A quick fisk

December 19, 2012
By

Our subject for this one: Mandy Saligari: Why Legalisation of Drugs Won’t Work in Huffington Post UK.

According to her bio “Mandy Saligari is the Clinical Director and founder of Charter Day Care, Residential and Counselling treatment facility in Harley Street, London where she also practices as an addiction and relationship therapist.” And that explains a lot.

Now, for a reasoned and polished critique, go down to comments at that article and read the 6 part rebuttal from Transform. They do a very nice job.

But that allows us to have a little fun. Let’s take a look at one passage from Mandy’s piece:

But to me it doesn’t make sense and I am tempted to invite Nick Clegg to experiment on his own kids first as for me the law has a duty to represent a line in the sand that reflects a moral code. It’s what we in the therapy business call an ethical code, or ‘best practice.’

It’s what people in the legal business call “nonsense.” Every single day in my job I deal with making decisions based on “best practices,” and none of them are criminal laws.

It’s a bizarre notion — the idea that none of us would really know what to do morally or as a way of living our lives without laws telling us. It’s almost like setting up our secular criminal justice system as a kind of quasi-religion that substitutes for such things as intelligence, parenting, education, and community.

As a parent I appreciate the law’s support in indentifying and providing clear boundaries around practices that are unhealthy, damaging or dangerous to my young, whether that’s related to e.g. guns, knives, theft, bullying, drugs, drink driving etc.

Really? That’s what the law does? Hmmm….

Stoves are dangerous to our young. Are they illegal for everyone? No, we actually teach our children that stoves are hot (without threatening them with legal sanctions) and mostly keep them safe until they’re ready to make pancakes with us.

Coffee is unhealthy for young kids. Illegal? No.

Sky diving. Table saws. Cars. Walking outside late at night. Drano. Electrical outlets. Aspirin. All things that are unhealthy, damaging or dangerous to our young. All legal.

Read the rest of the article (and Transform’s rebuttal) for clear indications that she has no real understanding of the differences between decriminalization and legalization and their relative impacts.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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