Some nice takes on the prohibitionists who contributed to the U.S. News Debate Club:
Dr. Kevin Sabet’s Kinder Gentler Drug War by Russ Belville
Reading the supporting pieces from Dr. Kevin Sabet and David Brooks makes me wonder if we’re talking about the same Drug War that has killed 60,000 Mexicans, arrested 850,000 American pot smokers, and done nothing to combat actual drug problems. [...]
When he advocates all these Kinder Gentler Drug War axioms like “treatment” and “prevention”, always bring it back to the personal, casual pot smoker. Does a person who smokes a joint once a year at Willie Nelson’s Texas Jam need a mandatory 12-month drug treatment program? Should the government send SWAT teams into people’s homes in the middle of the night to prevent them from smoking a joint? He’ll try to play the “we don’t actually do that to casual users” card, which you can either follow up with concrete examples of people this has happened to (easy enough to Google) or by asking “Why not? Are you conceding that some people can be marijuana users without being abusers? And if so, why does the law treat them like abusers?”
A Comically Dishonest Defense of the Drug War by Scott Morgan
My favorite part is Kevin Sabet’s attempt to make the drug war sound about as wholesome as a hug from a nun, which he accomplishes by pretending no one ever gets arrested for doing drugs.
Seriously, just take for example this one item from Sabet’s list of things he likes about the drug war:
Intervention: If individuals do start to use drugs, we know that brief interventions (by doctors, coaches, parents, faith leaders, or others) do a pretty good job at stopping the progression of use from non-dependence to addiction.
Others!? Really, Kevin? By “others” did you by any chance mean “cops with machine guns, battering rams, drug sniffing dogs, and flash bang grenades? Cause if you wanna talk about intervention…well that’s who’s been intervening. When the government hears you might have MARIJUANA in your basement, they don’t send a “faith leader” to talk to you about it.
He says the right thing about the war being a failure, and it’s good to see yet another major figure (who isn’t a “legalizer”) say so. He doesn’t, however, have the right solution — mandatory treatment for all first-time offenders.
Singapore is to change its law so that convicted drug couriers no longer receive a mandatory death sentence.
The deputy prime minister, Teo Chee Hean, told parliament on Monday the government will seek to give judges the discretion to instead award life sentences to drug couriers if they co-operate with authorities or have a mental disability.
Wow! What a wellspring of enlightenment! They’re looking to move up in their status to merely grossly uncivilized.
Interesting piece on just some of the deception used.