In every single War we have – whether a war on drugs, the war on terrorism, or the war on poverty – there are those who claim the moral high ground and ask us to make policy decisions based on emotional fluff rather than a cautious perusal of the evidence. As Milton Friedman said, “I admire these people for the softness of their heart, but very often that softness extends to their head too”; rigorous reasoning is not their forte.
To get an indication of the quality of thinking in the Australian Federal Parliament, one need go no further than the Senate Committee’s 2007 report titled The Winnable War on Drugs. Almost immediately, we get an indication that this will be a report that prefers ideology over evidence. From the foreword:
The destruction of an individual’s humanity by the use of illicit drugs is unarguable.
And who are you, dear pompous politicians, to cast moral judgment on adults who make a choice to ingest drugs for medical, recreational or other reasons? Are you God? The saints…oops, I mean politicians…continue their damnation of mere mortals (p.3):
It should be clear that all use of illicit drugs is misuse and abuse.
And then, a bold-faced lie:
There is emerging evidence that any illicit drug use does damage to a person’s physical and mental health, especially during a young person’s development.
Really? On cannabis, at least, the facts are unambiguous. There has never been a single recorded death directly linked to cannabis usage. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest it has medicinal properties that would help alleviate suffering for people dying of cancer. And let’s not forget that alcohol and tobacco have killed more people through usage than all the illicit drugs put together. In the interests of fairness, I propose we ban cars – a bigger killer than the illegal drugs.
Remember, the Government cannot make the world 100% risk-free. It can try, but in the process you will lose every liberty you have.