Pubdate: Thu, 09 Sep 2004
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Hacker Press Ltd.
Author: Clifford Schaffer


Editor, The News:

Christopher Foulds hit the nail on the head ('Abbotsford lends hands
to criminals,' Aug. 26). Over the last several years I have had
extended debates and discussions with literally thousands of

Their primary characteristic is complete ignorance of anything to do
with drugs, the drug laws or the history of the subject.

As for the studies that Foulds recommended, they have never read them
and they won't. Their second major characteristic is that they refuse
to read anything that might disagree with them.

Try a little experiment. You can find the full text of most of the
major studies of the drug laws over the last 100 years at

See if you can persuade any prohibitionist to read them. They will
give every excuse in the world but they won't read a word. Their most
common excuse is to say that the studies are "biased" or "outdated" -
even though they can't tell you the titles, who wrote them or anything
else about them.

The third characteristic of prohibitionists is a fundamental inability
to process certain kinds of logic.

For example, point out that just because something can be harmful
doesn't automatically mean that prohibition is the best solution.
Alcohol is the best example. Alcohol clearly causes more far harm to
society than illegal drugs. Always has, always will.

Does this mean that alcohol should be illegal? Or did we prove
conclusively that prohibition is the wrong approach to that problem?

They will come up with every lame dodge in the world. Alcohol is
"accepted by society," they will say - as if this is a rational excuse
for accepting the carnage that legalization supposedly causes.

Does this mean that marijuana should be legalized as soon as the use
reaches a certain percentage? If so, what percentage? Foulds is right
about the ignorance of prohibitionists. But he should have added
bigotry and a basic inability to reason.

Clifford Schaffer 

Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy

Agua Dulce, Calif.
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