WE MUST PROVE DRUGS ARE GOOD AND LAWS ARE BAD. (Previously entitled “Two Crucial Issues in the Argument for Drug Legalization”)
‘It’s opium, Dearie. Neither more nor less. And it’s like a human creetur so far, that you always hear what can be said against it, but seldom what can be said in its praise.’ – Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
I claim that, if one does NOT insist that (i) drugs are essentially neutral – having good or bad effects depending upon circumstances only – and that (ii) one has a moral and legal right to take the drugs of his (or her) choice without government regulation, control, or interference, that: (1) the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) position can be defended effectively by a non-governmental person (unconstrained by separation of Church and State) and (2) the pro-legalization position can be defeated in debate as Charles Rangel defeated William Buckley in the “Firing Line” debate on the Public Broadcasting System. (The letter I sent Buckley subsequent to that debate is in Appendix A.) The argument recommended by Cliff Schaffer in his paper, “Persuasive Strategies” and Schaffer’s point-by point rebuttal to the DEA position is convenient to employ as the (imaginary) argument to be defeated by the (imaginary) civilian apologist for the War on Drugs. By “civilian”, I mean someone unconstrained by separation of Church and State and for whom a prohibitionist position does not represent a conflict of interest, e.g., someone who is not employed by the DEA. On the other hand, if one insists upon the aforementioned (provable) conditions, the DEA can be defeated, as will be shown in the second part of this paper.
Armed with the philosophically and pharmacologically correct positions on the two crucial issues, I can defeat an imaginary “civilian” apologist for the DEA, i.e., a supporter of the War on Drugs. First (1), I show why the laws against drugs are immoral and illegal (unconstitutional). Next (2), I attack the morals, motives, and methods of the drug warriors, thus my argumentation must be squeaky clean even if I have to admit weak links in my chain of reasoning (I am generous and give my opponent all the ammunition he is ever likely to find to use against me; of course, my armor plating has been designed to withstand this very ammunition). Then (3), I give arguments for legalization avoiding nearly all of the arguments discussed in the unnumbered book Drug Legalization: Myths and Misconceptions; these are the arguments for which my opponent is not likely to be prepared. If he can’t prepare an argument on the spot, he will be in serious intellectual trouble. (Cliff Schaffer points out that the reason this book has no document number or control number or any reference number whatsoever is that the government didn't want to publish or admit to publishing this book. I believe he is right.) Finally (4), I demolish most of the arguments the DEA gives in the book avoiding the two or three points that I am willing to concede as I don't believe any of us knows very much about them, viz., alcohol prohibition in the U.S., the experiences of foreign governments, and environmental uses. However, I do point out the unfair tactics used by the DEA. The DEA employs fallacies even in the very few cases where an honest argument would have sufficed. I shall omit Step 3 in this presentation as it is covered adequately in my earlier essays, which shall be made available to interested parties. (Actually, this, my latest essay on drug policy, may be part of a complete collection if it can be arranged.)
Assume that drugs are unmitigated evil and that no one has a moral or legal right to use them. As an example of a defense of the DEA position let us attempt to rebut Cliff Schaffer's argument – not line by line at this time, although I have annotated his argument against the DEA essentially line by line, but this results in too much repetition. Rather, I will give a few samples of rebuttals that will suffice for one or more of his arguments. This half of my thesis is less important and will receive considerably less space, since, like Cliff, I am interested to defeat the DEA. We differ only in which approach to the common goal we prefer.
1) A DEA apologist might say, “You misunderstand the aims of our strategy, which have been fulfilled to a remarkable degree for the present generation. We must push forward to benefit future generations similarly. To ask for a drug-free America is asking too much. However, we have made it much harder for the productive members of society to get drugs and, in contrast with the sixties and early seventies, almost no one approves of drugs. Even artists no longer use drugs to any great extent, which you can tell by the lack of deep feeling in their work. In the inner city, the drugs are so weak that it is difficult for people to become addicted – even to heroin. Conceivably, most heroin habits are largely imaginary. Jail is an essential part of our strategy.
“Mr. Schaffer is either being dishonest or facetious when he asks us if jail makes people more productive. We never said (and Mr. Schaffer knows that we don't mean to imply) that people who go to jail are more productive than they would be otherwise (they probably were not very productive to begin with), however many people abstain from drugs or drastically curtail their drug use to avoid or reduce the risk of jail and they are the ones we expect to be more productive. Certainly, Mr. Schaffer knows this. The deterrent effect of jail is greater in the white population because whites do less well in jail and jail is more of a disgrace for them, whereas many black men take jail in stride. Some even feel more at home in jail that on the street. It's good that they are in jail as they are provided for and they do not set a bad example in the population at large.” (From now on I drop the quotes. Also, I shall abandon the effort of the speaker to emphasize that he is not part of the DEA, but the reader is to understand he is not anyway. Therefore, his community standards argument can be rather religious in nature, which will be harmful to Mr. Schaffer's likeability – as he, Mr. Schaffer, appears to be going against God! It is doubtful that Mr. Schaffer holds a degree as high as the PhD as he puts his SAT scores in English up as evidence of his entitlement to criticize his interlocutor for using “big” words. Twice he refers to big words as sequipedalianistic, which, of course, is an old joke, apparently not understood by Mr. Schaffer as jokes are not usually told twice. This is ad hominem and not part of the argument.)
2) Mr. Schaffer continues to preface his remarks with “Every major study shows ...” How did he become qualified to determine which are major studies and which are not? How does he know that he is familiar with every study? This is indeed remarkable. I have here the tables of contents of the latest issues of the five leading refereed journals dealing with this subject. Would he be willing to state the results of each study as I state the journal and authors' names? The throwing around of names of authoritative studies is an example of what Jeremy Bentham calls the ad verecundiam fallacy, i.e., an appeal to the natural modesty of the interlocutor. This is a form of sophistry designed to make us seem inferior when there is no good reason why we should. Undoubtedly, Mr. Schaffer is not familiar with the results of most of the best science done in this area although he would like us to imagine that he is. Also, Mr. Schaffer is cavalier with expressions such as “No one believes ....”, “Everyone knows ... “. These are sweeping statements and rather dubious to say the least. Could it be that Mr. Schaffer plays fast and loose with the facts? Since his remarks obviously are memorized, conceivably he has read none of the studies, and receives his information second-hand. A few simple test questions should determine if this is the case. I have in this box photocopies of hundreds of reviewed articles supporting our claims. Shall we see how familiar Mr. Schaffer is with these studies and which he considers major? Shall we plumb the depth of his knowledge of the study he last mentioned?
3) Mr. Schaffer refers frequently to historical facts that tend to support his thesis that drug laws were passed for all the wrong reasons. Besides being irrelevant to the question of whether or not they are good laws, what gets written in history books tends to depend upon the biases of the historian. Much of this history was written during the long period, which has not yet ended, in which history departments at most universities have been dominated by left-wing liberals who tend to denigrate the white male patriarchy regardless of what actually occurred. This is part of being “politically correct” and is only just now being recognized as just as unfair and biased as history in praise of chattel slavery. The white male is inevitably cast in the role of demon and the minority or economically disadvantaged groups are portrayed always as victims regardless of how many white males they scalped.
4) Mr. Schaffer claims he wants sensible drug laws, but he doesn't say what is sensible nor does he give an example of a sensible drug law.
5) On the contrary, if drug use is immoral it is certainly not sensible to tolerate it under the law. If we did, the law would be incomplete and therefore flawed (containing something immoral but not illegal). (This is as bad as something moral but illegal and imputes evil unto the law – if I may paraphrase Bertrand Russell.) To be fair we should say “more flawed than it already is”. We are trying to reach an ideal set of laws, which can be done only after an infinite period of struggle. We must never bring discredit to the law knowingly, though. The law does not enjoy much respect – even in the middle-class. This does not promote the welfare of the State.
6) Arguments about the success or failure of drug legalization or prohibition in foreign countries can be skewed because drugs may not be despised as much abroad as here. We have done a better job of drug education, presumably. I don't think we should have too much confidence in anyone's ability to evaluate the success or failure of drug policies abroad, therefore I wouldn't make too much of Mr. Schaffer's defense of so-called legalization programs abroad. Clearly, though, variations in punishment of drug use from place to place be it continent to continent or county to county are bound to engender some migrancy. As we do not approve of unnecessary and wasteful migrancy because of its environmental and social effects, we should continue to insist upon a universal international attack on drugs all over the world to avoid providing safe havens for moral degenerates.
7) If adults can get drugs more easily, children will be able to get drugs more easily. Many adults are willing to provide drugs for kids as they provided alcohol for me when I was a kid – either for monetary compensation or for other reasons of their own (perhaps misguided goodness of heart). I nearly died driving a car after adults gave me so much liquor that I had to be carried to my car and placed behind the wheel where my automatic pilot took over until I plowed into three parked cars totaling all three and the brand new car I was driving and putting myself in the hospital. Some goodness of heart. This could occur if drugs were legal and supplanted alcohol as the party enhancer of choice.
8) If multi-national corporations were free to market drugs, they could employ the media blitzes that have made Advil a household word in a very short time. If they were no more scrupulous in the sale of heroin or cocaine than they have been with Tylenol or Micatin – making extravagant and patently false and/or deceptive claims, society might be even more threatened than it is now with dangerous patent medicines. A Tylenol OD is not a pretty picture. Virtually every vital organ shuts down. These companies have no morals. It is not their business to have morals. Profits feed the bulldog and we all know it. “A man with a wife and children to support will do anything for money.” His justification is represented by the charming family portrait on his desk next to his calendar.
9) If heroin were legal, it stands to reason that it would be more popular than alcohol. It's a much better drug and gives more pleasure to the user. Many people do not realize they are hooked until they try to stop. They don't want to stop because it's so enjoyable and, for awhile, they may be able to carry on their lives more effectively than they could without it. Thus, they have a large window of opportunity to become addicted. Young people think they are invulnerable. “Other people might get hooked but not me.” The upshot is that, with such a seemingly superior product and a long period of time before its drawbacks are perceived, we have circumstances guaranteed to result in many more users than currently and quite plausibly more users than alcohol has ever been able to attract.
10) The following is a very important point and the simulator would like the reader to imagine that this speech is to be delivered with many embellishments and passionate religious fervor. We cannot have laws in conflict with our community moral standards and our family values. We cannot allow these degenerates and perverts to walk freely among us – possibly infecting our children with their vile condition. This is a God-fearing Christian country and we will not let the devil have our children. Blah, blah, blah.
11) Jail is more effective than treatment. People must be held accountable for the laws they break. Prevention works especially when backed up by the deterrent of jail – both the physical inconvenience of jail especially to whites and the shame of going to jail particularly for whites. The black religious leaders must make blacks more ashamed of jail than they are currently. They may employ the argument that their own shame is shared by all blacks and that they have let down their brothers and sisters if they go to jail. One black in jail is a disgrace to all blacks. Consider the argument used by Dickens with respect to the Jew in Our Mutual Friend. He is a good man, so he leaves the money lending business, which he was fronting for a gentile anyway, so as not to disgrace all Jews. “When a Greek goes bad, they say, 'Well, there's some bad apples in every race’, but when a Jew does something of which society does not approve, they say, ‘All Jews are bad.’ ” So, Riah leaves the money-lending business and goes to work in a factory operated by Jews that is a model enterprise for its day with the best treatment of employees imaginable.
This ends Part I, wherein I have played the Devil's advocate against an opponent not armed with moral outrage and faith in all the good uses of drugs.
I now wish to refute the arguments of the DEA armed with moral outrage and faith in all the good uses of drugs, which, according to the beliefs of this author, a benevolent and far-seeing God included in His design of Nature so that men might be spiritually inspired by song, story, verse, and imagery to draw closer to Him. (The author’s religious viewpoint toward drugs explains, metaphorically, why he claims that virtually ALL great artists used and use drugs as do the greatest scientists who share the worship of the infinite with artists as discussed by Whitehead, which makes them the only true scientists, the others being more or less technicians, though not to be entirely disparaged if that is all they are capable of. If they took drugs they might be capable of much more; but, in many cases, their love of this earthly life, however fleeting and petty, far exceeds their love of the infinite in the sense of Whitehead – and Russell, too (writing independently). Therefore, they avoid drugs because they believe, perhaps correctly, that drugs might shorten their lives. The author has no intention to prove his belief, which is, after all, a religious belief. He asks merely for the same respect that other religious people ask for their views. Obviously, this view is protected by the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment, regardless of what anyone else, e.g., a Supreme Court justice, thinks.
Thus, I have not proved this close connection between art and science and drugs. Nevertheless, I am permitted to assume that such a connection exists in this exposition as an example of a good use of drugs, which is assumed to exist; and this positive use is as good as any and reasonably easy to believe. I do not believe it is fair to “out” living artists and scientists, but many artists and scientists who are deceased and have left adequate documentation of their drug use should convince a fair-minded person that this connection exists. See Appendix B.
The Declaration of Independence written ca. 1776 gives man the unalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Surely by 1789 the Founding Fathers had not forgotten this when they wrote the Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. [quoted loosely from memory] Among those other rights must be liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They did not guarantee happiness – only its pursuit. Certainly, many men pursue happiness in no other way than by taking drugs. Your opinion of whether they are likely to find happiness in this way does not abrogate their right to pursue happiness in this way. Needless to say, a man is not free, i.e., possesses not liberty, unless he can take whatever drugs he wishes.
Amazingly, the argument that drugs actually enslave the user has been advanced lately; so, apparently, it is not “needless to say”. This is very easily refuted. A passage borrowed from another essay should suffice:
[R. Emmitt] Tyrrell employs the term “enthralls” with two distinct meanings. This is equivocation, which is unfair in debate. Since we are enthralled by drugs as we would be by a great love, it is easy to agree that these wonderful, miraculous, divine drugs of antiquity have lost none of their charm with age. It is as though our beloved were snatched from our arms when the word is suddenly used to connote slavery, which we detest. We are no more enslaved by our favorite drugs than we are by our favorite foods – or, to bring home the sharp sword of truth, far less than the average employed American is enslaved by his job. The average drug user is free compared to the average corporate employee. This is the beauty of Jack Nicholson’s speech in the pot smoking scene in the film Easy Rider when he tells the bikers that the townspeople fear them because they represent freedom. The druggies of the Beat Generation and subsequently have been symbolic of man’s quest for freedom. From among us come the free spirits of the land. Only the oppressor’s iron yoke can bow the heads of those who dare to tread the paths of the liberated criminal saints of the free-wheeling drug culture. The whole world knows this is true.
This enslavement argument is extraordinarily perverse as the whole point of the War of Drugs is to enslave the world in the interests of the multi-national corporations, i.e., the rulers of the world, and those who serve them. Drug users are not good candidates for wage slaves and they are most likely to break the mental shackles forged by the massive indoctrination to which ordinary people are subjected beginning even before pre-school as their parents are very likely mental zombies and which continues throughout school and on the nightly news and in every statement made by the government or big-business through its massive advertising campaigns, which, lately, have taken to disseminating such philosophical gems as “Life is a sport; drink it up.” Drugs serve as a conscious shock, in the sense of Uspenskii , which reorders rigid mental patterns by which the received wisdom of the church, the workplace, and the State keep us in line – docile servants of the agendas of the rich whose “vile maxim” is “everything for us and nothing for anyone else”. Business (capitalism) requires large supplies of readily available, unthinking, docile workers, who may be employed when needed and laid off when not. They refer to these unfortunate human beings as human resources, which is supposed to be a more advanced term than employee but which tends to corroborate our claim that business thinks of people as so many tons of coal just like any other business resource.
Allow me to reprint my earlier remarks  on this subject:
Users of drugs are referred to as “slaves” even though they act more independently than the average employee of the average American corporation. Actually, the average religionist, who accepts religious dogma without reservation is more of a slave than is the most hooked addict; i.e., the religionist's soul is entirely subjugated whereas the body only of the addict is under the control of the addicting drug, as evidenced by the fact that his will remains free to wish to be free of the addiction. Even this analysis is granting too much to the use of the word slave. How can one become the slave of an inanimate substance, which has no will!
After we have cleared away the garbage-speak and the double-speak, we see that freedom to take drugs is a major point. Many people rate taking drugs higher than sex. Would you like to prohibit sex? Just try it. To many people, (taking) drugs is not just the best thing – it's the only thing. Drug tyranny is total tyranny. Then there is art, which, without drugs, is gone. Naturally, the establishment wants to keep us from taking drugs. Taking one tip from Uspenskii, another clue from Aldous Huxley, and from personal observation, I have determined that drugs is the fastest route to political. social, and economic enlightenment – perhaps the only route. (A friend of mine confessed that he had been a hidebound, right-wing Christian reactionary until he smoked one joint. The scales fell from his eyes – instantly.) Cast off the shackles of your mind. “Turn on; tune in; and drop out.” As Jack Nicholson's character, George, an open-minded lawyer and an alcoholic, in Easy Rider says, “They're afraid of you because you represent freedom and freedom terrifies them.” [quoted loosely]
The Tenth Amendment may be violated as well, since, as we have shown, such laws may not be enacted by the federal government. The only question is whether the Constitution prohibits the States from enacting such laws. In any case, the Texas Constitution, for example, prohibits the passage of such laws because of their religious nature. (The Texas Constitution separates Church and State more definitely than does the U.S. Constitution.)
I have alluded to the religious aspect of drugs above. Drugs also entail normally a great deal of group ritual that has every feature of a formal religious observation or rite, thus the Free-Exercise Clause of the First Amendment is violated by any law that prohibits these rituals. Actually, the decision to take drugs or not is a moral decision; moral decisions are religious decisions; thus “Congress shall make no law respecting” [with respect to] them, which is the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Moreover, the controlled substances act has no proper definition of “substance”, which, according to Bertrand Russell , is a nonsense term, nor is the odd term “drug abuse” defined. (Does it mean that the user is harming the drug as in child abuse or does it mean the drug is abusing the user? To satisfy the due-process clause of the Fifth Amendment, laws have to make sense. The controlled substance law, employing undefined terms, does not make sense, thus the drug laws violate due process as well. Throw in a little illegal search and seizure and violation of privacy (Fourth Amendment) and you have a nice mess of constitution bashing all in the name of protecting us from ourselves. Not a pretty picture. What do you do when you live in a tyranny with unfair, illegal, and plain wicked laws? You break them and with a vengeance. If hard drug users would act up like Act Up, the government would be reeling. I wish drug users would act up a little more. I believe some “dirty tricks” a la Abbie Hoffman are in order. A little polite ass kicking might get some people's attention as well. You know, the place to get their attention is where they live. (I prefer massive graffiti attacks, e.g., spray painting “liars”, “thieves” in huge black letters across the front of the DEA building in Washington or on the homes of prominent drug warriors.)
I have written voluminously on the positive uses of drugs and the rights of drug users. This is as much as I need to repeat here, because I am going to assume the two condition in my argument anyway. They don't have to be true for this argument to be true. I wish only to illustrate the utility of proving that they are true. I wish to show how much you can prove once you have these two simple principles at your disposal; namely, (i) the laws against drugs are illegal and immoral and (ii) drugs are inherently neutral such that the desirability of drug use depends upon circumstances.
After I attack their arguments, I plan to introduce arguments from my earlier papers that they are undoubtedly not prepared to rebut. If I am to go first, I would studiously avoid every argument in their book! This should create general confusion among poor debaters who cannot think for themselves on their feet. I intend to approach their arguments in two ways: (i) logically, i.e., without an appeal to questionable data, and (ii) empirically, concentrating mainly on their misstatements.
Finally and most importantly, one can state with confidence that no valid scientific evidence exists to indicate that the use of drugs is more harmful than it is beneficial or that it causes any type of impairment rather than enhanced abilities as we claim. Actually, no satisfactory experiment can be performed to test the effects of drugs on humans so long as we are living in a state of mass hysteria that is guaranteed to skew the results. Nor will any such experiment be performed before drugs are legal and drug use is normalized to the point where a drug user is considered no more abnormal than a reader of poetry, say.
Fletcher's Doctrine: This comes from legal philosophy. It proposes that the drunken man is not responsible for what he does when he is drunk, but the sober man he was when he decided to become drunk and, then, performed the acts required to become drunk is responsible for what the drunken man has done. This is fair because the person enabling the drunkard presumably had good knowledge from personal experience of how the drunken man might behave. No one gets away with anything.
Dram shop laws: The Fletcher Doctrine, which is valid, is in sharp contrast with the dram shop laws, which punish individuals who may have no knowledge of the individual whom they enable to become intoxicated, who are in the business legally of so enabling him, and who have every right to assume his behavior will be rational and normal. Dram shop laws are unfair and violate due process, probably, as they are unreasonable.
Definition (Imaginary offense). An imaginary offense is an act that appears to violate the rights of another individual only because of how that individual conceives of that act. But, with a different viewpoint on the part of the person putatively offended would not violate any rights whatsoever, in contradistinction with acts that violate the rights of individuals regardless of what they think. An example is a mother who imagines that her son’s homosexuality is ruining her life, but would not be offended or inconvenienced if her attitude toward homosexuality were different. Many family members of drug users imagine that they are disgraced by the behavior of their close relative who uses drugs, but this is because they have a bigoted and intolerant attitude toward drug use, in many cases inculcated by anti-drug propaganda and mass hysteria. The proof of this is that in some families no one thinks anything of it. If the rights of one family are not violated by the drug use of one of its members, then no family’s rights are violated because the verdict depends upon how the non-users think and is completely independent of the behavior of the drug user. If, on the other hand, the drug user beats his wife when he is on drugs, the Fletcher Doctrine kicks in.
Wayburn’s Doctrine (unless a prior enunciator of the doctrine can be identified): One cannot be convicted of a crime in the average. Crimes do not apply to statistical averages, but to individuals only. A statistical average cannot commit a crime. If an activity is harmless in some cases then it cannot be considered a crime. One must discover what aspect of that activity is always harmful to identify the crime. Thus, since using drugs is normally (or even sometimes) harmless, in which case it interferes with no one’s rights and the State has no compelling reason to prevent it, it cannot be considered a crime even if it is harmful in some particular case involving some particular individual or individuals. One must base criminal law upon the combination of the activity and the harmfulness. If, due to societal conditions, harm is done independent of the user of the drugs and because of circumstances that are not of his making, the harm should be blamed on the social conditions operative and, since all of society is to blame, no criminal law can be construed. This is very much related to the commonly known principle that a person may not be punished for a crime until he commits it – certainly not because people who share some characteristic with him have committed the crime in the past.
These consist in using terms that have negative or positive (respectively) connotations in situations that call for neutral expressions, generally because they belong to statements about which nothing has been proven, often statements that would be the conclusions of their logical developments, if they had resulted from logical developments rather than a jump directly to the conclusion without evidence or logical development of any type, usually appealing to nothing better than popular opinion or the “conventional wisdom”, which in some cases has been “manufactured” by their own propaganda. A good example is the use of the conclusory terms “myths” and “misconceptions” in the title of their book, which, by the way, is in violation of their mandate and represents a clear-cut conflict of interest.
The literature cited by the DEA refers, in some cases, to “scientific” studies funded by organizations with a vested interest in the outcome. Impartiality is an absolute requirement for science. That work is disqualified. In other cases, unrefereed journals such as the New York Times are cited. This, too, cuts no ice. Only very few studies have even a chance of having been performed by scientists who are disinterested in the outcome. Even university professors know what side they are on before the study commences.
The DEA is not very specific as to the purpose of the War on Drugs. Obviously, the intent is to prevent people from taking drugs. But, why? Actually, a host of social ills are ascribed to the manufacture, sale, and consumption of drugs. However, over the course of their (imaginary) rebuttal to the affirmative of the question: Should Drugs Be Legalized? one ill or the other is mentioned depending on the argument they pretend to be refuting.
Occasionally, the great “evils” that are supposed to arise due to legalization are inherently neutral and may actually be beneficial under important circumstances. For example, addiction is beneficial if it is in the best interests of the “victim” of “addiction” not to forget to take the drug in question regularly. If blood pressure pills were addictive, we wouldn’t forget to take them, would we!
Sometimes the “bad effect” to be avoided actually favors one or more of the other goals of the War. For example, early death by overdose of heroin certainly reduces the share of the national health-care budget consumed by the victim. Also, if the user can write his own prescriptions – for athlete’s foot medication, as well as for sleeping medication, if indicated – the doctor’s time is saved and the health-care budget is reduced. Physicians, in particular, do not want the health-care budget to be reduced. They wish to gather more and more conflicts in living under their already sweeping purview. For example, physicians want to take charge of the gang-warfare problem!
The DEA is careful not to mention mitigating circumstances that do not favor their argument. Clearly, they are interested in winning this debate by whatever means necessary rather than arriving at a valid policy, which, unfortunately, would cost them their jobs. They have a definite bias, but so do I. I want a longer drug menu. Moreover, I wish to avoid going to jail. Actually, jail for me, even for five minutes, is absolutely out of the question!
It makes sense to look at the DEA rebuttal from the point of view of its goals, real or pretended, to determine if a goal is worth achieving or if a circumstance that interferes with one goal achieves another. I shall employ an outline form in which the Roman numerals correspond roughly to chapter numbers. This section may serve as a brief summary of the remarks that will follow, although I will have much to say that will not be repeated.
The only difficulty with addiction occurs if it becomes necessary to stop the addictive behavior. But, why would anyone want to stop taking drugs unless an external influence were operative. (Occasionally, though, people just stop for no apparent reason, in which case the addiction has disappeared and, therefore, was not a serious problem – at least not the problem it was cracked up to be.) Normally, the external influence arises because of the laws against drugs and the propaganda necessary to “sell” an inhuman and unnatural point of view to otherwise rational persons. Taking drugs is a natural trait of a natural person and has been since drugs were discovered in pre-history. No one has any evidence to the contrary, thus the position need not be defended. If one disagrees, one merely holds a different view and nothing more. This is insufficient reason to exercise tyranny.
The psychological aspect of “addiction” is, in the view of Dr. Robert Goodman , a manifestation of the simple fact that we like to repeat pleasant experiences. It is simply absurd to try to turn that into a pathology. In Iran, when opiates were legal, a large proportion of the population consumed them. Is it reasonable to suppose that a large proportion of the population of Iran was mentally ill!
As will be shown, it is futile to claim that crime will be a serious consequence of drug legalization. Crime is caused by our insistence upon allowing human activity to center around competition for wealth and power – our refusal, in the face of incontrovertible evidence, to abandon competition for wealth, power, and fame utterly! 
For every bad case of addiction they can find, I can find a good case. Addiction like drugs themselves, is neutral, i.e., depending upon circumstances as to its desirability. One may not demonize addiction any more than one may demonize drugs. The demons are imaginary. This view is just as good as any and must be respected until a valid scientific experiment proves otherwise. No such experiment has been made. Always drugs are placed in a singularly disadvantageous position, thus ensuring the results desired by the biased pseudo-scientists. (A true scientist must be absolutely fair if not completely disinterested. It is practically impossible to find a disinterested scientist and, if he could be found, who would fund his research?)
The true spiritual man is undaunted by this kind of talk. It means nothing to him. But, his death, in any case, if, indeed, there is any rational reason to fear death from drugs in a normalized society where drugs are legal and drug users are treated like everyone else or like an avid reader of good literature, for example, i.e., merely an anomaly, I say, his death will normally be quick and inexpensive so that people who think along such lines (sorry specimens of humanity in my view) needn’t worry about having to support health care for someone they don’t like or have no interest in. (In Appendix C, I show that the laws against drugs cause many more deaths than are caused by drugs themselves. This provides a compelling reason for legalization.)
The evidence presented by the DEA seems to indicate that the only crime that increased, at least in Great Britain, was the State-manufactured crime of taking drugs itself.
If any crime other than the artificial crime of taking drugs itself increased it was caused by competition for wealth, power including negotiable influence, i.e., influence that can be converted to wealth or power, and negotiable fame. Drugs have nothing to do with our need for law enforcement. Perhaps, if everybody “turned on and tuned in”, we wouldn’t need law enforcement or, for that matter, armed forces. This view is as good (and better if one reads my book ) as any other view until proven otherwise. I remain confident that no such proof is forthcoming as I have proved (in my book) the view supported by myself as well as social theorems are ever proved (without the absolute necessity to employ drugs to achieve the spiritual revolution of which I have spoken).
If, as we demand, drug users are given the same opportunities as everyone else, they will out-perform everybody. No experiment to disprove that has ever been attempted even though it is easy to design one. (Remember, the drug users must be free of any negative expectations or social stigma or fear of social retaliation or demonization or scapegoating during the trials of their effectiveness at tasks of their own choosing.) So much for welfare.
The health-care issue is settled. Prohibitionists can’t have it both ways. Either drugs will shorten lives or they won’t. If they don’t, drug users are as likely or more likely to contribute to health care (by virtue of their genius) and less likely to burden the system as many will choose to doctor themselves.
Let’s wait six months to a year. I can virtually guarantee that, by then, so-called crack babies will prove to be yet another myth surrounding drugs – in a category similar to “reefer madness”. See below.
As will be shown, the money is in prohibition. What will all the quacks, charlatans, and parasites do when peace breaks out? The ineptness of drug users that is supposed to cause workplace accidents has no scientific basis as in the previous cases.
The American government and the Christian right are not qualified to comment upon morals. The moral position is held by us as will be made abundantly clear as the argument unfolds.
The DEA opposes the medical use of certain drugs for their own political reasons only. This is criminal. They wish to pretend that they can make certain drugs go away completely. The War on Drugs has been amazingly successful in demonizing drugs and drug users. (I can hear Chomsky saying, “Goebbels would be impressed”, which is not something I would write.) However, in stopping the flow of drugs it has been a dismal “failure”. I predicted  that we would see new horrors and we have seen them. Too many people have too much to lose if drugs disappear. The DEA, itself, will never let that happen! So, the typical pro-legalization cant that the War on Drugs has failed is only half right and by no means the best half. Personally, I think the DEA has achieved nearly every goal on its agenda.
The DEA claims that individual rights must bow to the potential harm done by a few; however, it seems that the trampling of human rights itself is the raison d'être. A free people do not permit the punishment of people before they commit a crime and the prohibition of drugs is just that. For many of us, it is a draconian punishment that we shall struggle against as we would struggle against the worst sort of tyranny – for which drug prohibition is a good candidate. No measures should be ruled out in a struggle for an essential element of our humanity, e.g., the ability to make our own decisions, which is part of the definition of freedom, cf., The Random House Dictionary :
Definition (Freedom). Freedom is the exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. It is the power of determining one’s own actions or making one’s own decisions.
The difficulties suggested by the DEA can be overcome easily. We still have Fletcher’s Doctrine, so nobody gets away with anything. The Food and Drug Administration can advise and we are certain to take its advice into account. However, desperate people may take desperate measures if they wish, e.g., those dying from AIDS. Pharmaceutical companies and other drug manufacturers must continue to bear responsibility for what they do – as do we all. Nothing new here.
In Chapter 1, below, I have defined nine types of addiction, which does not constitute an exhaustive list. When the DEA compares the rates at which given substances addict, i.e., the fractions of people who having used at all become addicted, they are comparing apples with oranges if the types of addiction are widely disparate. For example, comparing the addiction rate of cocaine to that of nicotine is nonsense, as the short-term addictive effect of cocaine is gone once one elects to sleep. On the other hand, nicotine withdrawal is normally accompanied by painful symptoms that make the victim unfit for human companionship in many cases. In real life in the fast lane of rock music, we rarely encounter severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms. The psychological dependence is merely the regret one experiences when one must forego a gratifying and delightful experience. This kicks in when the physiological withdrawal is over and its unpleasantness depends entirely on the individual and not at all on the drug.
If I wished to add an amusing tenth type of addiction to the list below, I would consider an entirely separate type of addiction that is added intentionally to a medication, such as blood pressure medication, that must be taken daily, but, by itself, provides no gratification that impels one toward a healthful regularity in one’s use. I wish the drug company would add something addictive to my Indiral so that I wouldn’t forget to take it. I have just given an example of an addiction that is useful and wholesome. Evidently, the demonization of addiction is irrational and those who use addiction always in a dyslogistic sense have fallen into a logical trap.
The DEA expects us to prove that the benefits of legalization outweigh its costs, however benefits and costs may be noncomparable when a moral imperative is involved. Generally, the DEA will be concerned with length of life as opposed to quality of life. The notion that some suffering is worthwhile is lost on them. Their question about using drug addiction as a defense in a trial is answered by the Fletcher Doctrine above. Finally, they wish to dictate the terms of the debate. Naturally we shall insist that the terms of the debate be negotiated between us and we shall have something to say about them.
I don’t use the argument that drug use will go down and, frankly, in some cases, I hope it goes up. We can make the best drugs available and, quite naturally, users will choose the better drugs over those with serious drawbacks. If powder cocaine and new syringes are readily available, the use of crack cocaine might well disappear. Further, legal research should turn up even better drugs with few, if any, drawbacks.
Cocaine is said to be much more addictive than alcohol and yet some experts  claim that cocaine is not addictive at all. I have classified cocaine under Case 2 (below), short-term addiction, and Case 4, pseudo-addiction, you enjoy an experience so you wish to repeat it. Years ago, no one considered cocaine addictive, mainly because there are no withdrawal symptoms. The “violent psychotic behavior” they associate with cocaine is almost never seen in practice. Make them state incidence rates and how they were obtained. The reason that there is “no effective, permanent treatment” for cocaine use is simple. Cocaine use is not a disease! Naturally, some people want to medicalize everything. There’s gold in them thar hills. For the record, I include my short list of types of addiction together with a brief analysis of how well they fit the definition of disease .
I have compiled a short list of phenomena that are sometimes referred to as (or mistaken for) drug addiction: (1) self-medication for chronic depression or chronic pain, (2) taking a drug that causes a symptom that can be relieved only by taking more of the drug or by the passage of a few hours, (3) acute withdrawal symptoms that last several days, (4) dedication to the repetition of a pleasurable experience regardless of long-range consequences, (5) taking a drug to perform a task, which might have to be performed several times a week, perhaps to make a living, (6) obligatory daily performance of a task that cannot be performed during withdrawal from a drug, (7) using drugs to isolate oneself from the painful realities of life in a bad world, (8) unwillingness to pass an opportunity to take drugs because the law may cut off one's supply, (9) the case of a drug that, like valium or blood-pressure medication, poses a health risk if one forgets to take it in the absence of a craving that (blessedly) reminds one to take it. In Case 1, a physician may prescribe another drug, Case 2 is normal and involves a conscious choice between two alternatives on the part of the individual, Case 3 might require supervised tapering off or the prescription of other drugs, Cases 4-8 are behavioral choices in the face of circumstances that are beyond a therapist's control. I do not believe any of the cases correspond to what we normally call a disease. Case 9 is a normal medical situation and stretches the meaning of addiction seriously, but may not be omitted as it constitutes a requirement to take the drug, which, in this case and in this case alone, is strictly medical.
Drug abuse usually refers to some type of behavior of which other people do not approve but which is consistent with the goals of the user, who might be a criminal or only an oddball. The term “denial” is a fallacious appeal to the authority of the treatment community in a dispute with a user who is insufficiently articulate to defend his values and motives. The term “denial” is an impostor term. When the user himself disapproves of his own behavior, the term “drug abuse” might make sense, unless the user is a victim of anti-drug propaganda. Many people who have tried to stop taking drugs might benefit from the friendship and advice of other drug users. As suggested by Henman , drug use must be looked at from the perspective of the user.
We are told marijuana is stronger nowadays. So, take less! Also, label it honestly. If anything, its strength will be exaggerated, by establishment growers. Especially by establishment growers! Also, remind people that you needn’t smoke it. The THC can be extracted with butter and drunk with coffee or even milk. (Never try to extract it with water, of course. It’s not soluble in water.) If they use the argument that the commercial product Marinol, which contains THC, lists numerous side effects associated with THC. Just pull out the blurb that goes with a common prescription medicine that is normally deemed safe and see how long the list is for it. I would choose Imitrex, which cures migraine headaches, the total number of side effects listed is thirty-four, unless I miscounted. Remember, any symptom that is reported by as many as 1% of the test group and appeared at least as frequently as it did in the placebo group must be listed. If they tell you marijuana impairs sexual function, ask them if they are worried about low birth rates. That’s the kind of shifting of priorities that they are fond of doing when it suits them. Just what is it they don’t want to happen? Do they really care more about the health of junkies or about the property of the affluent? If they tell you drug use drives up medical costs, ask them how much they spend on the indigent compared to the well-heeled. Of course, early death, if it really occurs, reduces consumption of scarce resources, e.g., gasoline. Obviously, the ill effects of marijuana are never seen in the real world – only in the labs of over-zealous “scientists” anxious to ingratiate themselves with funding agencies, who, it must be admitted, are rarely run by hippies.
Finally, they use the term “common sense” in a fallacious way and refer to “misery and death”, which occurs only rarely among sensible users. It is worth noting that the increase in use foreseen by some is mere speculation at best as no one can predict the future in this case. They have no scientific theory upon which to base their predictions.
Once again, at the beginning of this chapter, the DEA claims that some drugs, notably crack and PCP, cause violent and anti-social behavior. First of all, ask with what frequency. This behavior is virtually never seen in the real world. If pressed, I could indicate, from personal experience and the experience of friends and acquaintances, how exceedingly rare this behavior must be as it is never witnessed by me or anyone I know. Even if a few did exhibit such anti-social behavior, society may not punish everyone for the actions of a few – and I mean a very few. Alcohol is the drug that causes violent and anti-social behavior, particularly if the user has seen armed combat.
The DEA divides crime associated with drugs into three categories: purchase-related crime, drug-induced crime, and black market crime, which I shall consider separately as they do.
They claim, at the outset, that drugs are cheap now, which is far from the case – even for a middle-class user. They claim that prices might not go down, therefore purchase-related crime (crimes committed to get the money to buy the drugs) would not decrease. However, establishment drug firms have the technology to produce drugs cheaply and they might find themselves in heavy competition as no patents can be held on the traditional drugs. Moreover, they would have no research costs to defray. (Research on marijuana has already been done by the underground – and done well, I might add. Tobacco growers would benefit immediately from this knowledge.)
First the DEA claims that purchase-related crime would not decrease because prices would not go down. Next, they claim that, if prices go down, use would increase, so purchase-related crime would rise proportionately. Possibly use would increase, and I hope it would, as drug use improves people in my experience. But, the price should be sufficiently reduced that the cost of the saturation dose would not be prohibitive to poor people even, who manage to find the price of a pack of cigarettes. At one point in the argument, the DEA claims property crime goes up with drug use – essentially for no reason at all. This won’t wash as all the conditions will have changed and no such general rule can be justified.
Of course, if hard pressed, poor people will steal just to live, but that’s another problem, namely, poverty itself, which had better be solved and solved soon. But, nothing the DEA recommends will solve poverty. People who cannot get drugs do not have a better chance to get decent work than drug users would in a normalized situation. The trouble is in the economy and has nothing to do with drugs. In fact, the drug war can be explained as a tactic to draw attention away from real problems.
Drug testing of people arrested for putative crime proves nothing about drugs causing crime. This is the well-known post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy. (The fallaceous assumption is that everything that happens after some distinguished event is caused by it.) The DEA statement that, “Drugs changed their behavior, enabled, and encouraged them to act violently and irrationally,” is completely unsupported and has been dismissed by my earlier remarks. The authors of the DEA arguments are shameful in their use of deceptive and inflammatory rhetoric.
They often bring up crack, a drug that I, for one, shall assiduously avoid; however, they neglect the role of the drug war in encouraging the invention of crack as a marketing gimmick. If Squibb would provide a wide menu of cocaine products other than crack, the use of crack would probably disappear, as it is not a very good drug and users would choose better ones. Moreover, the research of Schama et al.  will disprove the existence of crack babies – unless I am very much mistaken.
Drug-induced crime is largely a myth. The DEA has no case here. The constitutional rights of (otherwise) law abiding citizens may not be denied due to the behavior of a few exceptional people who would probably commit crimes with or without drugs. No scientifically verified mechanistic link has been established between taking drugs and committing crimes.
The DEA says, “Drugs changed [drug users] behavior, enabled and encouraged them to act violently and irrationally.” Presumably, this would not occur except in psychotic individuals, however it is well known that psychotic people are incapable of coping with the exigencies of habitual drug use with all its complicated business of obtaining money, copping, and dealing with diverse and complicated people. Thus, people who are likely to behave irrationally will not be able to take illegal drugs on a consistent basis such that the fears retailed by the DEA would be at all realistic. Fear of people going crazy on drugs is the only irrational behavior one is likely to encounter in connection with drugs. It is no stretch of logic to claim that the DEA is driving Americans crazy by inducing mass hysteria and unjustified fear of drugs, dealers, and users.
It is patently absurd to imagine the black market competing with Parke-Davis unless punitive taxes are levied, which would be unfair and unwise. It’s not likely that the Cali cartel has the muscle (or ruthlessness) to take on multi-national corporations, most of which can put a creditable army in the field if it serves their selfish interests to do so. The Cali cartel is a midget compared to Squibb. This is the DEA’s silliest argument – so far; but, don’t worry, they will top themselves.
Children are bound to get drugs from adults under any scenario unless they can be convinced not to – black market or no. I believe the best an honest educator can do is steer kids to the better and less harmful drugs and teach them how to use drugs effectively and safely. The schools presently are incapable of offering an educational alternative that can compete with drugs with their power to attune our sensibilities to the best that our culture has to offer and make worthwhile subjects intensely interesting. All that the schools offer is lies, drudgery, boredom, and all the wrong stuff. Kids who take drugs are much more likely to take an interest in scholarship and art than are squares. Personally, I don’t want my kids attending any school I can think of – not Harvard, not any of them – and I have taught in four universities and attended many more including the elite academies. Frankly, I don’t see many important differences among them. They are all bad.
I do not intend to use this argument, but I must comment on some of the specious arguments in this chapter. The DEA claims that “legalization did not work” in any foreign country. They neglect to say what they mean by “work”. In some cases, it worked for me. In the paragraph on Great Britain, the DEA refers to the journal Lancet, but they don’t give us a reference directly to Lancet. Rather, they refer to a letter, which, we, of course, would not be able to find in our library. This simply makes it impossible to determine if they have quoted Lancet correctly – if they have evaluated the conclusions of the Lancet article fairly. From experience, acquired in this booklet, we know better than to trust the DEA. They are dishonest and must be watched carefully in everything they say and do. In fact, every single reference at the end of this chapter is clearly biased in favor of their position. This is typical of the references, as I have said before. Even references to university studies are tainted, as the sponsors and/or the directors of the institute doing the study are far from disinterested – to the everlasting shame of all who profess science as their field of endeavor. Science: once sacred, is now a tool of the wickedest people on earth.
Later in the section on Great Britain, we are told that only 20% of the “addicts” participate in methadone programs. They conclude that the reason for this is that heroin is a better drug. Almost certainly, street heroin is a much worse drug. The true answer undoubtedly is the dehumanization one experiences in any drug “program” or, for that matter, any government program of any type. That is why this author will never submit to a decriminalization plan with controls of any kind. This is why anti-prohibitionists who advise against asking for complete legalization and decontrol (and, perforce, rejecting any halfway measure) are part of the problem not part of the solution. We have a moral imperative. There shall be no compromise – even if it means all-out war.
Next, we are told that, while the clinical heroin experiment in Great Britain was going on, the death rate of heroin addicts was twenty-six times the average for the population. Firstly, I don’t believe them (the reference is a letter that refers to an article in The New Republic, which is not a refereed scientific journal); and, secondly, why would they care, as they are obviously against drug addicts. Undoubtedly, a considerable portion of whatever excess death rate the addicts do enjoy is caused by the laws against drugs, which is proved in Appendix C. This is typical of the way in which this booklet switches objectives whenever the authors find that a new objective is useful to make a point. If I prove that result A will be achieved by legalization, they suddenly abandon A as an objective and look for a new objective that will be met less well by legalization than by a bad law. We are told that when the British “programs” were in operation Scotland Yard had to double its narcotics division “to cope with the increased crime rate”. [emphasis mine] It appears, then, that the crime they are concerned about is taking drugs itself, which, of course, would not be a crime if they had not made it a crime artificially.
The DEA equates success with less drugs consumed and fewer users. But, clearly, they are not concerned at all with the quality of life of users, which they do everything they can do to diminish. In the Netherlands, they are concerned about an increase in property crime, but one wonders what laws were passed in the Netherlands, or anywhere, making it illegal to refuse employment to a person merely because he or she uses drugs, regardless of his effectiveness. I, for example, can do nearly anything better stoned than anyone else can do it not stoned – to put it modestly. I claim that nearly anyone can find a drug or combination of drugs that will enhance his performance. That’s why so many athletes take drugs when they play, or, rather, used to before the systematic persecution and invasion of privacy of drug users (through testing) forced its nasty tentacles deep into sports.
I shall not go into the experiences of other countries or cities with partial decriminalization, mainly because it is nearly impossible to find out what really happened and, furthermore, it’s irrelevant. Whatever the DEA says, we shall have to check it carefully as they are so dishonest. After all, they are fighting to protect lucrative jobs with virtually unlimited opportunities for corrupt practices.
In the summary of Chapter 3, we read, “In Iran and Thailand, countries where drugs are readily available, the prevalence of addiction has been and continues to be exceptionally high.” Why don’t they tell us how high? The last two sentences are as follows:
1.) Both the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 (both signed by the U.S.) insist that drugs should not be legalized. [“Issues and Comments to respond to Legalization of Illegal Drugs.” Drug Enforcement Administration, May 1988].
2.) The International Narcotics Control Board of the United Nations concluded that “legalization advocates have not yet presented a sufficiently comprehensive, coherent or viable alternative to the present system of international drug-abuse control.” [“Report of the International Control Board for 1992,” United Nations Publication].
Undoubtedly, these are true statements and I think they deserve a comment. They are indicative of the great control exercised by the United States in international politics, including the United Nations, which has become little more than a tool of U.S. aggression and imperialism. We have become the all-time world’s greatest bully – a nation of puritanical hypocrites willing to impose intolerance and bigotry wherever it suits our “interests”, namely, the continued predation of the largely U.S.-based multi-national corporations. It isn’t just drugs of which we are intolerant; it’s any form of self-determination among the weaker nations and any form of democracy, be it capitalist or communist. Of course, since the only path to true democracy lies through some type of communism, every democratic movement arising from the people will be interpreted as communism, perhaps rightly. I don’t have to say much to support this picture of the world as it really is. This has been done for me by Noam Chomsky with hundreds of details painstakingly documented [11,12,13, ... ]. The War on Drugs is only the tip of a gigantic iceberg.
I do not use the argument that drug legalization will provide tax revenue. Drugs should not be taxed as they are a necessity of life. Food is taxed in Utah. Shame! Normally, the necessities of life are not taxed. In civilized jurisdictions, they are never taxed. But, I must comment on the falsity employed by the DEA – even in this pointless argument.
Again, we see a reference to so-called crack babies. When the Emory University studies  are finally published, and the detractors have been silenced, this myth will be put to rest for all time. I shall rewrite this section at that time.
The DEA is again concerned about lost productivity even though they have done nothing to ensure that drug users have jobs if they want them. Again, they make the unsupported claim that drug use is responsible for workplace accidents. The fact that Conrail train operators had used marijuana may have had nothing to do with the accident that they constantly harp on. I pointed out that just because events coincide does not prove that one is the cause of the other. This is a logical fallacy. In the chemical industry, which I know best and where the accidents are of apocalyptic proportions, management pays lip service only to the prevention of accidents. Certainly, measures are taken, but the main cause of accidents is not addressed, namely, the hiring of contract workers to avoid paying benefits. Many of these workers do not read the language in which the safety and operating manuals are written. Until this outrage is corrected, all bets are off concerning workplace accidents.
I wish to express a sentiment peculiar to myself to close my comments on economics. As far as I am concerned drug users ought to be able to occupy themselves exclusively with art if they so desire. Even fifty million drug users supported by the rest of the work force does not seem excessive to me. We have too many people working. The economy is too large to be in harmony with nature. It is destroying the environment. For those of you who feel you should not have to support drug users, let me remind you that we haven’t even addressed the slight matter of reparations for the inconvenience we have suffered due to unconstitutional and immoral laws against drugs. I, personally, would be satisfied with $100,000 per year for the life of myself and my wife, however many will want much more – perhaps a one-time payment of fifty million 1996 U.S. dollars?
In a recent talk, Jerry Epstein of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas pointed out that the difficulty we are encountering in ending drug prohibition exceeds the difficulty encountered in ending alcohol prohibition simply because the people who remember what it was like before drug prohibition are all dead, whereas the people who repealed alcohol prohibition remembered the period before Prohibition vividly. If the vast majority of the body politic remembered that drugs were not a serious problem when they were legal, we would have an easy time repealing the laws against drugs. By the way, they would remember why the drug laws were enacted and they would realize, now that racism has fallen into bad repute, that the drugs were enacted for all the wrong reasons. Furthermore, it took a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. Why did it not require a constitutional amendment to prohibit drugs? Clearly, a constitutional amendment was required but conveniently by-passed, as it would not have passed muster in any rational court.
Other than these observations, I have nothing to say about the lessons of Prohibition. Thus, the DEA is preparing to defend itself against an argument I will not make. Apparently, the DEA has availed itself of “recent historical evidence”. Why should new evidence about past events be more reliable than whatever evidence has been available since the time of Prohibition! I am skeptical of all such evidence whether it furthers my case or not.
It is more useful to me to hang the DEA with its own arguments. They seem to think that the majority favors drug prohibition, which somehow justifies prohibition. On the contrary, the tyranny of the majority must be rejected along with every other form of tyranny. What I think, though, is that, not only do the majority favor drug legalization, the majority uses illegal drugs. I think it is amusing to contemplate the possibility that, if every user came out of the closet, the set of users might turn out to be everyone! Ha!
In Appendix B, I shall place Bob Ramsey’s list of great men and women (mostly men) who have used drugs habitually. This may interest those who imagine that the persecution of drug users will have no unintended social effects. If all of our great men were put in jail, society would certainly suffer – embarrassment at the very least.
I will add caffeine to that list. Can you imagine how office workers would react to a ban on caffeine! I am not suggesting that these other drugs should be made illegal or demonized. I am sympathetic with smokers, particularly those who began smoking before the general propaganda campaign to discourage smoking began. However, one must really wonder about smokers who are so stupid as to congregate near the doorways of buildings to smoke, since that is an area through which everyone who enters or leaves the building must pass. Why would they want to lose the few sympathizers they have among nonsmokers when it would cost them only a minimal additional effort to walk a few paces away from the building entrances? I suppose it is unfair to remark that quitting smoking cost me no effort worth mentioning, I suppose I am immune to addiction. Actually, I can take any drug or leave it. Arguments that hinge upon addiction, crime, health, etc. don’t apply to me; so, presumably, neither should the laws. Actually, I am uncomfortable with the laws against drunk driving because of the large number of drivers who drive well – even better – while intoxicated. This must be a very large class of drivers, extending perhaps, to everyone on the road after midnight every Saturday night / Sunday morning, otherwise how would they get home from the bars? It seems to me that the law should not kick in until actual harm is done. I cite the Fletcher Doctrine, stated above.
The DEA seems unprepared for my claim that the legality of alcohol, the blood of Christ, and the illegality of peyote, marijuana, etc. is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Other than that I remark only that the DEA argument is typically silly, but I do not wish to go into what is obvious. Let me list a few fallacious statements from each of the remaining chapters even though I do not use the argument with which the chapter deals. By now the reader can tell the author what’s wrong with these statements. Let’s leave such criticism as exercises for the reader.
“Cocaine debases the user’s life.” Is that what they think? If it does, it is only because they say so. And, they are willing to say anything regardless of whether it makes sense or not. I am not nor have I been guilty of the ad hominem fallacy. The drug warriors really are wicked. The general public ought to see them for what they are. They discredit their own arguments by employing dishonest and immoral methods to promote their own selfish interests. If their arguments were valid, they would not have to resort to such tactics.
“[T]obacco does not affect one’s intellectual processing or decision-making ability.” So what! It is not clear that these other drugs affect them except possibly to improve them. In most cases, the most popular illegal drugs definitely enhance the IQs of most users. Users for whom this is not true usually haven’t much intellectual ability to begin with. Personally, I don’t think such people should be using drugs, but I am not prepared to tell them they may not; and, from time to time, they will surprise me with an outstanding intellectual leap, which, probably, they could not have made without drugs. Nobody has any evidence that is worth citing in a scientific debate.
As Professor [James Q.] Wilson explains [Notice that what follows is in no way an explanation, which by itself makes the entire statement a flat-out lie.], “Tobacco shortens one’s life, cocaine debases it. Nicotine alters one’s habits, cocaine alters one’s soul [which Prof. Wilson knows from measurements on his soul-o-meter]. The heavy use of crack, unlike the heavy use of tobacco, corrodes those natural sentiments of sympathy and duty that constitute our human nature and make possible our social life.” [When a man uses the word “duty” in this manner “stand not on the order of your leaving but leave immediately”. Please, Prof. Wilson, spare me your society.] Professor Wilson’s opinion is worthless. Quoting “authority” is the weakest type of argument and may safely be dismissed. One can always find someone as stupid as oneself.
See my article on academia , to understand why I don’t think college professors deserve the respect of ordinary people. During the last few decades, they seem to have become incorrigibly stupid. I have deliberately dissociated myself from all but a few with whom I remain on civil terms. These few are cynical enough concerning the intellectual abilities of the rest. I have been attending seminars at Rice University, lately, to correct all the stupid things that are said – except in mathematics, where profound stupidity has not yet carried the day. But, more and more, I despair of being understood. Occasionally, one or two receptive minds can be found, but only on rare occasions. The drivel one hears is beyond what anyone could imagine only a few short years ago, but academia has succumbed to the cesspool mentality almost completely. The college students, even in the prestige academies, are pathetic, especially those who come from homes that allow television viewing. (PBS, even, is an unmitigated intellectual disaster.)
I honestly see no point in being diplomatic in this effort to change people’s minds. No good will come from adopting partial truths or downright falsehood as Madison Avenue and the mainstream culture have done. I should expound at greater length on this attitude of uncompromising truth regardless of consequences, that is, truth as we perceive it – recognizing that we are fallible.
“And although cholesterol may kill you, it does not lead to the types of bizarre, destructive behavior that is associated with most illegal drugs.” Refute this as an exercise. (Why should not the reader get a chance to participate in the slaying of monsters of falsehood?)
“[W]e should compare the risks of alcohol and tobacco [don’t forget caffeine] with those of legalized cocaine and marijuana.” [Fair enough] “Likely, we would find that the latter are much more dangerous than the former.” False; say why as an exercise.
“[A]lcohol, while admittedly, dangerous, is much less addictive than presently illegal drugs and also is easier to quit once addicted.” Criticize as an exercise. Hint: Add what we said about the definition(s) of addiction to the other falsehoods in this sentence.
Criticize this chapter as an exercise unless you find its illogical point of view and other faults too obvious. Hints: (1) They call what we say “propaganda”. We admit to that, but wonder if they think that what they say is “education”. (2) One can drink marijuana. (3) Appeal to authority is the fallacy known as ad verecundiam, i.e., toward modesty – your modesty.
I do not refer to John Stuart Mill, so it’s no good pawning his remarks off on me. I have made an irrefutable constitutional argument. It remains only to examine the majority and minority opinions in the case law that reached the Supreme Court of which, I would venture to say, very little exists; however, I may be in for a surprise, a surprise I can handle. The majority opinions that ruled against my positions must involve unconscionable assaults on logic. These can easily be refuted with whatever slight aid I expect from the minority opinions. No, Your Honors, “I’m not trying to show contempt for this court, I’m doing my best to hide it.” My contempt knows no bounds, thus it’s impossible to hide it. What will they arrest me for, contempt of word processor – to take a page from Tom Wolfe. I have no fear that the Supreme Court will defeat my argument in the higher court of unfettered reason.
They will try to establish compelling reasons why these violations of the Constitution are essential to the commonwealth of the United States. We shall not allow that the government has a right to regulate the health and personal safety of its citizens against their will. We can raise an army in no time that will put down that heresy. (Obviously, such armies are already out there in force – although they are rarely informed by the highest principles.) Other sections of this paper will disqualify nearly every compelling reason they are likely to come up with. If they pull something new, it will be just as specious as the rest and I can refute it on my feet under as much pressure as they wish to put to bear. One must realize that, although they wield immense raw force, they are basically little people – barely more than children and they have not had a valid thought in years. They are almost nobody – in the existential sense. We should not fear them, rather, we should get busy and get them out of there. We can certainly contrive to arrange that if we apply our minds and exercise a little moral resolution.
They have repeated my argument in their “little book”. They claim our freedom does interfere with the freedom and well-being of others. (They use the weak phrase “affect other people” to which we might respond: So what! But, for the sake of argument, we shall grant that they mean that the effect is to interfere with the freedom of other people, and we shall use this concept in the widest possible sense giving them every opportunity to make a valid case, which they cannot do.) In my philosophical papers, I have shown how to disqualify imaginary offenses, i.e., offenses that would not occur if the mental outlook of the victim were different. For example, a mother is distraught because she has learned that her son is homosexual. Her pain is caused by her intolerance and misunderstanding of the situation. It cannot be said that he is interfering with her freedom or “hurting her” in a way from which she can be protected by the State. I will take their arguments one at a time and finish with the most common situation of all, namely, the case of the wife who claims to be suffering because her husband gets high.
Earlier, I have shown that the argument that drug use increases crime is invalid. Even if drug use did lead to crime on occasion, the Wayburn Doctrine invalidates punishing every drug user for the behavior of a few.
The epidemiological data suffers from the well-known fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc. But, most compelling, the study by Schama et al. , which is mechanistic (rather than epidemiological), has good controls, employs more than adequate variation in conditions, subjects the young monkeys to a wide range of accepted psychological tests, and is being performed using the strictest scientific procedures to avoid an embarrassment when it is subjected to (expected) harsh scrutiny by drug warriors subsequent to publication, this study, I say, pretty much shows that there is no such thing as crack babies. I have known this for years from vast personal, albeit anecdotal, experience, namely, nearly daily observation of the pregnant mothers throughout their pregnancies – observations that the drug warriors never have at their disposal. The plain truth about much science funded by the public is that it can be replaced without loss by introspection and casual observation. This is especially true of the so-called social sciences and a large part of medical research even. I do not intend to tar everyone with the same brush. Notable and laudable exceptions exist. However, research that is sponsored by government agencies or other parties with vested interest in the outcome, e.g., a study of the carcinogenic effects of chemicals sponsored by Dow and DuPont, is not science!
This, again, is the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. Drug users almost never abuse children. Poverty abuses children. Capitalism abuses children. Instances of child abuse by drug users must be so rare that to punish every drug user for their crimes is an outrageous abuse of law. Punish child abusers when they abuse children – if the government has the remotest idea what constitutes child abuse, which I doubt. This, by the way, is an equivocal way of using the term abuse in a booklet that employs the term drug abuse. What do they mean, then by drug abuse? Striking a pill with a blunt instrument or merely yelling at a bag of cocaine? These people are such terrible liars and morons. They deserve our utmost contempt. (This paper is not calculated to make friends among them. To the drug warriors, as W.C. Fields would say, “I hate you!”)
The horror stories can be attributed one-by-one to the War on Drugs and, of course, Capitalism, itself, which is behind the War. I suppose the rich old men are afraid that young hip drug users might refuse once more to dress up in soldier suits and go out and be killed (and kill those with whom they share the same old men as enemies) to make the old men and their families richer still at the expense of themselves and their own families. I find it ironic that, in the case of our armed aggression against the people of Viet Nam, our boys went out as squares and came back hip junkies, knowing the score even if it cost them a limb or two, unless, of course, they were killed – or, rather, murdered by the same company that brings you, now, The Drug War, in living color.
The DEA paragraph on this topic begins by asserting that a large percentage (how large?) of automobile accidents in the U.S. is caused by marijuana. They think they know this – or, perhaps, they think they can convince us of this – by doing drug testing after the accident. This is post hoc ergo propter hoc, which proves nothing; it doesn’t even give us a clue. What percentage of drivers who didn’t get in accidents were high on grass? I’ll tell you what: I’ll put my bunch of vipers, higher than kites, in a driving contest against a random bunch of squares. I’m not going to let you employ the Penske team, naturally, that’s why I say random. It is easy to design a fair experiment to determine if drug use causes impairment of driving skills, for example; however, no such experiment will be conducted. The authorities will not provide immunity, remove the stigma, the social expectations, and past demonization and scapegoating of drugs and drug users.
Contrary to the DEA claim, the Conrail accident probably had nothing to do with pot. I say this with confidence. No one has even remotely proved that it did. Would you like to discuss the evidence? No unbiased scientific experiment has ever been carried out to study the effects of drugs! Nor is it likely that such an experiment can or will be carried out until drugs are legalized and drug use is normalized.
The last statement in the (DEA) paragraph under consideration is just plain ludicrous on the face of it. That’s why we know these drug warriors are plain old-fashioned liars – desperately trying to hold on to their lucrative (very lucrative, I opine) jobs that are not and never were needed. Can you say parasite? Here’s the statement: “Furthermore, a study conducted by Stanford University found that twenty-four hours after smoking one joint, pilots could not safely land a plane.” The reference is the Drug Awareness Information Newsletter, undoubtedly another bunch of liars, but certainly not a reviewed scientific journal. Now, after making a sensational claim like this, why wouldn’t they give us a reference to the actual study? Twenty-four hours after smoking a joint, hardly anyone can distinguish a difference from the way he felt before he smoked the joint. Given this indisputable everyday fact, why should we ever get in a plane knowing that the pilot is unable to discern by feelings alone whether he is capable of landing it? How did they get permission to carry out this test legally? Who would carry it out illegally? I know the president of Stanford might divert research funds to luxuries for his personal use, but illegally fly planes ... ? This is the dumbest thing in the book! (The only reason I am bothering with people whose only logic is bullets is that I promised someone I would do it.) The people who wrote this book are dishonest. Go ahead sue me for libel. It ain’t libel if it’s true. (Any suggested advocacy anywhere in this paper – or in any other paper by this author – of illegal acts by the author or others is to be construed as humor, naturally.)
The DEA claims that drugs cost the nation money due to lost productivity. This reveals, already, an unclear concept of economics, but the reader must read my other papers to learn economics. (If you learned economics from Samuelson, you don’t know economics.) But, I’ll leave economics out of it. Proponents of the American economic system (quasi-Capitalism) don’t seem to understand that the lives of working people have no extrinsic purpose. People are not here to be exploited by entrepreneurs, to designate employers as charitably as I can. People belong to themselves. We better ask ourselves why people who take drugs often lose all interest in their employers’ agendas. Isn’t it clear that the fault lies with the work, the workplaces, and the bosses, not with drugs! Further, the remarks above concerning the lack of any scientific evidence continue to apply to performance in the workplace.
The DEA is not clear how these higher taxes come about. I shall argue in a moment that it is unlikely that the higher taxes are needed to benefit drug users. I hope I have made it abundantly clear that the purpose of a human life is not to be of the greatest possible service to the State, which might include paying taxes. I shall have to await a cogent argument from the DEA (or one of its pawns) before I can say what I think of it.
Since we have no decent scientific evidence that links workplace accidents to drug use, we shall rule out that factor. (Certainly, the most dangerous corporate policy in the chemical industry, with which I am familiar, is hiring contract workers who cannot read the language in which the safety and operating manuals are written. This has resulted in many horrible catastrophes. Probably, chemical plants need to be much smaller to lessen the scope of the harm done by mishaps. Currently, plants are large enough to wipe out entire cities, cf., Bhopal.)
If we are to believe the DEA, many drug users will not be receiving health insurance benefits due to their own choice, but we Americans have not enacted equal opportunity legislation to prevent unfair and unconstitutional employment discrimination against drug users who are as competent as anyone whether they are stoned at work or not. Drugs enhance performance. That’s why most major-league baseball players used drugs before the country returned to the Dark Ages, cf., Jim Bouton . Also, if the DEA wants to claim that drug users have shorter life spans, they must admit as well that they will require health care for a shorter period. Also, many drug users don’t avail themselves of the medical establishment at all. After all, they are into self-medication, are they not? To carry that point further still, if people could write their own prescriptions, medical costs and, concomitantly, the incomes of physicians would be reduced. For my first paper on drugs , I interviewed a drug user who wishes to boycott doctors. In that paper, I make practically the complete case for complete legalization and decontrol of all drugs. If you had read it, as you should have, we might not need to have this discussion so many years later as there would be nothing to discuss. Nevertheless, I am pleased to record my latest thinking on the subject for my own personal records. Suppose, for example, that a person is willing to sign an affidavit that he will never avail himself of the health-care system, except for the pharmaceutical sector (and of course the textbook publishing and sales business). In that case, would the DEA (or Congress) be willing to permit him to prescribe for himself? Finally, in the unlikely event that drugs kill a user, the death is swift, normally, and, therefore, inexpensive!
“In short, few people use the Individual Autonomy argument any more because it is painfully obvious that drug use affects not only the individual user, but also the user’s family, innocent third parties, and society as a whole.” We shall need many more words than this to establish our rebuttal, but not only because the DEA expects the American people to be incredibly stupid and, of course, they will not be disappointed. In America, independent thought has been wiped out by insidious propaganda techniques learned from Madison Avenue with the full force of the academic social science establishment in the vanguard. (How do professors shave themselves in the morning? After only a few years, I became so ashamed of my (academic) calling that I could not go on, even though I thought that I needed the money.) The Sufis, an amusing little free-thinking off-shoot of Islam, ask, “Are people really as stupid as we say they are?” Absolutely, as they demonstrate persuasively.
I first wish to comment on the gratuitous use of the expression “painfully obvious”. This is simply infuriating, as no valid evidence has been given. Not only is it not obvious, it is not even true. In mathematics, we would call this handwaving. It’s what you do when you have forgotten the proof or no proof exists. To use this argument to suspend constitutional guarantees, one would have to show that this “effect” occurs in every case, and that the effect is bad, and that the drug user is somehow in the wrong to create this effect. I wish to discuss the effect on the family first.
We may safely disregard the possibility that the effect involves violence as we have no evidence that drug use is responsible for violence with a non-negligible frequency of occurrence. On the contrary, drug users are more gentle, sensitive, and caring than the public at large. I have drawn up a list of complaints made by the wife of a friend of mine. I shall pretend that I am he. When I say “my wife”, I mean “his wife”. I shall suppose that my children would not come up with complaints substantially different from these. I distinguish between imaginary offenses, such that the “victim” would not be inconvenienced if her attitude were at least different if not more correct, and actual offenses, such that the state of mind of the victim has no bearing on the “abuse” she must suffer. I have used the analogy of the mother whose son is homosexual, in which her suffering depends entirely on her state of mind and has nothing to do with his behavior.
1. Fear for my health. Not really valid as she refuses to respect my dietary needs, which have an immediate and permanent effect on my health.
2. She objects to what she perceives as unattractive and bizarre behavior manifested when I’m stoned and which she finds embarrassing. Sounds pretty subjective to me. When I get stoned, I become preoccupied with art, literature, mathematics, and, music. I look distracted, particularly when I am interrupted. I am at work and, therefore, my long and enduring faithful devotion to my wife, although always strong and sustaining, is, perforce, in the background. Interruptions, therefore, cause me confusion, which might be mistaken for idiocy by a person who has never experienced an obsession. I have no idea what I look like, but it probably bears comparison to the crazy artist or mad scientist stereotyped unfavorably in our commercial movies. Of course, even geniuses don’t get the respect due them from their wives – or their valets. How can that fat slob who belches at the dinner table be in a class with Einstein or Beethoven? I wonder what Bach’s wife called him when the children weren’t around, which, come to think of it, must have been infrequently in his case.
Mrs. Bach – “Hey, [ironically] maestro, you left the lid up on the toilet seat again. Honestly, I don’t know why I married you; you can’t do one single thing right. Mrs. Handel’s husband just bought her a new dish washer, but what do I get from you – another grosse fugue, you bum.”
Bach – “Yes, dear, you’re perfectly right, dear, I’m listening to every word you say, dear; I’ll get to it the first thing in the morning; but, if you’ll give me half a sec, I’ll put the finishing touches on this cantata and then take out the garbage. [sotto voce] What the hell is she talking about now? Goddam alto clef, let’s see – F-A-C-E-G. [loudly] Yes, dear, right away, dear. [sotto voce] No respect! And I think she’s pregnant again. That little bastard Carl [his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach] ate all my morphine suppositories, again. Why me! [loudly] No, dear, you do not smell pot.”
3. Maybe taking drugs is immoral. Well, that’s what the DEA, other authoritarians, and the liquor and cigarette lobby are spending a fortune to induce her to think, but I don’t think she’s that stupid. No, that’s not a problem for us. In any case, I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to show that taking drugs is not immoral . What is immoral is trying to stop someone from taking drugs! My wife would not be in a position to criticize my morals as she puts meat products on my plate, rarely but sometimes, even though I have expressed my moral outrage at the killing of animals for food, not to mention the horrible treatment of many animals prior to slaughter, cf., large chicken “plants”. Eating meat really is immoral, however I have not forcibly prevented anyone from doing it nor have I exacted punishment from those who do. If this drug war continues, that will undoubtedly change, although not because of any direct action on my part.
4. What will the neighbors, her parents, her employers, and co-workers think? Well, that’s the same problem as above, but why should she care what people think!
5. Danger from the police. Well, yes, that’s what we’re trying to fix.
6. Danger in the Third Ward, a Black ghetto. Ditto.
7. I earn less money when I take drugs. I don’t earn any money in any case. But, to tell the truth, I usually don’t take drugs when I am employed. It’s really too complicated and, since I can take them or leave them according to my inclinations and the circumstances, I choose not to take them when engaged in certain activities, but I have never said I would not ever take them again. I have never repudiated drugs. That would be dreadful.
8. I am less productive on drugs. Absolutely and categorically false. While, it is true that I don’t design chemical plants on drugs, I could if I wanted to, provided I worked at home, the way things are nowadays, which we are trying to fix. I don’t watch professional football or junk movies when I’m using drugs, but I get more done by orders of magnitude and my work is far superior to anything I can do without drugs. That includes mathematics, any type of problem solving, philosophy (old-fashioned “big philosophy” – original philosophy, music theory and practice, craftsmanship, housework and home repairs, writing, study, financial transactions (yes, I do financial transactions, just like ordinary folks and I do live in the world), driving a car (long-distance travel), photography, graphic arts (modeling), and sex (if sex may be called work). I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things. But, basically, I can do anything on drugs.
9. I don’t eat well when I’m stoned. Oh, that it were true! I gained four pounds over a two-day period the last time I got high. Heroin improves my appetite tremendously and cocaine does not attenuate it. Sometimes I may get absorbed in my work and skip lunch, but I always sit down with my wife for the (obligatory) family evening meal. I may eat differently as I am trying very hard to avoid meat. My wife cannot seem to understand that I object to killing animals for food on moral grounds.
10. She likes to have things her way, which includes me. I have been subjected to a remodeling agenda from the beginning; and, believe it or not, I have changed considerably to accommodate my wife’s design. I think many women commit to men under the assumption that, although men are not satisfactory as they are found in nature, it won’t take long to change them into whatever the women want! I believe this is a proverb.
11. She likes me better when I’m not high. This is a matter of taste and tolerance for what does not correspond to what we would wish for. I was high when she met me and it was some time before she saw me when I was not high. If I didn’t suit her tastes, that was the time to do something about it, However, in those days I did not object to sacred pledges and we pledged ourselves to each other without any conditions.
12. Drugs are too expensive. Amen. I could synthesize or grow any drug I need to take. I do not believe taking legalized drugs would be a financial burden, especially if I could make some for my friends.
13. I could lose the car if I am arrested for drugs while I’m using it. This is unfair, unconstitutional (due process violation), and must be changed.
14. When I take drugs, our family is not like the TV family we are indoctrinated to want to emulate, presumably, to support the environmentally catastrophic consumer culture. Thank God for drugs, because, if I did not take drugs, there, but for the grace of God, go we.
15. When I am high on drugs, I frequently get wrapped up in my arts, viz., music and literature. At last, we come to what I believe is the real reason my wife doesn’t want me to take drugs. Music and literature take me away from her, at least temporarily. Women fear these rivals more than they fear other women. As Duke Ellington put it musically, “A drum is a woman.” W. Somerset Maugham claims that women hate art . Mark Hecker, the guitarist and graphic artist, once quipped, “I have never been in a situation where music was being played, women were present, and they did not do everything in their power to destroy (stop) the music.” I think we have arrived at the sad and unfortunate truth. Thus, it is the drug taker whose freedom is being abrogated by his wife. This is classic. And, as usual, the authoritarians (read Conservatives if you wish) turn the truth into its opposite. This book by the DEA is a handbook of lies. [It’s worse than the Bible, which I always thought was the epitome of falsehood. Moses spoke to God. Oh, sure.]
The DEA points are easy to answer. Use the Fletcher Doctrine described earlier. Remember that we insist that people may not be punished for doing harm until they actually do harm. This does not remove the element of prevention, which remains education – not propaganda but education. Read the definition of “education” in a good dictionary such as the Random House . Condemn Dram Shop Laws. The function of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is to advise not control. Thus, hopelessly ill people could try anything with a full knowledge of the risks. The DEA does not present difficult problems in this chapter.
I do not use this argument. Nevertheless, as an exercise, the reader may look for errors in the DEA logic.
Again, I do not use this argument. Be careful here, though, because, if the purpose of the DEA is to demonize drugs, drug users, and drug dealers, they are very successful. Of course, they can never stop the flow of drugs, but they may not claim that that is their objective. They are making it plenty tough for many users, which, of course, we view as immoral, wicked, and, indeed, illegal. Threaten them with class-action libel if you wish. If they think about it, they may be worried. David Robinson in his sneaker ad was definitely guilty of libel and would have lost in a fair trial. Nowadays, one never knows who the jury may be and any verdict is possible! This is an important point and the tyranny better start worrying about it. I conclude with my seven-point post-prohibition plan. Obviously, my major thrust was the constitutional and moral issue, which they have said nobody uses anymore! That’s only the main issue. Next comes terrorism and selective assassinations if the tyranny persists. That Pablo Escabar sure knew how to treat authoritarian public officials. Well, we have to get their attention. Of course, we do not condone violence and we will repeat that as often as necessary. Any allusions to violence are in the nature of humor or, at their most drastic, represent dire predictions of events we would do anything to prevent. Insist on this. We never discuss anything more drastic than an occasional dirty trick that we would never play on anyone. We only mention these tactics to express our good-natured joviality, as we are the last people on earth who will lose their sense of humor.
My new plan for post-prohibition society consists of the following: (1) an equal-rights amendment for drug users, (2) teaching people how to live with drugs, to choose them wisely, and to use them properly (to get the most out of them and to prevent accidents, disease, and unpleasant side-effects), (3) new opportunities for drug users, heteroclites, and other people who are “different” to make contributions to society in appropriate nonstandard settings including settings where one can work while using drugs, (4) during the transition, reparations for victims of the laws against drugs amounting to whatever they need to live abundantly, and (5) free informal counseling for troubled or troublesome drug users by drug users.
Since, it must be admitted, some people who are taking drugs might like to stop – even in a normalized society, I propose two additional “points”: (6) institutions like commercial hotels that cost no more than hotels and that have all the amenities of hotels and more, e.g., VCRs and videotape libraries and books, except that the (voluntary) guest may not leave for a fixed period of time agreed upon in advance (by the guest) nor indulge in certain drugs beyond agreed upon limits, which might be monotonically decreasing. Rural locations might provide better settings with lower real estate costs offset by higher transportation costs. Only one “medical” “professional” per shift would be needed, namely, to dispense medicine. I can say truthfully that I would trust any drug dealer I have known to perform that job – except for one, who was generous to a fault. Vouchers could be provided for those who can't pay. And, finally, (7) new drugs that prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings may be used (voluntarily), if they exist. Such claims have been made lately for the drug ibogaine (17), but, unless the costs are reduced or borne by the state, it will not be widely used. Also, the claims may not be true – or not true in an acceptable mode; i.e., the effectiveness of ibogaine may depend on “religious” faith, which might diminish the humanity of the patient. Moreover, those who have been “cured” by ibogaine may have merely transferred their allegiance to a new drug, which, in the case of ibogaine, is long lasting (six months or longer) – at first, but which, after repeated doses, might “need” to be used more frequently. Lately, similar effects have been ascribed to the South American drug yage or one of its derivatives. Actually, the possibility of switching to a new drug is included under points (2) and (5) above.
1. Uspenskii, P. D., In Search of the Miraculous, Harcourt-Brace, New York (1949).
2. Wayburn, Thomas L, “The Case For Drug Legalization And Decontrol In The United States”, American Policy Institute, Houston (1990).
3. Russell, Bertrand, “A History of Western Philosophy”, Simon and Schuster, New York (1972).
4. Goodman, Robert, “Addiction?”, in The Great Issues of Drug Policy, Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese, Eds., The Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C. (1990).
5. Wayburn, Thomas L, On the Preservation of Species, American Policy Institute, Houston (Work in progress, 1996).
6. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Lawrence Urdang, Editor in Chief, Random House, New York (1968).
7. Akers, Ronald L., “Addiction: The Troublesome Concept”, The J. of Drug Issues, 21, No.4, p.777 (1991).
8. Wayburn, Thomas L., “Fallacies and Unstated Assumptions in Prevention and Treatment,” in The Great Issues of Drug Policy, Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese, Eds., The Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C. (1990).
9. Henman, Anthony Richard, “Coca: An Alternative to Cocaine,” in Drug Policy 1889-1990, A Reformer's Catalogue, Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese, Eds., The Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C. (1989).
10. Schama, Kevin F. et al., “Postnatal Growth of Rhesus Monkeys Exposed Prenatally to Cocaine”, Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, New York, NY, August, 1995.
11. Chomsky, Noam, World Orders, Old and New, Columbia University Press, New York (1994).
12. Chomsky, Noam, What Uncle Sam Really Wants, Odonian Press, Berkeley (1992).
13. Chomsky, Noam, Deterring Democracy, Verso, New York (1991).
14. Wayburn, Thomas L, “American Myths and Higher Education”, American Policy Institute, Houston (1990).
15. Bouton, Jim, Ball Four and Ball Five, Edited by Leonard Shecter, Stein and Day, New York (1981).
16. Maugham, W. Somerset, Ashdenen: or the Secret Service, Doubleday Doran, Garden City, NY (1941).
17. Lotsof, Howard, “Ibogaine: An Open Letter,” Truth Seeker, Vol.117, No.5 (1990).
March 28, 1990
P. O. Box 5966
Columbia, SC 29250
Dear Mr. Buckley,
I suspect that many great and famous men do not get to see the mail addressed to them. In case this is being read by someone who is considering not letting Mr. Buckley see it, let me caution against that idea. Whether I receive a reply or not, I will assume that Mr. Buckley is aware of the arguments expressed in this letter and in the enclosed paper, "The Case for Drug Legalization and Decontrol in the United States." Any future deeds or words by Mr. Buckley in connection with this debate will be construed in the light of this. Whereas it would be an injustice to Mr. Buckley to assume that he had ignored convincing arguments if his staff had not permitted him to see them, the blame would reside with his staff. I wish I knew how to say that better in fewer words, then I could begin all letters to the high and mighty with a stock paragraph – like the warning on a package of cigarettes.
That said, I would like to comment on the special edition of “Firing Line” with the debate on drug legalization, although I tuned in a little late and had to turn it off 15 minutes early to go to bed. It seems that none of the pro-legal team could answer Rangel's point that we should try prevention and treatment before legalization. Also, his observation that we have not addressed the social causes of improper drug use, e.g., poverty, was detrimental to the pro-legal side. So, when I tuned out, the prohibitionists had won the debate.
The pro-legal side deserved to lose because they did not produce the most important arguments for legalization, the points covered in my paper, the addendum, and my letters to the Drug Policy Foundation (DPF), which might make sense to someone who had read the DPF Newsletter (in particular, one of them destroys Judge Sweet's position). Since I covered basically everything, let me single out the crucial points, namely, those that destroy Rangel's position. Also, before I forget, why in the world wasn't the anti-prohibition side adequately represented? Didn't you consult Arnold Trebach? If you did, why didn't Arnold get someone who supports the following points (not me, I can't appear on television; however, I am willing to debate anyone, anytime, anywhere in the print media, including you):
1. The laws against drugs are unconstitutional on the basis of (i) the First Amendment (the laws are essentially of a religious nature), (ii) the Ninth Amendment (proceeding from rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness), and (iii) violation of due process (“abuse” is undefined, as pointed out by Dr. Robert Goodman).
2. Prevention and treatment are based on fallacies and unstated assumptions, namely, (i) drugs are bad for everyone, (ii) drug abuse is a disease, not is like a disease but is a disease, to name only two.
3. Prevention and treatment won't work, mainly for the reasons stated in (2). You continued to emphasize that prevention and treatment won't get the criminals out of the drug trade, which is one of your main concerns, and certainly a valid concern, but the thrust of the argument fails because no one could prove that Rangel's plan wouldn't dry up the demand.
I am interested in obtaining a transcript of the debate; but, by the time you have read this, I will have spoken to “Firing Line” and obtained my copy if it is at all possible. I am preparing another paper for the DPF. (Part of the enclosed paper is in Drug Policy 1989-1990, A Reformer's Catalogue, Chapter 6 .) The new paper is to be entitled “Unstated Assumptions and Fallacies in Prevention and Treatment.”  Perhaps you would like a copy?
Thomas L. Wayburn
Note to the reader (4-30-96): Buckley did not request a copy of Reference 2; however, he did read Reference 1, at least as much of it “as he had time for”. He accepted my position in that paper but without excessive enthusiasm. Nowadays, one no longer expects famous men and women who dabble in essay writing to exclaim, “My Heavens, this is the greatest essay I have ever read, at least the best I have read lately. Why is this writer not recognized? I shall do whatever I can to bring this great talent to the attention of the reading public.” I don’t believe anyone (save myself alone) would do that even for his own son. Hey, it’s a jungle out there.
1. Wayburn, Thomas L., “No One Has a Right To Impose an Arbitrary System of Morals on Others,” in Drug Policy 1889-1990, A Reformer's Catalogue, Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese, Eds., The Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C. (1989).
2. Wayburn, Thomas L., “Fallacies and Unstated Assumptions in Prevention and Treatment,” in The Great Issues of Drug Policy, Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese, Eds., The Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, D.C. (1990).
William Rowan Hamilton, physicist
Richard Feynman, physicist
Sigmund Freud, social scientist
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet and critic
William Halsted, physician and educator, founder of Johns Hopkins Medical School
Edgar Allen Poe, writer
Louis Armstrong, musician
Charlie Parker, musician
John Coltrane, musician
nearly every jazz musician of the seminal period of jazz
LaMont Young, conceptual artist, musician
Vincent Van Gogh, painter
Paul Gauguin, painter
Benjamin Franklin, statesman and physicist
Babur, the first of the great Moguls and conqueror of India
William Burroughs, writer
Jack Kerouac, writer
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, politician
Robin Williams, comedian and actor
Aldous Huxley, writer
Oliver Wendell Holmes, physician, poet, writer
William James, psychologist and philosopher
Cary Grant, actor
Steve Jobs, entrepreneur
Kerry Mullis, chemist
Allen Ginsberg, poet
William Kunstler, lawyer
Paul Krassner, comedian, writer, publisher
Gertrude Stein, intellectual
Andy Warhol, cinematographer, artist
to be continued
Begun: February 28, 1996
Finished: May 1, 1996.
Appendix C. The Laws Against Drugs and the War on Drugs Rather Than the Use of Drugs Per Se Are Responsible for Most (Almost All) Deaths Associated with Drugs.
We may place deaths associated with drugs in categories that should be nearly exhaustive. If someone takes exception to the proposition that forms the title of this section and names a category not on my list, I am prepared to deal with that category at any time the detractor wishes. (I am prepared to defend my viewpoint against all comers at any time and any place provided the debate be fair; e.g., I must be allowed as much time as I need to make my points or my rebuttals to my opponents points regardless of the exigencies of television or other broadcast medium. Nothing could be more outrageous than placing time limits on a debate of this importance. I don’t care if regular programming has to be suspended for a year. The airwaves are a public trust and must serve the needs of the people and the people desperately need rational debate on public issues.] The categories are as follows:
Murders perpetrated by debtors and creditors in the drug trade
Murders associated with the battle for market share
Deaths due to marketing in general and advertising in particular
Deaths due to conspiracies or the ultimate conspiracy, a monopoly on the sale of a specific drug
Deaths due to overdoses, substituted chemicals, impurities, and unexpected effects
Crimes of passion of which people who don’t take drugs are incapable
Deaths due to physical impairment
These are rare and, in any case, are of much smaller scope, than accidents occurring in the commercial pharmaceutical business. Thus, legality might increase the number of such deaths, but in the same way that the manufacture of a cure for cancer would. We would not be against a cure for cancer just because, in the normal course of operations, accidents do occur wherever chemicals are present.
On December 12, 1995, an article about a three-year old child who was killed in the crossfire associated with the an unpayable drug debt appeared in The Houston Chronicle. Undoubtedly, the intention of the article was to demonize drug users and sellers further; but the fact is that, due to the illegality of drugs, creditors and debtors do not have access to the normal legal procedures associated with debt. Thus, the laws against drugs are the culprit.
When drugs are legal no premium is added to compensate the dealer for additional risk. Further, in the case of the most popular illegal drugs research costs are virtually nonexistence because of thousands of years of experience available at no cost to anyone. Thus, manufacturers do not have to add a premium to recoup the cost of research as must be done in the case of Zantac, for example. The low price justifies drug stores in refusing to extend credit for a bottle of aspirins, say. Therefore, it is the laws against drugs that allow debt and credit with its concomitant disputation into the picture.
Whereas, it must be admitted that the civil courts are not a realistic remedy for most people who are involved in business disputes, including the great number that arise due to debt, such recourse as they do afford is a slight deterrent to violence. We all know that a broken knee cap is a much more effective expedient in the case where one feels he has been unjustly treated or, if one retains bourgeois values, a punch in the nose.
It is but a poor business indeed, whose solvency depends on the performance of a single account, although, to be sure, such single-client businesses do exist and, undoubtedly a ruined tradesman has from time to time dispatched the perceived cause of his ruin in a fit of pique – if that is not too mild a word.
I believe the battles for market share among the robber barons are sufficiently well documented that no one need doubt that, if you did not sell your upstart gas station to Standard Oil at the price they suggested, it would be blown sky high regardless of who got hurt. In the “old” days, i.e., the days of John D. Rockefeller, who has living great-grandchildren if not living grandchildren, the establishment got established by playing hardball – no less hard than the drive-by shootings in the ‘hood’. If these were the old days, we might not expect to see the violence surrounding the drug trade go down just because drug traffickers were made “legit” by virtue of legislative fiat. But, these are not the “old days”.
The above title is an example of irony in its most bitter form. The very “highest” class of people in our country, the real plutocracy, do not in general tolerate competition from “upstarts”. If a large drug company were manufacturing cocaine for the mass market and I should attempt to enter the market by selling a purer, cleaner product by mail-order through my web site on the internet at no profit but at a lower cost than the big company, the big company would turn its lawyers on me like a pack of killer dogs. They might try to get me on “look-alike” charges; they might try to dig up something in my past that could be used against me; they might try to get me kicked off the internet; and I can’t imagine what else they might do; but, and this is most important, they probably would not have me murdered like they used to do in the old days. Thus, violence associated with the struggle for market share would take a different form from the violence in the neighborhoods between rival street gangs who wish to sell “crack” in a city park.
It is probably safe to say that all marketers practice fraud to some extent and that every advertisement at the mass market level (not a child advertising for homes for some of his cat’s kittens) is deceptive if it is not in such incredibly bad taste that young children raised on television can no longer tell the difference between fine art and meaningless garbage.
In a normalized, legal drug market, the people must take precautions against conspiracies of all types, including total monopolies. But, drug production is not such an arcane art that people cannot manage to carry it forward in their garages and basements even if they are producing effectively for themselves alone. The danger of industrial monopolies is a political problem or, as the Unabomber would put it, an industrial problem. Frankly, I don’t see the difference. People who get stoned are guaranteed to make better political decisions than those who don’t, which is yet another point for legalization, which should reduce the violence normally associated with the formation and destruction of conspiracies and monopolies.
We must demand high-quality drugs, carefully and truthfully labeled. This can be done, in the beginning by a government bureau; but, as the profit motive disappears, government regulation will gradually become unnecessary, as who would perpetrate evil for no advantage to himself when the rewards of virtue for its own sake are right before his eyes. Thus, most of the deaths caused by drugs will be eliminated by avoiding (i) overdoses that occur because the user is used to weak dope and accidentally gets some that has not been cut very much – either intentionally or by accident, (ii) drugs containing harmful impurities (information on how to produce high-quality drugs will be widely disseminated without government interference), and (iii) drugs will not be mislabeled – neither intentionally to defraud the consumer nor accidentally through carelessness and/or ignorance. These are the most important ways in which the laws against drugs kill.
If a person takes a drug that enables him to experience deep passion of which he is not capable otherwise, he is nowise more culpable than a naturally deeply passionate person who exhibits the same behavior. The test of whether his behavior qualifies as passion is the observation of the person on the identical dosage of the identical drug but not exhibiting the passion. If such a time comes, we know that the passion was not caused by the drug but, rather, was triggered by an insult, a sexual provocation, or some other external stimulus. The drug, then, merely permits an inhibited person to experience the depth of feeling that is his due as a sentient being and a child of God – a feeling that is experienced normally under the same circumstances by a natural person. The tragedy of a sick society that kills natural impulses in men and women is not something for which a person may be punished if he merely discards the binding neurosis by means of a conscious shock.
The man who is capable of deep feeling and correspondingly violent action is healthier than the man who is incapable of feeling deeply and takes no steps to free himself from the shackles imposed by an insane society. This analysis can be applied to nearly every form of violent crime. The criminal bears less guilt than all but the most spiritual of souls – actually the truly enlightened who can transcend the world completely and must be a rare species indeed. But, the enlightenment of the spiritual sage is no substitute for the political change needed to make society rational and just, such that people who are truly alive needn’t be bound and gagged like animals by the oppressors and their willing dupes, who, of course, are victims as well. Conservatives will recognize this as the typical liberal notion that society is at fault for the behavior of criminals. It is stated here without reservations, qualification, or, needless to say, apologies of any kind. It is the plain truth and easy to prove, as I have done in Chapter 4 of Reference 1, my large work in progress, of which the first part, which includes Chapter 4, is available from the American Policy Institute, Inc.
As stated in my rebuttal of the DEA argument, drug-induced crime is largely a myth. The DEA has no case here. The constitutional rights of (otherwise) law abiding citizens may not be denied due to the behavior of a few exceptional people who would probably commit crimes with or without drugs. No scientifically verified mechanistic link has been established between taking drugs and committing crimes.
No such link may be assumed until a valid scientific experiment proves its existence. No such experiment has been performed. Always drugs are placed in a singularly disadvantageous position, thus ensuring the results desired by the biased pseudo-scientists. (A true scientist must be absolutely fair if not completely disinterested. It is practically impossible to find a disinterested scientist and, if he could be found, who would fund his research?)
The above is merely a repetition of more complete statements made earlier.
Prohibitionists are fond of citing studies that demonstrate how inept we become when we take drugs. These studies are normally conducted by people whose funding comes from those with a vested interest in positive results, i.e., showing that impairment does indeed exist. By definition, these are not scientific studies as scientific studies are performed by disinterested people who are just as willing to be proved wrong as right, nay, more willing – as the falsification of a scientific hypothesis is more likely to lead to new and interesting results than a corroboration, e.g., Michelson-Morley. In a sense, every experiment is designed to prove a hypothesis false. But, those who accept funding from “interested” parties are already tainted and we should discount their findings one hundred percent. (Personally, I advocate spitting in their faces and cutting them dead in public – “cutting”, that is, in the old-fashioned sense of high-class snobbery. Normally, I am as egalitarian as the next chap; but, in the case of those who drag our noblest institutions in the mud, I am willing to make an exception – with the greatest of regrets, of course.)
Let me give an example (from the main text) provided by the Drug Enforcement Agency:
The last statement in the (DEA) paragraph under consideration is just plain ludicrous on the face of it. That’s why we know these drug warriors are plain old-fashioned liars – desperately trying to hold on to their lucrative (very lucrative, I opine) jobs that are not and never were needed. Can you say parasite? Here’s the statement: “Furthermore, a study conducted by Stanford University found that twenty-four hours after smoking one joint, pilots could not safely land a plane.” The reference is the Drug Awareness Information Newsletter, undoubtedly another bunch of liars, but certainly not a reviewed scientific journal. Now, after making a sensational claim like this, why wouldn’t they give us a reference to the actual study? Twenty-four hours after smoking a joint, hardly anyone can distinguish a difference from the way he felt before he smoked the joint. Given this indisputable everyday fact, why should we ever get in a plane knowing that the pilot is unable to discern by feelings alone whether he is capable of landing it? How did they get permission to carry out this test legally? Who would carry it out illegally? I know the president of Stanford might divert research funds to luxuries for his personal use, but illegally fly planes ... ?
Of all the drugs, that which impairs physical and mental faculties to the maximum extent possible is, of course, alcohol, which is not under discussion. Average doses of a few drugs can really get the subject whacked – notably Quaaludes, PCP, and most barbiturates under fairly common circumstances if the subject be not confined to bed. In the very first place, suppose that the menu of available drugs contain the entire pharmacopoeia. My claim is that the vast majority of users of these drugs will choose other drugs. (I can’t imagine anyone choosing phenobarbital when heroin is available; heroin does not cause impairment in the great preponderance of cases – quite the contrary.) For the very few who do not choose better drugs, I give you the Fletcher Doctrine, which belongs to legal philosophy. The Fletcher Doctrine states that, while the person who does the damage due to lack of self-possession under these drugs is not responsible for his actions, the person who decided to use those drugs of impairment is responsible for what his other self may have done. Is that clear? Responsibility is properly assigned; no one gets away with anything; and, in all probability, no more harm is done than in a society in which the only legal drug of impairment is alcohol. This should be an extremely rare class of unfortunate incidents with which we shall have to contend as best we can. It is nothing new and I don’t think we may punish the user of a drug of impairment until he causes damage – in keeping with Fletcher. (Don’t look now, but all those people who drove cars while they were drunk and did not do any harm have been improperly contemned – according to this entirely reasonable view.)
We have shown that in nearly all cases death would not have occurred if drugs were legal and freely available to everyone, provided, of course, that they are of high quality and properly labeled as to strength, recommended dosage, and with all information necessary to the user correctly supplied. We have many deaths attributed to alcohol, which is legal, but we claim that alcohol is a very bad drug that no reasonable person ought to prefer when a wide variety of alternative drugs is available. The same comment applies to many other inferior drugs and may even apply to crack cocaine. Thus, deaths due to drugs should be rare in a normalized, post-legalization society. We are left with an odd case or two where the Fletcher Doctrine must be applied, but we have satisfied our promise to prove the statement in the title; namely, the laws against drugs and the war on drugs rather than the use of drugs per se are responsible for most (almost all) deaths associated with drugs.
Finally, although it is easy to design a fair scientific experiment to test all of these observations, such an experiment cannot be performed until drugs are legal and normal and all of the stigma of drug taking has disappeared, at which time we shall have achieved our objective and the drug problem will be just another shameful chapter in human history.
1. Wayburn, Thomas L, On the Preservation of Species, American Policy Institute, Houston (Work in progress, 1996).
May 7, 1996
Title changed June 7, 1996