“The general principal is that it’s not sustainable that we continue to give criminals and corrupt police a monopoly to sell cannabis. I don’t want to see that [industry] fall into the hands of tobacco companies or rapacious businessmen. I’d like to see it fall into the hands of the failed business people Australia seems so good at producing or the Australia Post that seems so successful in driving away customers.”
Great quote from the director of the alcohol and drug service at St Vincent’s Hospital, Alex Wodak.
Miranda Devine and Harry Clarke are not impressed. Whilst Andrew Bolt hasn’t commented specifically on Wodak’s postal plan, he never makes any secret of his strong feelings against decriminalising drug-using. Which is odd for a man who last week wrote this insightful little piece about the pernicious effects of Rudd’s state bossy-boots ordering us around like naughty schoolchildren (Nanny’s a ninny).
It’s also odd that Miranda Devine couldn’t care less about the 1 in 5 sixteen year-olds who admit to binge drinking every week but is terrified that 1 in 7 high school students have used cannabis ‘at some time in the past 12 months’! When was the last time you saw a spliffed up dope-head violently assaulting a innocent passer-by?
Harry’s a nanny-stater through and through but MIranda and Bolty aren’t. Guys – where’s the consistency in your arguments?
So as a reminder, here’s the anti-nanny state, pro-choice, treat-an-adult-like-an-adult argument.
Binge drinking, smoking Marlboro 20-a-day, never exercising, eating junk food all day and regularly smoking joints are all dumb things to do. Really dumb. The government’s job is to educate us as to just how dumb this is. It can incentivise us to give up these dumb habits by taxing them. It can run adverts on TV with actors dressed up as ghouls warning us of the horrors of the mid-morning ciggie break. However, their job is not to ban stuff or order us around. That’s what they do in Cuba.
Smoking the odd joint is not going to kill you. But that’s not the point. By legalising drugs you ensure quality control (the biggest threat to a sensible, adult drug user), you collect a small fortune in taxes which you can recycle back into education and treatment clinics, you release half the (non-violent) prison population, you free up 80% of police time to pursue violent criminals, you put organised crime out of business and you stop infantilising adults. What’s not to like.
By the way – check out the comments section from Harry’s article. They rip him to shreds as a jurassic old fogey.
Update I – Mark points to this Cato article which reveals the costs of policing the drugs war to be 16 times the benefits.
Sukrit makes the excellent point that if we can’t even keep drugs out of securely guarded prisons, what hope do the streets have?