Thursday, February 01, 2007

Face It: You're a "Legalizer"

If you have ever expressed any doubt about the War on Drugs, no matter how small, you are a “legalizer.” Whether we like it or not, that’s where the bar has been set by the opposition – thus, even though we are failing to recognize it, the true measure of our argument (and thus also our probability of success) is entirely dependent upon clearing that bar. While the drug reform “movement” remains disjointed and broken into a thousand little threads, there will be no mass involvement among the general public in altering the status quo. Thus, to truly benefit from (and more intelligently utilize) the efforts of those engaging in the attempt, my appeal to all of you is simply this: let’s clear the bar.

There is absolutely no defensible reason to continue prohibition. If you have one, bring it on – I will convince you of the error of your ways. Or, failing at the task, consign you to the “do not resuscitate” pile. There is indeed some number of our fellow citizens who can only be described as “fanatical” people who will never be swayed from their position. The good news, though, is that they tally up to a rather small (though loud and certainly insufferable) portion of the populace. Interestingly, the “standard curve” applies, and it is likely that this minority of extremists is probably in balanced proportion to those they wish to bully – that is, the number of problem drug using people is likely quite similar to the number of vehement prohibitionists. It’s just a hunch. But, if it is anywhere close to true, it is certainly something that works to our advantage. Just as drug abuse is the exception, so is utter intolerance. The American people as a whole tend toward being quite a bit more tolerant than would be required for achieving a “zero tolerance, drug-free” America. The problem we face is not convincing them that we are correct – it is getting them to pay attention in the first place. And then there’s that little knee jerk: “You’re just trying to make it legal to use drugs.” That is ultimately their last line of defense … and their first.

Trying to change marijuana laws may be the “easiest” thing politically, but I’m sorry, there are two HUGE reasons why that one is going nowhere: 1) pot smokers are afraid to speak up for themselves and 2) passing a pot law in one state leaves the pot smokers in the other 49 screwed. Let’s say the MPP was “successful” (in the true sense of the word, not in their self-aggrandizing definition of the word) in passing the recreational marijuana use law proposed in Nevada this past fall – what would that really mean? If you lived in Arizona and went to Vegas for a weekend of boozing, gambling, whoring and pot smoking, when you returned to work Monday morning, your piss test would still put you out of a job. Some "success" that would be.

The worst impact of trying the "go slowly" approach is that even full-blown wide open legal availability of marijuana will do absolutely nothing to address the entirely heinous aspects of the drug war. Innocent people will still be killed during SWAT raids on the wrong house, there will still be plenty of "drug-related" crime, plenty of accidental deaths from stuff like "heroin" that is laced with fentanyl, and (worst of all) the "let's pee for freedom" train will be charging full steam ahead training our youth to be obedient little neo-fascists.

Let’s not forget too, how quickly the British and Swiss addiction experiments were (and continue to be) dubbed as “failures” (despite abundant evidence to the contrary). You see, the basic problem with the piecemeal approach is that it actually does nothing to help. It merely allows the existing system to remain largely intact while allowing the emergence of a new chorus of voices protesting things like “drug tourism” and demanding even more stupidity like increasing the use of drug testing. It’s a completely dumbass idea to try to kill the beast by trimming its toenails.

“Legalizing Drugs,” is thus the big scary boogeyman that serves as the foundation of the status quo. I am convinced, however, that the average citizen is quite capable of comprehending why we need to end the War on Drugs – and that by ending the war it will indeed mean that we do have to legalize the sales, possession, and use of the wide variety of available intoxicants. Does that mean we all turn into heroin addicts the day after? HELL NO!!! But the actual goal should not and indeed is not to legalize drugs – it is to end the tyrannous practices that have resulted from our society having adopted intolerance as part of its creed. In essence, we need to gather the courage to play for the fence, and make this a core issue at every level in the next general election.

We must stop splintering the far too limited resources we possess into so many misdirected attempts at eating the poo one swallow at a time. We have nothing, ask for next to nothing, and consistently lose to the trump card of “you’re just trying to make drugs legal.” Enough! If we want to gather the numbers we require to accomplish the task, we first need to focus our attention on the fact that the core reason to end the drug war is simply because it is completely un-American to turn in your neighbor for doing things directly to only himself. Period. We need to demand (and practice) equality for all.

We need to be bold, we need to have courage. We know we are correct, and we know we will prevail -- we just need the balls to actually swing for the fence.

Bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, two outs, down by three.

Batter up!