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May 13, 2012

“There is no one answer.” [Bumped]


“Actually, there is a short answer. All drugs should be legal,
high quality, priced to market conditions, and readily available. What happens when you give a junkie all the dope they want? Problem Solved. Damn, you think too much, Bruce.” -- Define “Drug” BRUCE HANIFY

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 13, 2012 11:43 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

I presume that ALL drugs includes anti-biotics too. Why not toss in the entire formulary plus booze for everyone.

Posted by: Peccable at May 12, 2012 3:56 AM

I agree that the drug problem would be self correcting if drugs now illegal were made legal. However, does making drugs "legal" mean all pharmacy sales entities must stock and sell all drugs? If so, then the totalitarian mindset this country's political leaders have adopted should not be offended at all.

Posted by: St. Thor at May 12, 2012 5:43 AM

Peccable, one reason re. antibiotics in particular (probably antivirals too) is that overuse of those particular drugs affects others; drug-resistant bacteria and viruses are a real and growing problem which would be made massively worse by random use.

On the other hand, heroin (for example) affects nobody except the user, unless that user drives under the influence - and we already have laws for that. Alcohol is legal; driving and some other activities under its influence are not.

If you're stupid enough to take chemotherapy drugs or digitalin without prescription, then Mr. Darwin will take very good care of you.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at May 12, 2012 10:00 AM

Bruce Hanify would be singing a different tune, or, to be exact, no tune at all, if the tweaker next door blew him away for spying on him, when all he was doing was looking out the window.

Posted by: mjazz at May 12, 2012 11:01 AM

mjazz: If meth was legal, the "tweaker next door" wouldn't care if Mr. Hanify was spying on him. It would be like the lady next door shooting you for watching her grow tomatoes.

Besides, if meth were legal, there wouldn't be any tweakers. They'd be dead. And chemically-pure factory-made meth would be sold at the liquor store by a guy who checks ID.

PS - I don't even drink beer any more.

Posted by: B Lewis at May 12, 2012 1:39 PM

If people want something, someone will provide it for a profit. Period. Lets forget about all the laws and enforcement and allow freedom of use.

Posted by: tripletap at May 12, 2012 1:59 PM


That's funny. And paranoid.

If you were rational, you'd realize I'm not taking a specific position. I'm talking about society, and human nature.

Posted by: Bruce Hanify at May 12, 2012 3:22 PM

Legalize it!

Posted by: Fat Man at May 12, 2012 9:03 PM


Bruce and I have been having this discussion for a couple of years now; I wrote to him yesterday that I see this essay as the first rational response to the posts I put up about marijuana on the old Washington Rebel, one of which you cross-posted on Right Network. Like I told him today, the difficulty with being aware is that you see the essential Dionysian nature of reality but are forced to try to explain it to idiots in simplistic Aristotelian terms.

The problem has never been about legalization/non-legalization of substances; rather it's the glorification/demonization of behavior by the public media. As I responded to Bruce today:

You rightfully employ the image of a national opium problem in the early 20th century. Imagine if there had been television and movies everywhere in 1900, subtly explaining to everybody who passed by that seeing a problem with opium addiction and the casual use of opium and cocaine in patent medicine was just an indication that you were an uptight asshole who'd never get laid. There would not only not have been a greatest generation, there would likely not have been their fathers fighting WWI, either. This, as I suspect you realize, is at the root of my annoyance with socialists and leftists in general: it has been a stated aim of The Revolution since at least the middle 19th century that the Ultimate Realization Of the Socialist Paradise would be achieved through the denigration and destruction of common-sense morality. That, in fact, as I've argued endlessly, is the real meaning behind Gramscianism. Like it or not, lefties actively desire and promote the culture of drug-raddled assholes that make it impossible for a middle-class father to comfortably take his kids to Target.

So you're right: laws have never been the ultimate answer, even over generations. Burning down Hollywood and every advertising agency available might serve, though.

The folks who rail about the correctness of laws about drugs rarely recognize that they are jerking their knees to the beat of what they've been taught by the teevy and the movies. Bruce advocates thinking for yourself, which habit has rarely been in shorter supply.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at May 12, 2012 9:15 PM

One of the things neither conservatives or liberals seem to be able to address is this bizarre adolescent mentality both sides display -- Rob's reference to knee jerk tv'ism. So when people say legalize "it" (What? Legalize sex with bisexual ducks?) what they're really betraying is a complete inability to accept other points of view. They "think" -- and pout -- like kids. What they don't get about me is that I see that, am entertained by it, and shake my head. Freedom is betrayed by such.

Too bad.

Posted by: Bruce Hanify at May 12, 2012 9:30 PM

Before we get started, let me confess that I have been personally and professionally involved in the entire imbroglio of illicit drug use for what now seems like my entire life.

The above statement also directly applies to me, although full disclosure compels me to admit I despise attorneys, law enforcement, and those employed in these fields, especially those who use a gov job to train for a more lucrative career counseling anti-gov interests. I really hate these people.

I agree with all of the gov war on freedom points you make. But you are incorrect on economics. You only need consider tobacco and booze to understand the price of a legal vice is always lower.

Not only the drug warriors wish pot to stay illegal. Consider that there were no crack addicts until Reagan's War On Drugs made pot expensive. No one ever shot up a liquor store when they were stoned, no one ever plowed a speeding car into a school bus full of kids on dope. The Great Communicator's misguided efforts to control pot created the crack epidemic.

I also feel you are presenting a specious argument when you talk about legalizing all drugs. Rather than the tedious ( and profitable for folks like you) legal battle you present about what is a drug, let's just legalize all pot-derived products and see what happens.

You lawyers can just argue about what is or is not pot instead.

Posted by: dr kill at May 13, 2012 9:43 AM

On another subject Milton Friedman made this observation: "It's perfectly obvious that you can't have open immigration and a welfare state at the same time". In that vein, to escape into a pre-1906 past (I'd roll those dice) it would be necessary for everyone not to be minding everyone's business and being held financially responsible for it whether they do or they don't.

The odds are better that we will stay poised on the fence of incoherence.

Posted by: james wilson at May 13, 2012 2:20 PM



Bruce Hanify, care to revise your statement? Improper use of drugs happens all the time so you set yourself up with such a broad observation.

Personally making the drugs legal is less damage to society than the War on Drugs is. My only caveat is that the States in doing so should amend their laws such that if you kill someone under the influence you face a premeditated murder conviction. Alcohol included.

Posted by: JohnMc at May 13, 2012 2:31 PM

I've always been firmly on the "legalize it" and "stop the war on some drugs" side, but Mr.(Counselor?) Hanify has some deep and well thought out points. After spending some time reading his blog, I find much to admire and realize my own position(s) simplistic.
There is still something dreadfully wrong with our laws and a system that prevent doctors from managing pain in a humane fashion. This is a matter for the AMA, not the DEA.

Posted by: Hunt Johnsen at May 13, 2012 2:33 PM

Mr. Hanify: I am older than you are, I know more than you do, and I am smarter than you are. I have talked to more people in more stations of life than you have, and I have understood more view points than you can think possible.

So do me a favor, take a long walk off a short pier, today.

Posted by: Fat Man at May 13, 2012 9:23 PM

@ Bruce Hanify
You only need consider tobacco and booze to understand the price of a legal vice is always lower.

If that were true, the busting up of the largest still in Landrum, SC this year wouldn't have occurred. But it did.

The operation turned over $65,000 a month in tax free loot. It serviced Polk, Henderson and Brevard Counties in NC and Greenville, Cherokee and Spartanburg here in SC.

So much for legal substances. Why share the profits with the 'Gummint' if you don't.

On the other hand, heroin (for example) affects nobody except the user, unless that user drives under the influence - and we already have laws for that. Alcohol is legal; driving and some other activities under its influence are not.

The money to buy legal drugs has to come from somewhere, usually at some Gas n' Go ATM with a gun as the ATM card.

Laws don't stop illegal drugs, DUI or rape. Killing the f*¢ker when you catch them does.

Summary judgement!

Posted by: Peccable at May 14, 2012 11:22 AM

Drug laws give the police too much power, and they subject the police to too much temptation for corruption. Don't get me started on the DEA, ATF, DHS, and all of those other federal agencies of anti-liberty.

Posted by: Duncan at May 14, 2012 4:32 PM

They can start by selling twin-packs of 151 proof rum and pentobarbital in the congressional and UN commissaries - next to the Scopolamine condoms.

Posted by: monkeyfan at May 15, 2012 8:04 AM

Actually, I have the answer. It's just nastily cruel. But it only requires one change:

Give away drugs free in the prisons. Everything else the way it is -- except high-quality drugs in the prisons, all you want, for free.

Why are we sending police OUT to find drug users to put them in prison, when we could attract them to jail.

My guess is that we wouldn't need to build more prisons, either. Like I said, it's cruel. But it solves the problem.

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