Pubdate: August 2000
Source: Liberty Magazine (US)
Copyright: 2000 Liberty Foundation
Contact:  Box 1118, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Author: Matthew Hine


Paul Rako's article ("McCaffrey's Brain on Drugs," June) was not kind. If
McCaffrey understood the havoc his positions cause, he could not continue as
the drug czar in good conscience. I'm sure that, in his own way, Hitler was
also a nice man who wanted to do good. But suggesting that Mr. McCaffrey is
an evil self-serving jerk and psychopathic pig does nothing to move the
discussion forward. Let's just call him "misguided" and deal with the

McCaffrey cannot accept that heroin addicts in England lead peaceful,
productive lives when enrolled in medically monitored programs. He would be
fired if he suggested that medical doctors administer heroin to addicts in
this country. As long as the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies
marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, he can not publicly acknowledge that persons
responsibly use marijuana recreationally.

One of his medical consultants probably told him about the rat allowed to
self-administer pleasure. An electrode was implanted in the "pleasure
center" of the rat's brain. Once the rat learned that pressing a lever
delivered a brief stimulus, the rat pressed the lever hundred of times per
hour. Ignoring food, water and sex, the rat finally collapsed of exhaustion.
McCaffrey may believe that a similar fate will befall our youth if
unrestricted access to pleasure enhancing drugs is available. When the
social cost of personal tragedy is considered prohibitive, drug warriors act
to constrain liberty.

Matthew Hine, Bartlett, Tenn.
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