Stoners Don’t Make Drug Policy

2011 April 17

By Wesley M. Brown

I admit that I was surprised at the recent Roy/Mike exchange regarding the legalization of marijuana. Both presented what I consider to be excellent and rational reasons for its legality. If I didn’t know better, I’d be tempted to agree with them.

But their political and economic naïveté really has me stumped. Both sounded like twenty-something potheads arguing for legalization after partaking in a healthy smoke of Kabul purple tripweed and Doritos. “It’s all bullshit, Man, the government doesn’t want you to be aware.” “All the studies on weed are flawed so they won’t see the light of day.” “The drug companies won’t let it happen.”” Man, that’s some good shit.”

I start with the premise (as admittedly all my articles do) that government is a self-perpetuating monolith with no particular regard for the citizenry absent its interest to keep us docile and working to sustain it.  Its two basic aims are our obedience and our economic contributions to its sustenance and ultimately growth.

“KEEP QUIET”

The first premise is to ensure our obedience and docility. No matter what the anti-drug pawns might say, the War on Drugs and later the War on Terror were the two greatest diminutions of American liberty in the last 200 years. The War on Drugs allowed itself to dramatically increase the law enforcement presence on the federal, state, and local levels, all the while ensuring that the increased police presence would not only suppress the citizenry out of fear, but likewise and paradoxically ensure that drug supply and consumption would skyrocket. Much as Prohibition not only allowed crime to become “organized crime” but guaranteed that THE thing to do was find alcohol, so too the War on Drugs has institutionalized the same thing.

Since the presence of government in the War on Drugs increased the risk to suppliers, so too did the price increase. Simple drug pushers gave way to multi-million dollar operations over the last 30 years, and the constant threat of police pressure meant that producers had to be at least one step ahead of law enforcement, maybe more.

The increased police presence also guarantees that the average citizen is far less likely to oppose law enforcement. His police have done nothing but tell him that they, and they alone, are responsible from keeping him from drug lords. Additionally, police have adopted more of a paramilitary stance in recent years, employing all the uniforms, equipment, and tactics, of various secret police forces around the world. We may not have had much fear of the local beat cop in the 1950’s, but we sure as hell have reason to fear the 2:00 a.m. “No-Knock” search warrant but a bunch of black-suited and masked heavies with AR-15’s.

All of this taken together means that the average citizen is simply too afraid to confront his police on drug matters. He hears nothing but propaganda about drugs, and his police have all of the weapons and jackboots of the Gestapo. For these reasons, he will keep quiet.

“KEEP WORKING”

We all know that the Protestant work ethic is alive and well in the United States, particularly while our economy sucks. Our whole culture was premised on commerce from the very beginning, and it was and is imperative in a capitalist oligarchy that the producers keep producing.

Drugs are firstly a threat to our commercial economy because of perception. All recreational drugs typically alter our perception (good, bad, or indifferent), and that alteration usually means we cannot remain all worked up about serving our corporate masters. Who the hell wants to live the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in their middle management job after dropping acid or smoking weed? You can’t get that worked up about anything under those circumstances, and you might, God forbid, be tempted not to work at all.

This brings us to our second point. If I stop working, or even decrease my production, and am also decreasing the amount of revenue that the government realizes from my efforts. Less work means less tax from me and my employer, and the government cannot sustain itself long if we are all too stoned to work.

Of course, there have been exceptions. While cocaine was the big bugaboo in the 1980’s before crack was introduced, it still allowed its users to produce at their jobs, perhaps even moreso. It was only after prolonged use that their effectiveness was compromised, and the solution was only a stint at rehab away.

Alcohol is and was another exception. Functioning alcoholics are everywhere, and it is only the occasional alcoholic who really hits rock bottom and messes up his job. Otherwise, just keep working.

Prescription abuse is the new cocaine, as most of the good drugs are synthetic opiates. However, since most of us do not work with heavy machinery any more, the average office or service worker can easily sustain an opiate addiction, and their insurance company will subsidize 90% of the cost. Many, if not most, can be addicted to synthetic opiates for many years (never mind the damage to their livers), and can still maintain their level of production fairly well.

Thus, from the government’s perspective, so long as we keep working, it will allow us to indulge in many legal and illegal recreational substances so long as we remain economically productive.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. April 17, 2011

    First and foremost, it wasn’t just a Mike/Roy discussion about legalization (and, truth be told, it wasn’t just about legalization of pot). You were actually involved in the discussion along with many other proto Moose. After I read more than the first paragraph of your article, I’ll be back for more.

  2. wes permalink
    April 18, 2011

    Point taken Mike. Had a read to the end of the string I would have seen my own comments about the historical reasons for criminalization of marijuana. This does not change my opinions that I recently posted but I will help myself to another serving of crow.

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