Jacqui Smith: Blithering Idiot

The Government has confirmed it will strengthen the laws against cannabis by reclassifying the drug from class C to class B.

For Fucks Sake! Fools, morons!

A wise man once wrote this:

In Oliver Cromwell\’s eloquent words, "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken" about the course you and President Bush urge us to adopt to fight drugs. The path you propose of more police, more jails, use of the military in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse. The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish.

You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve.

Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault.

Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

I append excerpts from a column that I wrote in 1972 on "Prohibition and Drugs." The major problem then was heroin from Marseilles; today, it is cocaine from Latin America. Today, also, the problem is far more serious than it was 17 years ago: more addicts, more innocent victims; more drug pushers, more law enforcement officials; more money spent to enforce prohibition, more money spent to circumvent prohibition.

Had drugs been decriminalized 17 years ago, "crack" would never have been invented (it was invented because the high cost of illegal drugs made it profitable to provide a cheaper version) and there would today be far fewer addicts. The lives of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent victims would have been saved, and not only in the U.S. The ghettos of our major cities would not be drug-and-crime-infested no-man\’s lands. Fewer people would be in jails, and fewer jails would have been built.

Columbia, Bolivia and Peru would not be suffering from narco-terror, and we would not be distorting our foreign policy because of narco-terror. Hell would not, in the words with which Billy Sunday welcomed Prohibition, "be forever for rent," but it would be a lot emptier.

Decriminalizing drugs is even more urgent now than in 1972, but we must recognize that the harm done in the interim cannot be wiped out, certainly not immediately. Postponing decriminalization will only make matters worse, and make the problem appear even more intractable.

Alcohol and tobacco cause many more deaths in users than do drugs. Decriminalization would not prevent us from treating drugs as we now treat alcohol and tobacco: prohibiting sales of drugs to minors, outlawing the advertising of drugs and similar measures. Such measures could be enforced, while outright prohibition cannot be. Moreover, if even a small fraction of the money we now spend on trying to enforce drug prohibition were devoted to treatment and rehabilitation, in an atmosphere of compassion not punishment, the reduction in drug usage and in the harm done to the users could be dramatic.

This plea comes from the bottom of my heart. Every friend of freedom, and I know you are one, must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence. A country in which shooting down unidentified planes "on suspicion" can be seriously considered as a drug-war tactic is not the kind of United States that either you or I want to hand on to future generations.

Why is it that we are ruled by morons?

10 thoughts on “Jacqui Smith: Blithering Idiot”

  1. From the BBC:

    Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said that, as its advice had been disregarded, ministers should disband the advisory council of experts and replace it with an advisory council of “tabloid newspaper editors”.

  2. “Why is it that we are ruled by morons?”

    Because they got bribed / blackmailed into upholding the prohibition because there is a huge illegal smuggling industry coining it, and certain countries have vested interests in keeping their ‘freedom fighters’ who depend financially on the prohibition, in money.[1]

    Next question?

    [1] I know it sounds kooky. But look at the relatively small amounts of business that the lobby is working hard on — d’you think the drug dealing division of the Taliban, Hezbollah and other ‘Friends’ has no lobby in Westminster?

  3. But the crazies don’t make any money out of weed – it’s mostly grown in disused houses over here or smuggled from Holland, with a bit smuggled from Morocco (which, although vaguely Arab, is not a hotbed of AQ).

    On heroin and cocaine, you might have a point…

  4. What about the Lebanese hash, that is sold as ‘soap bar’ in the UK? Hezbollah controls that trade, along with a good chunk of the smack trade in various regions of that area.

    Even if the mafia doesn’t produce the drug, the monopoly the government(s) hands these guys is still very profitable and they own the streets in many places, besides, even terrorists have to have some kind of paying job, so the prohibition which turns cheap crap into gold for no work at all (even better than flipping houses) is a very welcome ‘business aid’. If the government and opposition are both happy to bribe the Saudis and to nobble the judiciary, do you think they’ll say no to a bigger business than BAe or stop at writing laws to help the mob along? (guffaw)

    And yes, I meant to include coke and heroin here too, it’s big business and easy work too, Pakistan is only a flight away and Al-Quaeda and the Taleban always need money. There is also plenty of Marihuana growing in Afghanistan… quite a bit of it is finding it’s way here as herbal or resin too. It’s all one issue, drug dealers are not fussy as to what they sell.

    A sane Cannabis policy would be the beginning of the end of this easy money, once that prohibition falls to common sense, sanity is not far away when it comes to fixing smack and crack tragedies properly, without having the mafia take part in the project.

    (You’re not quite correct about Morocco, it’s rather infested with islamist bigots too, alas)

  5. Oh no…

    I don’t believe it…

    I’m turning into…Ian Paisley!

    I acn’t stop myself!


  6. And it is actually even more corrupting than just the policy on drugs.
    For apparently the police lobbied for it – as if they were legislators.
    And according to the Home office spokesman this afternoon, the police will be flexible about enforcement – so every opening for corruption or turning a blind eye, or for selecting candidates for persecution – will be used to benefit or target groups or individuals. Don’t annoy the boys in blue – they will find someone in your circle using drugs nd then enforce the law. You have been warned.

  7. 1) actually, I am correct about Morocco – there’s some Islamism there, but very limited AQ-style goings-on. I suspect this has something to do with the masses and the government both being highly aware of what happened in Algeria, and deeply unkeen to tolerate anything similar

    2) there is virtually no hash from Lebanon or Afghanistan on sale in the UK; it’s economically unviable to ship it given the low value-to-weight ratio, relatively high levels of enforcement, and the ease of domestic production. what you say may apply in eastern/southern Europe, but UK supply is as above. That’s why it’s almost impossible to buy anything here other than soap bar (which is Moroccan, not Lebanese) and strong, domestic-or-Dutch weed.

    3) if you want to sound like a serious commentator on drug policy, rather than the announcer in a 1930s Reefer Madness film, it’s generally advisable not to refer to cannabis as “Marihuana”.

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  9. ok, i agree 100% but labour sold out their roots under blair and made there deal with the corporate devil. are you really suprised that we have adapted to the american way, authority over comon sense?

    but heres the thing, why start with a cromwell quote? he closed down all the pubs and banned alcohol, seems a strange way to start the article

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