Dragnet.

  5. claygooding says:

    And something everyone forgets about merrywanna,,if you smoke that stuff,,all your babies are born nekkid,,talk about child abuse by stoners!!!!

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  8. rita says:

    I lived for four years next door to a foster home where children of suspected drug users were housed with teen-aged sex offenders. THAT’S how much drug warriors care about your children.

  9. Duncan20903 says:

    The UN did inherit a number of divisions(?) of the League of Nations. It was still less than 100 years since the LoN official start date but it also was more an anniversary of the formalization of an organization that can be traced back to 1795. It wouldn’t be hard for me to argue that the UN has been around for significantly more than 200 years much less 100. Nor would any words have to suffer any significant redefinition.

    Monday, Nov. 24, 1924

    At Geneva, representatives of the nations of the world busied themselves in an International Congress, aimed to eliminate the illicit trade in the drug.

    Japan staggered the Congress at one point of the proceedings by injecting into a motion, expressing confidence in China’s willingness to stamp out the opium trade, a resolution placing the Powers on record as determined to abide by a policy of non-intervention in Chinese affairs. After a prolonged palaver over this and a counter-motion blaming China, the whole matter was dropped.

    The only constructive suggestion advanced was a…

    [subscription required]

    word of the day = palaver

  10. Francis says:

    I loved this:

    What we have here, and it’s hardly a rarity in the marijuana debate, is a bit of a mix up between the rather divergent concepts of legalizing simple possession of marijuana vs. legalizing extraordinary acts of recklessness or insanity whose perpetrator happens to have consumed marijuana prior to the incident. The idea is that walking down the street with a gram of pot in your pocket would no longer be a crime. Walking down the street throwing snakes at people and screaming voodoo curses would still be illegal, but the amount of pot in your pocket at the time would be considered irrelevant at trial.

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