Rant Redux

I’m gonna have to get political again. Those of you who don’t want to hear my little rant go visit From the Marble Bar and come back tomorrow. Oh, wait, Dan’s going political today as well...

I just saw what I believe are the most mind-bogglingly stupid ads on television (I know, I’d like to kick my boob-tube addiction, but 24 is one of those shows I’m still stuck on). The ONCDP is running ads claiming that buying drugs supports terrorism. I remember the original ads running during the Superbowl, and was disgusted by the transparent attempt of the Bush administration to exploit the September 11 tragedy to push their agenda. I’m still disgusted.

This time, however, the commercial depicts two men &mdash shot in annyoyingly extreme closeup — debating the issue. The first questions why he should believe the government’s claim that buying drugs supports terrorism, and the second states simply, “Because it’s a fact.”

That’s it. That’s his wonderfully brilliant, insightful argument. Naturally, the first man accepts this explanation and moves on. Apparently, the ONDCP figures we’re all as amazingly stupid as this character.

A more logically defensible fact is that the policies of prohibition drive the prices up to insanely profitable levels. And that those profit margins are what make the drug trade such a lucrative business to be in, whether for street kids or terrorist organizations. The one quick and obvious way to win the drug war is (and always has been) legalization, taxation, and regulation of the industry. Don’t believe me? How many illegal tobacco or alcohol manufacturers do you see machine-gunning people out there?

I’m all in favor of attempts to reduce (or even effectively eliminate) demand for truly dangerous drugs. But the only effective way to do that is to convince people — logically and credibly — that they honestly do not want to do drugs. Trying to pervert patriotism like this is beneath contempt.


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