American Thinker: Opinion: Matthew Ernst: The U.S. Love Affair With Addiction
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
I just read an article in the far-right blog called the American Thinker, by Matthew Ernst, who says he is a law enforcement officer or retired law enforcement officer, who tried to make the case for not legalizing marijuana. In what he wrote, you could replace the word "marijuana" with alcohol and try to make the similar case for why we should outlaw alcohol, talking about crimes related to alcohol and the emergency room visits related to alcohol or going from pot to other drugs. Of course he didn't say "harder drugs" because that would weaken his argument, so he just said other drugs instead.
You could make a very good argument that alcohol leads to other drugs. As a perfect example, look at the boomer generation with former Doors frontman Jim Morrison, who was an alcoholic as well as being addicted to cocaine and probably heroin and died at the age of 27 in 1970. He was not the only alcoholic, famous or otherwise dying early, in his generation. Some boomers who are recovering alcoholics as well as recovering from harder drugs have managed to turn their lives around, and I could mention both the Rolling Stones and a personal favorite of mine, Aerosmith.
But then the smart drug warriors will acknowledge these facts and suggest that we already have enough dangerous legal drugs. You could add prescription drugs that are addictive to this list, so why legalize another dangerous drug. Well, again you are saying with that message that it's okay if you screw up your life with these drugs because they are legal, but this other drug that has side effects similar to those of alcohol, meaning marijuana, we cannot allow and must protect you from yourself. Why? Because marijuana is illegal and alcohol is legal. I mean, seriously, is that the best argument you can come up with.
If you are going to use a real prohibitionist argument against drugs (and good luck with that by the way) because you believe these drugs are either dangerous or too dangerous, then wouldn't you go after all drugs legal and otherwise that are dangerous for the good of society, and be the big brother or sister looking out for everyone at our expense because you believe we are too dumb to do that for ourselves?
This is why the drug warriors are losing the War on Drugs (the title of this piece) because Americans know better, or at least 55 percent of us according to Gallup, that marijuana isn't as bad as the drug warriors say. The same argument from drug warriors against marijuana can be made against alcohol as well because they've tried it and are familiar with the resulting hangovers and feeling like hell the next morning. In a many cases, they have tried marijuana as well and know that it doesn't kill them right away or sicken them.