July 13, 2011

The best lefty reason for legalizing drugs: to transform drug-users into clients of the nanny government.

Glenn Greenwald and Ilya Somin are, in this long Bloggingheads segment, talking about drug legalization. You can watch that whole thing, but it exemplifies the kind of Bloggingheads style that I loathe. One person holds forth until he finally comes to a stop, and then the other one gets his turn and takes what he seems to have earned, the opportunity to expatiate for an equivalent expanse of time. There's no conversation and interplay, just 2 speeches. Put it in writing, and I could see what you're saying in a few seconds.

I don't want to look at you 2 talking unless something happens because the 2 of you are there at the same time. Sometimes Bloggingheads operates on this tedious concept that it's doing something by simply demonstrating — over and over and over — that 2 people with different viewpoints can talk to near each other. If bland, conventional etiquette is a valuable performance, why not put up video of them eating sandwiches and chewing with their mouths shut?

But I've clipped out 48 seconds of Glenn Greenwald talking because it's such a perfect display of the left-wing mindset. I've skipped over the part where he asserts that you don't have to want to use drugs to want drug legalization and that legalizing drugs would not increase drug use. Watch this:



See? He loves the idea of pulling people into the embrace of government. When drugs are illegal, there is a "wall of fear" separating the people who are drug users from government. But if drugs are legal, "the relationship between the government and the citizenry changes for the better and becomes much more constructive." Tear down that wall, and these people who avoid the grip of government can be enfolded in endless programs. A torrent of ideas for programs spews from the mouth of Greenwald. It's such an exciting idea for lefties: There's a big untapped pool of potential clients for nurturing government services. Let the druggies come to Big Mother government.

97 comments:

Firehand said...

A fine demonstration of why the first part of my 'If we legalize drugs' is this:
If you burn yourself out on your favorite whatever, you can't take care of yourself, can't buy food and pay your bills, tough: you get NO public money for your care. If a charity, church group, whatever want to help you, that's great, but NO money will be taken from other people by the government to care for you.

My second part was 'Anybody who sells or gives drugs to kids faces a severe penalty. Preferably involving a whipping post or gallows."

TMink said...

Isn't that the best lefty reason for everything?

Trey

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I'm sympathetic to the idea of drug legalization, (though somewhat of a fence sitter), although I despise even pot, and find the people who use it insufferable.

But this is one reason why I stay on the fence. If we could have some sort of agreement that accepting any government welfare programs would mean automatic drug testing (for alcohol and nicotine, too- I shouldn't pay for your food and housing if you have money to blow on that crap), I'd be more inclined, but we're never going to get there.

- Lyssa

Shouting Thomas said...

If you'd been paying attention, Althouse, you would have read my explanation for this male behavior in my earlier comment.

We men have absolutely no interest in hearing what other men have to say. We are interested in defeating other men and grabbing all the pussy for ourselves.

When a rogue bachelor lion kills the king male lion of a pride, the first thing the victor does is to kill all of the loser's offspring.

Women are interested in listening each other out so that they can conspire with one another. Men are interested in winning so that they can keep all the pussy for themselves.

This is somewhat complicated for lefty men. They must pretend to empathy, while at the same time they are solely concerned with gathering up all the pussy for themselves.

This makes lefty men very untrustworthy. At least non-lefty men aren't bullshitting you.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm in favor of legalizing pot.

Putting people in jail for growing, selling and smoking pot is just plain stupid.

Haven't smoked since my wife died... 7 years. Smoked for three decades before that. Is there a price to pay for smoking? Sure. There's a price to pay for anything you do. That doesn't mean that doing it should be a crime.

Legalize pot and tax it. The tax revenue would help us out of this hole.

Fuck government programs.

dbp said...

I am generally sympathetic to legalizing recreational drug use, but Greenwald unintentionally gives some pretty good reasons why that might be a bad idea.

traditionalguy said...

Everybody must get stoned!

I self medicate, therefore I am.

That's all I have to say about that.

BT said...

As Root Boy Slim once sang "set the herb man free!!!!" Legalize it.

Pogo said...

The left looks at all of life's myriad slings and arrows as Problems To Be Solved, and the answer is always always always the State.

It's not a principle but an attitude, an attitude towards life's vagaries that often supersedes principle.

The attitude, as Sowell puts it, is to be "on the side of the angels", to claim the high moral ground, to cast all disagreement as evil.

It is impervious to data about whether their approach actually works, for success in fixing the problem is not their aim.

Their aim is power through moral posturing.

Graham Powell said...

Although I don't use drugs, I am in favor of legalizing pot, and although I don't support Greenwald, I think he has a point here, but only as it relates to the police.

When you're engaging in illegal activity, you can't go to the cops as easily as you could otherwise. What happens if you report a theft, and the police come to your house and find your stash?

Pogo said...

Especially if they stole your stash!!

That happened to the guy in the apartment below me in college. He was a user/dealer, and he called the cops when his apt. got ransacked and his drugs stolen.

He insisted they look for the guys who took his coke. Hilarious.

Palladian said...

"We men have absolutely no interest in hearing what other men have to say."

You've certainly demonstrated that, at least as it applies to you.

"We are interested in defeating other men and grabbing all the pussy for ourselves."

Lol, good luck with that!

Triangle Man said...

He insisted they look for the guys who took his coke. Hilarious.

The show COPS had some hilarious episodes where people who were ripped off by drug dealers or prostitutes called the police to help recover their cash.

ndspinelli said...

Pot should be legalized and privatized. The biggest opponents are the law enforsement and liquor industry; both almost solely for self serving economic interests.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


Why I am NOT a “l/Libertarian”…sure it sounds good, “Legalize drugs” UNTIL you realize the other side…then the Nanny State will be “required” to help drug users. Libertarians always try the “Well legalize them, but don’t have any welfare support for users.”, and as you can see that’s not going to happen…we’ll legalize them and THEN we’ll have to support the users, libertarians can’t seem to grasp the Bait and Switch Tactic being employed here (To be fair, Republicans never seem to grasp the Bait and Switch of “Tax Increases TODAY, for Spending Cuts at Some Undefined Moment in the FUTURE), but it is a Bait and Switch, what you’ll end up with is legal drugs AND a larger welfare state.

Because most “druggies” AREN’T fine upstanding citizens…if they were they wouldn’t be druggies. Most druggies would rather get high/drunk/stoned than work, and IF we make it easier for them to do so, AND offer them “support” they’ll take it…”Kewlllll, dood, I get a cheque AND I don’t get busted.” Ditto with releasing “non-violent drug offenders,” (NVDO) I bet you that if you examine the “rap sheets” of NVDO offenders you’ll discover they commit lots of CRIME, to support their druggie life style. Sure a small-time pot smoker/dealer isn’t a violent threat, but I bet you s/he has Burglary, Theft by Deception, Receiving Stolen Property charges and the like on the sheet…they are Ne’er Do Wells….and releasing them out of jail because they JUST smoke/deal Pot means you just let them back out onto the street to burgle, kite cheques, and the like to support their ne’er do well lifestyle.

SMGalbraith said...

It is so very odd isn't it?

When the political right discovers a "right" to do something, the government contracts or withdraws from that subject to allow the citizens to exercise that "right". The state gets smaller.

When the political left discovers a "right" to do something, government expands. The state gets bigger.

Isaiah Berlin called this "negative" and "positive" liberty.

He much favored the former but was quite sceptical of the latter.

The Audiovisualist said...

"He loves the idea of pulling people into the embrace of government. "

Putting people in jail isn't pulling them into the embrace of the government? What do mean, rehabilitation is paid for by taxes, but prisons aren't?

Palladian said...

I can't imagine any drug, legal or otherwise, that would make Glenn Greenwald interesting.

So why are lefties ok with the idea of personal choice when it comes to harmful illegal drugs but they don't want you to be able to get the wrong kind of lightbulb, and are intent on regulating the living fuck out of, or banning, everything else, like perfumery materials, fat, salt &c?

Valentine Smith said...

Great! The "recovery movement" can go from looting insurance companies and their payors to pillaging the Treasury and the 50% of the population that pays taxes.

Drunks will pick your pocket. Junkies steal your wallet then help you look for it. Junkies' level of cunning far exceeds any idiocratic bureaucracy the left can set up.

The left thinks they're only crippling the weak, fulfilling their followers' raison d'etre of showing their oh so human compassion.

Enablers have always been far more mentally ill than those they purport to help.

Shouting Thomas said...

You've certainly demonstrated that, at least as it applies to you.

Somebody should compile a list of things you can count on when it comes to men.

This would be Rule #35: Any honest statement about the reality of men must be immediately punished with ridicule that proves that the retaliating party is morally and intellectual superior.

Palladian plays it precisely as our DNA dictates.

themightypuck said...

The legality of pot should be a state issue.

virgil xenophon said...

@POGO/

With the left it's NEVER about the facts, it's ALWAYS about the NARRATIVE.

tags: Our hearts are pure, etc./The road to hell is paved, etc.

roesch-voltaire said...

So the choice is government control through incarceration, favored by the right wing, or government control through legalization of at least pot, and rehabilitation clinics for hard core users, which are favored by liberals. I lean towards the libertarian side here and favor legalization with the option of help for those who want it.

bagoh20 said...

The war on drugs is evil, unAmerican, and bipartisan.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I lean towards the libertarian side here and favor legalization with the option of help for those who want it.


In short you lean towards the side of a larger, more expansive, and EXPENSIVE government, then? That’s what you’re saying. Just own it R-V you want to “tax the rich” more; we’re not broke, it was just STOLEN, and now we need to go get it back from the thieves, right?

Shouting Thomas said...

So the choice is government control through incarceration, favored by the right wing, or government control through legalization of at least pot, and rehabilitation clinics for hard core users, which are favored by liberals. I lean towards the libertarian side here and favor legalization with the option of help for those who want it.

You are absolutely wrong in thinking that this issue breaks down according to party lines.

This particular commie myth (which you predictably accept) is right up there with that other great commie myth: "Republicans ruined my sex life!"

bagoh20 said...

It's the old thing of if you go far enough right, you end up left, and vice versa. Both meet at control.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

RV wrote: So the choice is government control through incarceration, favored by the right wing, or government control through legalization of at least pot, and rehabilitation clinics for hard core users, which are favored by liberals.

You left off vast social welfare programs to ensure the comfort and survival of people who choose to get high all day rather than work, favored by statists.

Until that one's off the table, and I don't expect it to be, it's about a lot more than just rehab.

- Lyssa

Shouting Thomas said...

You left off vast social welfare programs to ensure the comfort and survival of people who choose to get high all day rather than work, favored by statists.

The vast majority of people who get high, probably 95% of more, get high and work.

I smoked for three decades and never missed a day of work.

Next myth, please!

Titus said...

What kind of first name is Ilya for a man?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
What kind of first name is Ilya for a man?



*Ahem* ILYA Kuryakin…’nuff said.

MayBee said...

The assertion that more people won't do drugs if they become legal is absurd. Why even bother to argue that?

Shouting Thomas said...

The assertion that more people won't do drugs if they become legal is absurd. Why even bother to argue that?

This is still not a good reason for the government to deny people the right to grow, sell and consume pot.

bagoh20 said...

Drugs are a strange thing: they cause people to sacrifice their closest held principles, and I'm not talking about the users.

The Crack Emcee said...

Medical Marijuana Is A Political Argument For Legalizing Drugs? No, Stupid, THIS Is A Political Argument For Legalizing Drugs (Or, At Least, It's A Real Argument)

Titus said...

My grandmother's name was Lila and my aunt's name was Ada.

One of my mom's friend's name is Pidge.

What kind of names are those?

Titus said...

If I was a drag queen my name would be Desire More.

I like the drag name Hedda Lettuce, although Hedda is a real bitch.

bagoh20 said...

"The assertion that more people won't do drugs if they become legal is absurd. Why even bother to argue that?"

1) Perhaps, but I don't think it would change much, and the reverse is a pretty weak argument too. It's not stopping many.

2) I think the people who would then try it, are the kind of people that would be most responsible users. Unless they are crazed hedonists only under control because the government holds them back. I don't know anyone like that.

Shouting Thomas said...

The comedy bit is hilarious, Crack.

Many years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, I played regularly at an Irish Pub in North Beach.

Worked with a guitar player who was a junkie.

He showed up every night and played great. As long as he got his fix, he was fine.

Titus said...

There is another draggie who goes by Scabbola Feces. That is just wrong.

Zach said...

The assertion that more people won't do drugs if they become legal is absurd. Why even bother to argue that?

This kind of over-proving a point always leaves me with a sinking feeling. It suggests that people don't have a good answer for the problem being discussed, and will instead just bull forward regardless of the consequences.

I had a similar sinking feeling in the last presidential debate, when Obama blithely asserted that his plans called for a net spending cut. That's the point where I decided he didn't know what he was doing, and didn't care, either.

John Thacker said...

Isn't Greenwald himself quite (properly) skeptical about the government when it comes to war and civil liberties? Many druggies are skeptical of the US military and being spied on and so forth, because of this persecution.

It's quite possible that if Greenwald gets this "reconciliation" he pines for, he would find that drug users would be reconciled most with the idea of using US force abroad, imprisoning and spying on terrorists, and so forth. After all, US opposition to such programs is directly related to how much people feel that they themselves are a potential target, instead of just bad guys.

madAsHell said...

I wasted a lot of time being stoned.

I can understand de-criminalizing it. I can't see legalization. I sure as hell don't want to see the state put their hands on marijuana.

bagoh20 said...

I am concerned that we have so watered down the sense of shame in our society that the absence of the fear of the cops could lead some assholes to make fools of themselves if it was legal.

Still that would be superior to the police state we are playing with now. At least the assholes would not be the ones with the power.

Lance said...

Greenwald is tired of religion being the opiate of the masses. He wants opium to be the opiate of the masses.

Shouting Thomas said...

I wasted a lot of time being stoned.

Sometimes we need a way to waste our time.

Like commenting on a weblog.

Michael said...

"Romancing Opiates: Pharmacological Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy" by Theodore Dalrymple would be something that this lefty should read. Dalrymple calls bullshit on addiction and the businesses built around it.

I would like to hit Greenwald very hard in the face.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I would like to hit Greenwald very hard in the face.



I would recommend an Anger Management Therapy regime for you…I have several good therapists I can recommend. Seek help or I may be forced to take you to court and FORCE you to “get better.” For your own good.

edutcher said...

And, of course, all the legalized pot users will only do so in their homes where they won't be a danger to anyone else.

Ann Althouse said...

There's no conversation and interplay, just 2 speeches.

The one good thing is that you don't have 2 people trying to shout over each other.

Just sayin'

KenK said...

It's a gender thing. Most men will hear the other guy out most of the time. Women tend to jump in and interrupt, argue, crack up side the head, and etc. Just how it goes. Overly emotional issues and boorishness are possible too, depending on the venue. (Cf. Bill Maher, Bill Oreilly, Lawrence Odonell, et. al.)

Phil 3:14 said...

MONEY MUST BE SPENT

Phil 3:14 said...

This is where libertarians eyes glaze over

and liberals begin to say 'But, but , but...don't you understand!?"

Freeman Hunt said...

"Eat the poor."

First we tax the hell out of them with cigarettes, liquor, lotteries, and regressive sales taxes. Now let's squeeze them a little more by normalizing drug use and taxing them that way.

But we'll throw them some government dole on the side. That way we can also kill their incentive for personal responsibility and work. And we'll dump increasing amounts of money into their horrendous schools so that it looks like we're doing something while we buy votes.

I conclude that liberals hate poor people.

Freeman Hunt said...

You can only legalize drugs if you first dispense with the welfare state.

Phil 3:14 said...

Mr. Greenwald's arguments were the philosophical basis for the creation of the Matrix.

Lionheart said...

Althouse: "Put it in writing, and I could see what you're saying in a few seconds".

My thoughts exactly for any political conversation on video.

MayBee said...

This kind of over-proving a point always leaves me with a sinking feeling. It suggests that people don't have a good answer for the problem being discussed, and will instead just bull forward regardless of the consequences.

Exactly.

I drive on the California Highways, and the CHiPS keep the roads very well patrolled. As a result, most people drive the speed limit, maybe +5 miles. This is true whether the speed limit is 35 or 65. If they raised the maximum speed limit to 75, I suspect people would drive 75. Because it would be legal.

You don't have to be a crazy hedonist to indulge in what is legal. You don't have to be absolutely against something to not indulge. You just have to fear the consequences of breaking the law.

MayBee said...

Or perhaps a better comparison- the people who use prescription drugs to get their high. They are legal as long as you can find a doctor to prescribe them.

Freeman Hunt said...

I hate this idea that the poor are cogs or clay for use in the designs of others. Hate it.

One of the reasons that I read the WSJ instead of the NYT is that the WSJ lacks the condescending, paternalistic tone so common to NYT articles.

Lance said...

@Freeman

First we tax the hell out of them with cigarettes, liquor, lotteries, and regressive sales taxes. Now let's squeeze them a little more by normalizing drug use and taxing them that way.

But we'll throw them some government dole on the side. That way we can also kill their incentive for personal responsibility and work. And we'll dump increasing amounts of money into their horrendous schools so that it looks like we're doing something while we buy votes.


Perfect prelude to Huxley's Brave New World.

PatCA said...

What if the addicts don't want the help, Gleen?

Our streets are full of vagrants now eligible for SS, SSI, food stamps, General Relief, etc. and yet they choose to live on the street, poop on the street, harass people on the street.

roesch-voltaire said...

ST my sex life is just fine, thank you, and while it is true that this issue crosses party lines, is part of the party, I hear more Republicans calling for the war on drugs and incarceration than liberals. And you are a fine example of how one can smoke everyday and hold a job, and still be a Republican, now if you could just get Walker to take a little toke.

Trooper York said...

Why would anybody watch boringheads?

Trooper York said...

I guess you can use boringheads like a drug.

It has to be one of the best downers there is out there.

I know the few times I watched it I felt like I had just took a hit of horse and started nodding out like Al Pacino in Panic in Needlepark.

TMink said...

LLRH wrote: "accepting any government welfare programs would mean automatic drug testing (for alcohol and nicotine, too- I shouldn't pay for your food and housing if you have money to blow on that crap)"

Exactly! American poor people are fat and have cell phones. There is a saying in South America, "Let's go to America where the poor people are fat."

The so called safety net has become an air conditioned hammock so it is stuffed with people with no disability, just low expectations for their life. Ben Franklin said that a country that loves its poor will endeavor to make them uncomfortable in their poverty. That is opposite from the liberal approach, with logical consequences.

Trey

Curious George said...

"I know the few times I watched it I felt like I had just took a hit of horse and started nodding out like Al Pacino in Panic in Needlepark."

Sounds like a Dennis Miller line

jamboree said...

Hah. It's funny. I was a recreational drug user in teens to 24 ish. No problems. Enjoyed them. But I was always quite anti-drug when it comes to "government-approved" psych drugs. If they brought formerly recreational drugs into the "embrace of the government", I'd likely be anti-recreational drug from the get-go.

Valentine Smith said...

There are now 2 kinds of junkies—the "old pro' life-long junkies (like ST's guitar player) and the amateur chipper drawn to its "hipness."

The pros never ever OD, having survived their early mistakes thru the efficient use of teamwork with a shooting partner. The amateurs, vast in numbers, either die, fake it. or "get sober."

Junk ain't booze, which requires a considerable amount of work to achieve the stature of alcoholic. If you fuck with junk you get addicted, flat out. Everyone has that type of addictive personality.

I grudgingly respect the pros, I just don't like them.

mariner said...

The same government that trashes constitutional rights in the War On Some Drugs mandates that little boys be drugged in school to make them submissive.

Don M said...

Did Glen bring his sock puppet?

The libertarian approach would be to first work together with conservatives to end government controlled health care/nanny statism, then work with liberals to end laws against drug use.

Alas, some l/Libertarians are so drug addled that they confuse the order.

damikesc said...

Has there been an interesting Bloggingheads ever?

You'd think with all of the dozens thus far, one wouldn't be...well, a tedious bore.

Beth said...

Druggies are already in a relationship with government. That's the Drug War. Greenwald is not encouraging more government involvement than we already have, he's arguing for a shift in the type of government relationship.

Bruce Wayne said...

wade-a-minit! Isnt Ilya a Gurls name? Usually a name ending in 'a' is feminine.

James said...

This has always, I think, been the Achilles Heel of Libertarianism:

Drug-use leads to disordered lives. And those who live such lives, and their loved-ones whose lives they also disrupt, will demand that the government rescue them. So, this is element of Libertarianism tends toward the abolition of Liberatarianism.

There can be no freedom without order and control. If a People will not self-order and self-control, the state inevitably steps in to impose that order...not just on the disordered, but on everyone.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Much as I loathe Greenwald's argumentation in general, I think that the linked clip shows him making a pretty reasonable point: we DO want the citizens to have a "constructive" relationship with the government. This applies no matter where you are on the political map. Where in the clip does he mention anything about "bringing more people in as clients of the state"?
Of course, I'd be ASTONISHED if GG had not said exactly that somewhere else...

Squid said...

Put it in writing, and I could see what you're saying in a few seconds.

If you could teach me how to tease meaning out of Greenwald's endless tedious meanderings "in a few seconds," I would be grateful beyond words.

LarsPorsena said...

METH!! Legal, cheap, available.
What could go wrong?

Robert Cook said...

"The best lefty reason for legalizing drugs: to transform drug-users into clients of the nanny government."

This is a rather willfully skewed misrepresentation of Greenwald's point.

Put more objectively, our so-called "war on drugs" has been a disastrous and ruinously expensive failure. It has not prevented the proliferation and abuse of illicit drugs, but rather has created the opportunity for violent and socially destabilizing criminal organizations to flourish, as well as leading to the growth of ever more militarized law enforcement agencies locally and nationwide, with the concomitant metastasizing prison industry that incarcerates more people than any other nation on earth.

Talk about the intrusion/ imposition of the government into our lives!

For far lower cost, we could treat drug addiction as a medical problem, and could provide treatment and rehab facilities (for those who wished to avail themselves of such facilities), and remove the expense related to our present approach: the costs of law enforcement and interdiction, of prosecution and trial, of the housing, feeding and clothing of those sent to prison, of the cost to society associated with lost productivity and revenues from those who lose their jobs (and homes) when arrested and imprisoned, and so on.

It's an eminently more sensible--and humane--approach.

OneEyedFatMan said...

I would legalize all 'recreational pharmaceuticals', but sterilize all users so they can't pass their defects down to future generations.

Further, all users would have to register and have a chip implanted in them which would allow them to obtain their drugs from government controled outlets for free.

Anyone found obtaining these substances outside of these guidlines would be subject to summary execution upon conviction.

So would their suppliers.

They would also be forbidden from voting (anybody stupid enough to use drugs shouldn't be allowed to vote).

They would not be allowed ANY government services (health care, social security, etc..), and would certainly not be allowed to work with children.

Phil 3:14 said...

Greenwald is not encouraging more government involvement than we already have, he's arguing for a shift in the type of government relationship.

Big Daddy Government needs to pop the question and make her an honest woman.

Freeman Hunt said...

For far lower cost, we could treat drug addiction as a medical problem, and could provide treatment and rehab facilities (for those who wished to avail themselves of such facilities)

Are people under the impression that we do not do this now? At least in this area, drug addicts are referred to rehab programs. If they complete the programs, they don't have to do jail time. Yet it seems that a great number of them have no interest in completing the programs.

You cannot legalize drugs as long as you have a welfare state. It's that simple.

sorepaw said...

I found Greenwald's remarks nauseating.

Now I need medical marijuana :)

thewiz377 said...

Pot makes you stupid..ask ricky williams if it was worth 8 million to smoke it. If so why is he back in the NFL on minimum salary

Vesparado said...

Coming from an industry where employee/community safety and environmental preservation are extremely important (petroleum; and, no, not BP), I am annoyed with legalization advocates who refuse to recognize that, as yet, there are no legal standards for what constitutes impairment/intoxication as there are for alcohol.

Its fine to say employers in safety/environmentally sensitive industries can still have drug policies (lacking such standards, my company's policy was effectively "Zero Tolerance" --- on or off the job since we could only detect THC metabolites and had no way to measure the actual degree of impairment). However, making such policies work in a legalized environment is another matter. Not to mention the lack of standards which could be applied in non-industrial settings (e.g., driving accidents, using tools/appliances around the house, etc.).

mariner said...

We also can't legalize drugs as long as we have a police state.

Lucien said...

Drugs should be legal because people should be free to do whatever they want with their own selves as long as they do not harm others and that freedom is a good thing in and of itself. This isn't a"lefty" position it is a libertarian one.

If you don't think people in prison are on the government dole, you haven't thought very deeply & you haven't been watching California. Once the government takes away people's freedom just because they bought, sold, or used drugs, it not only pays for their room and board, but has to provide them with health care and mental health care, too. If you don't think that this gives lots of political clout to left leaning prison guard and police unions, you haven't been watching California on that score either.

Yes, it is true that if drugs were legalized, some of the social costs of that fact could be ameliorated by rehab and other programs provided by government & that lefties would be for doing those things.

But that doesn't mean: a) that everyone who wants drugs legalized supports spending lots of money on such programs; or b) that all of the stupid expense and side effect limitations of freedom that come from the War On Drugs are therefore justified.

Michael said...

Let us say that a monkey is given a dose of an addictive drug every day until he craves the drug. He is taking the drug because he is addicted at that point, because he likes it. He is not taking it because he did not get enough bananas as a young monkey nor because his mother favored another monkey above him. He likes it. If you don't give the monkey any drugs any more he will not kill himself, nor will he moan for psychiatric help. He will in a very short while stop craving the drug.

Movies and tv have taught us, wrongly, that it is impossible to "kick" drugs without authoritative help. None required. The only, and I mean only, thing that gets an addict unaddicted is to stop using the addictive substance. So if we are going to legalize drugs, which I am fine with by the way, then we should dispense with the notion that this therapeutic culture we have created should be the answer in the event the drug addict wishes to quit being a drug addict. Because it does not speak to the cause of the problem and instead wants to ask the "why" and cure the "why" when the lack of bananas is not the problem.

Michael said...

Why not? In Chicago they converted the numbers game straight into Lotto. People who played their numbers with the Mob one week switched right over to gummint the next.

Lee Reynolds said...

Drugs, if used strategically, are a great way to reduce the number of defectives who want the state to wipe their fannies for them.

The key is selective breeding. This is how it works:

Legalize everything. Sell everything in state-run stores, and at a very cheap price. But to each and every drug add a substance that, if consumed over a period of time, causes permanent and irreversible sterility in both men and women.

The real problem with drugs is not that they ruin lives and often kill their users, but that they don't work quickly enough. The idiots and losers live long enough to breed and that is bad for everyone.

Civilization trumps natural selection, especially in places like the US where losers aren't just likely to survive, but even more likely to breed than winners in many cases. Crack whore vs college grad, who is more likely to have 3 kids?

Allow drugs, as a self-selecting process, to remove the idiots and losers from our gene pool so that, even if they don't die with a needle in their arm or blood gushing from their nose, they won't be making any little losers and idiots to cause us grief in the future and to act as future clients for the leftard nanny state.

Let the drugs themselves eliminate the types of people who are likely to use them. Let drugs become the synthetic alternative to natural selection that our gene pool and society so desperately need.

1ff62e0a-adb8-11e0-b3ec-000bcdcb2996 said...

Here's what I don't understand about Althouse's argument. A huge proportion of drug users`are already clients of the nanny government. They stay in government run facilities and enormous amounts of public money are spent making sure all of their basic needs (food, shelter, medical treatment) are covered.

They are called convicts.

If you want to argue that it's a bad thing for people like Greenwald to get to boss around drug users all day for his own amusement, I totally agree. If you think that government expansion of drug treatment programs are a negative, but unavoidable result of legalisation, I would agree with that as well.

The problem is, the choice is not between taking lots of pot addicts and putting them in government facilities vs. leaving them to sit in their basements until they waste away. The choice is between the government treatment centers and government prisons. Now maybe there is an argument that it is better for society from a limited government perspective for everyone who is addicted to pot to be in jail instead of in a treatment center, but that seems really unlikely to me. Especially when you consider that you don't have to be addicted to be sent to jail, but casual users would probably not be required to go to publicly funded treatment.

Robin said...

But he's been quoted on the floor of the Senate.

Signed, Rusty Ellersberg McSockpuppet.

Robert Cook said...

"blah blah blah...left leaning prison guard and police unions...."

???!!!!

Hahahahahaha!

Somebody is frigging tripping!!

MikeR said...

Men of different viewpoints? I certainly would have thought they had different viewpoints, but no one would have known it from this bloggingheads. They got tired of saying, Well, actually, I guess I basically agree with that point.

rcocean said...

"You cannot legalize drugs as long as you have a welfare state. It's that simple."

Exactly. Case Closed.

Robert Cook said...

"'You cannot legalize drugs as long as you have a welfare state. It's that simple.'

"Exactly. Case Closed."


Case closed? It doesn't even make sense!

Conway said...

I don't use drugs, but I'm sick and tired of the goddamned government telling me and everyone else what to do, especially when the hypocritical bastards running this benighted dump break every law in the book and get away with it. After all, JFK smoked pot in the White House, and no one said a word. His brother Ted snorted coke, suffocated a woman and stayed drunk for most of his life - again, no one said a damn thing.

Really people, whatever happened to the Ninth Amendment? Everyone is supposedly so big on the Bill of Rights - why is that Amendment IGNORED?

That said, pot is no worse than booze or tobacco, and what I put in or do with my body is none of anyone's fucking business, period. If people want to smoke dope, snort coke, mainline heroin or jump off a goddamn cliff an kill themselves, it's none of anyone's business, especially the power-mad, soft-palmed, rich, elected criminal control freaks called politicians.

Regarding "drugs" - legalize all of it, or at least decriminalize all of it.

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