May 01, 2002

WHAT'S THE DRUG CZAR SMOKING?

WHAT'S THE DRUG CZAR SMOKING?: This anti-pot op-ed in the Washington Post by Drug Czar John P. Walters is so stupid it makes my head hurt.

First, there's the litany on the potential harm of marijuana abuse. You can pretty much substitute "alcohol" for "marijuana"-- it's essentially the same prohibitionist case that the temperance movement made at the turn of the century.

Next, there's the dismissal as "pseudo-science" of the case for medical marijuana. Hmmm... I wonder why those fringe cranks at the FDA approved Dronabinol, a.ka. Marinol, which is THC in pill form, for treatment of nausea. Andrew Sullivan has a bottle of it for nausea associated with his HIV medication. "The relief from nausea quickly dissipates; even the docs prescribing the stuff don't believe it's as effective as the real thing." (I highly recommend this old Sullivan article, by the way.)

In the last paragraph, though, he does violence to logic so heinous it almost (unlike pot) should be criminal:

Skeptics will charge that this kind of violence is just one more reason to legalize marijuana. A review of the nation's history with drug use suggests otherwise: When marijuana is inexpensive, as it would be if legal, use soars -- bad news for the District's schools, streets and emergency rooms.
Huh? The local liquor stores haven't had any gang warfare between them lately. Apparantly, Walters feels that violence is inherrent in "killer weed," and the fact that dealing drugs is illegal has nothing to do with the fact that it tends to be done by criminals.

Posted by John Tabin at May 1, 2002 10:20 AM
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