Make a Difference!


WorldNetDaily.com editorial by John Doggett, October 15, 1999 http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_doggett/19991015_xcjdo_do_we_need.shtml

[skip to rebuttal]

Do we need more drug addicts?
(by John Doggett)

Last week I wrote a column that strongly rejected New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson's call for an America where all drugs are legal. Within hours after WND posted my column, drug legalization advocates in the U.S. and Canada unleashed a vulgar, personal e-mail attack against me. Some claimed that my column was riddled with lies. Others called me a "brainwashed agent for government storm troopers."

One reader called me a black Nazi. Several readers equated the prosecution of marijuana smokers with the murder of Jews during World War II. Some even attacked me for being a Christian and exercising my First Amendment right of free speech and free thought. What was most fascinating was that most drug legalization supporters claimed to have a constitutional right to do darn well what they wanted.

More than one shared their hope that some deranged drug addict would kill me. Some drug legalization advocates even admitted that they had organized an e-mail campaign to attempt to intimidate me into silence. Now that is real Nazism for you.

The good news is that my column also generated some of the most thoughtful arguments for the legalization, decriminalization or regulation of drugs that I have ever read. Because of these reasoned responses, I am continuing this important conversation about what America should do about drugs.

My base question is this: What about the addicts? Does America get the better end of the deal if the cost of legalizing all drugs is more drug addicts? Will, on the other hand, we destroy those constitutionally guaranteed liberties that make America special if we continue the War on Drugs?

The specter of the legal sale and use of drugs deeply troubles most Americans. This week, Phillip Morris finally admitted that cigarettes will give you cancer and kill you. Their defense to selling a deadly product was that "Everyone knows cigarettes are harmful. Since no one makes you smoke, we shouldn't be responsible for what you do of your own free will." Isn't it ironic that Big Tobacco is using the same argument as the drug legalization folks? Do we want to replace Big Tobacco with Big Drugs?

The problem with the "free choice" argument is that it ignores the reality of addiction. It ignores the billions of advertising dollars that attempt to convince us that it's cool to smoke. Do we really think that the same thing won't happen if we legalize drugs? We cannot let Big Tobacco off the hook or seriously consider changing our drug policy until we look at the true cost of addiction.

Let me be clear about the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is deeply flawed. Drug raids that target the wrong home violate the very fabric of America. Mistakes like the recent confiscation of sterile hemp birdseed cause many to believe that the idea is out of touch with reality. Drug prosecution policies that send two-bit pushers and users to prison while allowing drug kingpins to buy out of the system are destroying the credibility of our legal system. Sending disturbed addicts to prison instead of treating them is no solution.

Nevertheless, most Americans do not want the government to make money off the suffering of drug addicts. Most Americans do not want drugs sold in grocery stores, drug stores or in vending machines.

Drug legalization advocates argue that a regulated drug market, where drugs are only available in "government drugstores," would be better than what we have now. However, the experiences of Japan with its sexual addiction problem are not comforting.

In Japan, a disturbingly large number of men are addicted to school girl sex fantasies. The Japanese government regulates child pornography. In Japan, the government says that it is OK to have vending machines at train stations that sell "school girl panties." Do we want an America where pot, crack and LSD are sold in vending machines? I don't.

The biggest problem with legalization or decriminalization is the terrible toll America pays for drug addiction.

Many drug legalization advocates believe that the drug lords will just walk away from America if the government takes over the distribution of drugs. They believe that if we take the "excessive profits" out of drugs by legalizing them, the market for illicit drugs will evaporate. They believe that if drugs are "cheap," drug addiction will decline.

These arguments ignore human nature. The only way to get drug lords to stop preying on the American people is to stop buying drugs. If we legalize drugs, some drug lords will become legal suppliers of drugs. If we prevent that by giving the government a monopoly on the sale of drugs, the illegal market will continue to flourish. Because government drug stores will not be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If we let anyone sell drugs, many drug lords will go into that business. Others will sell their drugs at a discount or for credit. They will make up for the small profit margin by selling more and cutting their criminal defense lawyer costs.

Many have told me that if the government regulates the sale of drugs, the number of people addicted to drugs will plummet. Many drug legalization advocates say that America's experience with Prohibition supports their position. The first problem with that argument is that I've seen evidence that suggests that the number of alcoholics declined during Prohibition.

The second problem of using the experiences of Prohibition is that the America of the Prohibition era no longer exists. Back then, America was profoundly rural. Segregation was legal and the television, the interstate freeway system, computers, copiers, cell phones, and air conditioning were not a part of everyone's life.

If we want a better example of the potential impact of the legalization of drugs on America, let's look at gambling. In the past 20 years, legalized and regulated gambling has spread from Nevada and New Jersey to 47 states.

Every study that I have seen, including those of state lottery commissions, says that legalized gambling has increased the number of gambling addicts across America.

Every study I have seen says that instead of getting the mob out of gambling, legalization has unleashed an epidemic of bribery and corruption of public officials. If you doubt my words, look at what has happened in Louisiana. Amazingly, legalized gambling has made politics in Louisiana more corrupt, not less. So if we use our experience with gambling, the one thing we don't want to do is legalize drugs.

Unfortunately, using examples doesn't end the debate. Because the reality is that tens of millions of Americans consume drugs every day although they know that they are breaking the law. Most of these people never become addicts. Their continued use of illegal drugs argues that the War on Drugs will never end. So, if we can't win the war, should we keep fighting a losing cause? If most drug users don't become addicts, should we give drug use our blessing?

I am a Christian, so for me, the answer is simple. If you truly believe in God, you don't need drugs. In fact, all major religions believe that the only way to a higher consciousness is through a deep and profound relationship with God, not by using drugs.

However, you don't have to be a Christian to be deeply troubled by the addiction issue. You don't have to believe in God to have serious concerns about a society that profits from the addiction and destruction of a significant portion of our people.

If you think that the term "significant portion" is extreme, consider this. There are more drug addicts in America than there are Americans of Asian or Jewish heritage. For me, drug addiction is a scourge of holocaust proportions. I cannot accept any argument for legalization that ignores the human and spiritual cost of increased drug addiction.

On July 16, 1998, The Dallas Morning News ran a chilling Associated Press story about Portland, Oregon's heroin epidemic. I saved this article because it touched me deeply.

Some of the most vulgar drug legalization supporters claimed that I had no right to have my own opinion unless "facts" supported it. Well, smoke on these "facts":

Oregon couple's public suicides put spotlight on heroin problem Officials lament scarcity of assistance for addicts in area hit by high rate of drug use.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- As afternoon traffic rumbled by, a young couple in grunge clothes and combat boots climbed over the rail of the downtown Steel Bridge, slipped twin nooses from a single rope around their necks and jumped to their deaths.

For nearly an hour, the bodies dangled side by side about 50 feet above the Willamette River. Cars slowed. A crowd gathered on the banks. Workers in office buildings rushed toward the windows. Amtrak passengers were warned to close their curtains as their train drew near the lower level of the bridge, where the bodies hung at eye level until police could remove them.

The couple, 29-year-old Michael Douglas and his 25-year-old fiancée, Mora McGowan, were heroin addicts whose habit left them broke, tormented and hopeless.

"I think I've decided on an old-fashioned public hanging," Mr. Douglas wrote in a 13-page journal found in the book bag slung over his shoulder. "The Steel Bridge shall be my gallows ... Mora and I go together on the Steel Bridge."

The public suicide July 1 shocked this city, at least for a moment, into the realization that many of the young people who live on the streets in Portland are addicts and there is little help available for them.

"A lot of us really took this to heart," said Donna Mulcare, a volunteer at the Oregon Partnership's drug and alcohol HelpLine. "This issue hits many more people than you realize -- chances are you know somebody or work with somebody or passed someone on the street who is addicted."

Heroin is responsible for more deaths in Oregon than any other drug, said Dr. Larry Lewman, state medical examiner. In 1997, there were 221 drug-related deaths in Oregon; of those, 161 involved heroin.

In a study released this month by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, nearly 14 percent of the men arrested in Portland and 27 percent of the women tested positive for heroin or related opiates. The rate among the Portland women was the highest of all 23 major U.S. cities studied. Just over 1 million people live in the Portland metropolitan area.

Oregon has the nation's 10th highest suicide rate, at 17 suicides per 100,000 population.

Mr. Douglas had once worked as a tattoo artist and landscaper, Ms. McGowan as an assistant manager for a downtown beauty salon. They got engaged and moved in together a year and a half ago and had been responsible about paying their rent until last August.

Those who knew Mr. Douglas said drugs were always a part of his life. When he and Ms. McGowan began using heroin, they started pawning everything they owned of any value to feed their habit. They were eventually kicked out of the friend's apartment where they had been staying and put out on the streets.

At least once, Ms. McGowan tried treatment but failed. In despair, she tried suicide by cutting her wrists, but her mother rushed her to the hospital. Mr. Douglas tried to come up with the money to buy enough heroin for an overdose, but he couldn't.

Police Sgt. Kent Perry said Mr. Douglas wrote in his journal about the grind of having to raise $200 every day to pay for his fix and how he considered other ways of ending his life, including shooting himself or lying down on the train tracks.

"It was a waste of life," said Isaac Frankel, an analyst at Northwest Natural Gas who saw the twin suicide from his office building. "I thought it was just a prank, until the police came."

Every weekday morning, on the scrubby fringe of Portland's downtown, where black tar heroin sells for about $50 per quarter gram, at least 20 people line up for a chance at the few daily slots in the Hooper Center for Alcohol and Drug Intervention, the city's biggest detoxification clinic.

"There are far fewer treatment resources than are needed -- probably for every 10 addicts that have wanted treatment, only one is admitted," said Richard Harris, executive director of Central City Concern, which oversees the clinic.

Some of those who waited in line said news of the double suicide spread quickly on the streets.

"It seemed like people should have taken it harder," said a slender 22-year-old heroin addict who asked to be identified only as Margaret. "When you are a junkie, your options are limited. You just have to keep doing what you are doing."

For three years now, Margaret has been scrounging for the $50 a day she needs to stay high selling everything she owns, even her body. She and more than 10 others were turned away at the treatment center.

Portland is a very "progressive" city. What would Portland look like if we legalized drugs? Do we really believe that people with co-dependent personalities will be less likely to become addicts if we legalize drugs? I know people in every part of this country who struggle with drug addiction every day. I know people who have died of drug overdoses. I know people who have been robbed, beaten and murdered by drug addicts. I don't want their numbers to increase.

My question for all of us is this: Given the horrors of drug addiction, is legalization the best solution? If legalization with regulation included full treatment for all addicts, would America be better off than it is now? Or is the real problem that in America, we have become addicted to the idea that if it feels good, we should be able to do it?

Some drug legalization supporters have told me that the "only good addict is a dead addict." I reject any attempt to dehumanize drug addicts. I am also sympathetic to the argument that the current War on Drugs criminalizes drug addiction instead of treating it as an emotional illness.

Many drug legalization advocates say that we should separate marijuana from other drugs. They cite medical studies that refute my contention that marijuana is a gateway drug. They point to convincing evidence that marijuana has legitimate medicinal uses. However, Governor Johnson and his supporters are not talking about just legalizing, decriminalizing or regulating pot. They want to include all drugs, including the hardest and most addictive drugs.

If complete legalization of all drugs is our only choice, most Americans will reject any attempt to scale back our War on Drugs. Instead, we will insist that the constitutional rights of all of our citizens be protected. We will insist that more resources be targeted towards the cure and treatment of addicts. However, we will reject an American government that says it's all right to use heroin, cocaine, LSD and other hard drugs.

Every country and empire that turned its back on drug addiction lost its soul and eventually lost its freedom. If the drug legalization community wants to make any headway, it must address the legitimate, serious concerns of the majority of Americans. The drug legalization community must also disown and discipline those who would attempt to silence opponents by threats of violence. Protecting everyone's right to have their own opinion is one of the rights that makes America the greatest country in the history of the world.


rebuttal


Do we need more drug addicts?

A leading question. First off, who is this "we"? Some reified notion of "society"??

"Rights belong to individuals, not groups." - Ron Paul http://www.house.gov/paul/freedomprinciples.htm

Keep that in mind. (see also "reification" in http://www.smouse.demon.co.uk/logargs.htm)


Last week I wrote a column that strongly rejected New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson's call for an America where all drugs are legal.

This is a gross misrepresentation of what Johnson did say.


Within hours after WND posted my column, drug legalization advocates in the U.S. and Canada unleashed a vulgar, personal e-mail attack against me.

We'll have to take his word for that. Again.


Some claimed that my column was riddled with lies.

Well? Wasn't it? I believe it was. See

http://www.WarOnSomeDrugs.com/observer.html


Others called me a "brainwashed agent for government storm troopers."

That's a matter of opinion; clearly Doggett disagrees.


One reader called me a black Nazi.

If Doggett says so.


Several readers equated the prosecution of marijuana smokers with the murder of Jews during World War II.

There are extremely compelling comparisons that are drawn. (see http://www.lindesmith.org/cites_sources/warrior2.html, Drug Warriors and their Prey (Richard L Miller, 1996); review here: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/media/rlmiller.htm)

It is a shame so many refuse to consider these facts.


Some even attacked me for being a Christian and exercising my First Amendment right of free speech and free thought.

We have to take Doggett's word for that again.


What was most fascinating was that most drug legalization supporters claimed to have a constitutional right to do darn well what they wanted.

Hardly. For example, prohibitionists are forever using specious comparisons to 'murder'. Well, they mindlessly parrot, "should `we' just `legalize' murder too?" forgetting that "murder" wasn't a traditional freedom that all Americans once shared, until corrupt politicians declared it illegal in 1937.


More than one shared their hope that some deranged drug addict would kill me.

Sure they did Doggett: sure they did.


Some drug legalization advocates even admitted that they had organized an e-mail campaign to attempt to intimidate me into silence.

Again, we have Doggett's word that all of this happened.


Now that is real Nazism for you.

Right: Doggett suggests doing to marijuana smokers what was done to Jews (just prior to the "final solution", and working on that one too). But of course, those who have the backbone to answer Doggett's anti-freedom tirades are exhibiting "real Nazism". Makes sense to me.


The good news is that my column also generated some of the most thoughtful arguments for the legalization, decriminalization or regulation of drugs that I have ever read. Because of these reasoned responses, I am continuing this important conversation about what America should do about drugs.

In other words, every "argument" he presented was knocked out of the water.


My base question is this: What about the addicts? Does America get the better end of the deal if the cost of legalizing all drugs is more drug addicts?

Again, who gets to decide for all of us what "the better end of the deal" is? Who defines that? Right now, America has more people in jail per capita than any other nation. That's a raw deal, and that is oppression. That's not freedom.

Prison Population Hits Record (Aug 1999)
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n853/a03.html

''The U.S. now imprisons more of its citizens percentage-wise than any country on Earth, and this burgeoning jail population is disproportionately composed of young, minority drug offenders. A 1996 Justice Department study found that while 12 percent of the nation's drug users were black, they represented 60 percent of those in state prisons for drug felonies.''
The Drug War's Collateral Damage (May 1999)
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n498/a06.html


Will, on the other hand, we destroy those constitutionally guaranteed liberties that make America special if we continue the War on Drugs?

Again, who gets to decide which liberties to destroy? And is that Doggett's argument, `Some liberties have to go, it is just down deciding which ones'?


The specter of

More emotive language ... It seems Doggett fears "the specter" of freedom, traditional freedoms that all Americans once shared. Scary stuff!


the legal sale and use of drugs deeply troubles most Americans.

Depends on how you phrase the question. Most Americans don't want others locked in jail for using marijuana, for example, either.

Poll Finds Support For Drug Law Reform (May 1999)
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n571/a04.html

''The "drug war" no longer has carte blanche with the public. By every measure, the drug war is failing and is now creating new and larger social problems. Polls show more of the public support legalization than believe the drug war will succeed. ''
Retreat, Recover From The Drug War (July 1999) http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n805/a12.html


This week, Phillip Morris finally admitted that cigarettes will give you cancer and kill you. Their defense to selling a deadly product was that "Everyone knows cigarettes are harmful. Since no one makes you smoke, we shouldn't be responsible for what you do of your own free will."

That's a good point. People stop smoking every day. Marijuana users don't need to be locked up or force- "treated", just as we do not punish cigarette smokers.


Isn't it ironic that Big Tobacco is using the same argument as the drug legalization folks?

If Doggett's reified "Big Tobacco" argued that water was needed for life, would it render that argument invalid does Doggett suppose? Is Doggett really that desperate that he needs to attempt to smear the concept of restoring rights to adult Americans with "Big Tobacco"?


Do we want to replace Big Tobacco with Big Drugs?

We want to stop locking up Americans for using a plant they were traditionally free to use until 1937. Doggett and other prohibitionists want to forget about the detail of jail http://www.november.org , http://www.spr.org and the government stealing your property. http://www.fear.org


The problem with the "free choice" argument is that it ignores the reality of addiction.

Wrong. And I doubt if Doggett is going to settle any philosophical questions about "free choice" here or anywhere else. Is Doggett suggesting that because (he asserts) "free choice" is obliterated by "addiction" (he claims), that we really need Big Government to lock us up if he claims we are "addicted" ?

The Problem of Free Choice (St. Augustine, 354-430)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0809102595


It ignores the billions of advertising dollars that attempt to convince us that it's cool to smoke.

I see. So we need Doggett's Big Government Police State to make people be "good". No thanks. I'll choose Liberty any day, and take my chances with Doggett's "Big Tobacco" bogeyman. "Big Tobacco" doesn't legally break into houses, steal property, and then shoot and or imprison people.


Do we really think that the same thing won't happen if we legalize drugs?

Of course not. Not any more than EverClear brand grain alcohol is sold in vending machines to kiddies, or pushed in Saturday morning cartoon ads.


We cannot let Big Tobacco off the hook or seriously consider changing our drug policy until we look at the true cost of addiction.

Another unknowable ... and I want to know, which commissar(s) get to decide for everyone what is "the true cost of addiction"? Again, let's let out the imprisoned drug war victims while Doggett and other philosophers ponder "free choice" and "the true cost of addiction." Doggett's policy locks up millions and makes the problem worse.


Let me be clear about the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is deeply flawed. Drug raids that target the wrong home violate the very fabric of America. Mistakes like the recent confiscation of sterile hemp birdseed cause many to believe that the idea is out of touch with reality.

To be sure: Doggett likes the fascist approach to locking up Americans for these newly minted drug laws, but ... for appearances sake, will quibble about the edges a bit.


Drug prosecution policies that send two-bit pushers and users to prison while allowing drug kingpins to buy out of the system are destroying the credibility of our legal system. Sending disturbed addicts to prison instead of treating them is no solution.

Again, who gets to decide what's a "disturbed addict"? Most states treat anyone who smokes any amount of marijuana as a "disturbed addict" needing "treatment" (i.e. prison, forced "therapy", the stealing of his possessions by the government). Of course, prohibitionists know the game is up if they admit they have been lying about marijuana and stop persecuting people for using it.


Nevertheless, most Americans do not want the government to make money off the suffering of drug addicts.

Not phrased that way they don't. Not any more than they want "the government to make money off the suffering of ALCOHOLICS." Yet most states allow sale of hard liquor. No one ever suggests that "the message our children" hear is that the government condones drunkenness...


Most Americans do not want drugs sold in grocery stores, drug stores or in vending machines.

Exactly as they feel about tobacco and alcohol.


Drug legalization advocates argue that a regulated drug market, where drugs are only available in "government drugstores," would be better than what we have now.

It is the PRISON part that Doggett glosses over, which is the aspect of the current system that disturbs Americans.


However, the experiences of Japan with its sexual addiction problem are not comforting. In Japan, a disturbingly large number of men are addicted to school girl sex fantasies. The Japanese government regulates child pornography. In Japan, the government says that it is OK to have vending machines at train stations that sell "school girl panties."

A total non sequitur. Japanese pedophilia has nothing to do with the restoration of tradition rights to Americans. Please note: pedophilia was never a traditional liberty; using medicines of one's choice is.

''Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potato as an article of food. Government is just as fallible, too, when it fixes systems in physics. Galileo was sent to the Inquisition for affirming that the earth was a sphere; the government had declared it to be as flat as a trencher, and Galileo was obliged to abjure his error. ... Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.''
  -- Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on the State of Virginia," 1787


Do we want an America where pot, crack and LSD are sold in vending machines? I don't.

Another (intentional) conflation: neither Johnson nor other legalization advocates have suggested selling anything in vending machines. Doggett and other prohibitionists need to say that (i.e. lie) about the things those who are for restoration of freedom to adult Americans really do suggest.

''Johnson suggested that drug sales to minors could be banned, and that more dangerous drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, might be available under a doctor's prescription and be administered in a hospital or clinic. ''
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n1122/a03.html

" ``I don't want to see it in grocery stores,'' Johnson told reporters. ``I'm assuming that wouldn't happen. The more dangerous the perception of the drug, the more control there would be.'' "
[ N.M. Gov. Clarifies Drugs Position (Oct 5, 1999), http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n1085.a11.html ]

That's a far cry from a "vending machine" to kiddies.

And Doggett knows this; Doggett himself wrote:

''Under a legalization scheme, Johnson said, drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine should not be available to anyone under 21'' (John Doggett, Oct 8)


The biggest problem with legalization or decriminalization is the terrible toll America pays for drug addiction.

That "toll" is made much worse by making the drugs illegal (and therefore black-market expensive) and jailing users.


Many drug legalization advocates believe that the drug lords will just walk away from America if the government takes over the distribution of drugs.

Again, gangsters don't become choirboys overnight. But now they are reaping untaxed windfall profits. Just as Al Capone was replaced by Budwieser, so shall "the drug kingpins" (which prohibitionists never quite manage to eliminate) be replaced by legitimate businesses.


They believe that if we take the "excessive profits" out of drugs by legalizing them, the market for illicit drugs will evaporate.

Yes, the market for "illicit" drugs will evaporate just as the moonshine market evaporated when Americans had restored to them the freedom to consume alcohol.


They believe that if drugs are "cheap," drug addiction will decline.

Another Doggett straw man. When drugs are taken from the black market and less expensive, then the crime associated with expensive illegal drugs will be lessened.


These arguments ignore human nature.

Doggett's control freak arguments ignore human nature. Human beings have always used drugs, and will continue to so do.


The only way to get drug lords to stop preying on the American people is to stop buying drugs.

Here Doggett really does ignore human nature!


If we legalize drugs, some drug lords will become legal suppliers of drugs.

More emotive language. Why doesn't Doggett call the president of Hoffman-LaRoche or AHRobbins or Squibb etc. "drug lords"?


If we prevent that by giving the government a monopoly on the sale of drugs, the illegal market will continue to flourish.

Wrong. State Alcohol stores (in states that have them) have virtually eliminated the illegal alcohol market.


Because government drug stores will not be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Oh brother. So because "government drug stores will not be open" sometimes, that's Doggett's argument for locking up marijuana smokers?


If we let anyone sell drugs, many drug lords will go into that business. Others will sell their drugs at a discount or for credit. They will make up for the small profit margin by selling more and cutting their criminal defense lawyer costs.

Now here's a unique prohibitionist argument (Doggett is getting creative, now)!


Many have told me that if the government regulates the sale of drugs, the number of people addicted to drugs will plummet.

How does Doggett explain how the number of addicts rose after the passage of the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914? Coincidence?

The passage of the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 marks the dividing line whereupon the preponderance of official attitude toward certain drugs and drug users shifted from one of benign neglect to one of hostile persecution. This perceptual shift is buried in the language of a legislative package whose ostensible purpose was to address an international political problem—the orderly trade and marketing of opiates and a few other drugs between and among nations. . . .

The substance of the Harrison Narcotics Act was deceptively reasonable. Essentially, it mandated the registration and licensing of people who produce, distribute, sell, or prescribe opium or cocaine derivatives, and the keeping of accurate records with regard to those drugs and transactions. An effort was made to insure that the Act would in no way interfere with the prescription of drugs by physicians to patients. It stipulated that no part of the Act would:

...apply...to the dispensing or distribution of any of the aforesaid drugs to a patient by a physician, dentist, or veterinary surgeon registered under this Act in the course of his professional practice only.16

Though few people realized it then, the italicized words in the above quoted Act would enable federal law enforcement personnel to begin the arrest and prosecution of thousands of medical doctors for the new crime of prescribing opiates to opiate addicts.17 Since opiate addiction was not then an officially recognized disease, the therapeutic maintenance of addicts with prescription opiates was no longer part of the "professional practice" of medicine. Some physicians arrested under the Harrison Narcotic Act were convicted and imprisoned; others had their careers destroyed by the allegations of illegality.18 Within a span of weeks, the prescription of legal opiates to opiate addicts was effectively halted. Unfortunately for the addicts, their addiction was not.

Within months, a black market production, importation and distribution system had sprung up to meet the demand of users and addicts. The price of contraband opiates and cocaine began to steadily increase. Addicts began to switch en masse from the less potent smokable or edible opium or morphine to the most potent form known—injectable heroin. Addicts began to migrate to the nation's cities to gain access to the black market distribution points located there. The medical profession, still smarting from the prosecutions, decried the excesses of Harrison Act enforcement, and called for a revision of the law. Just seven months after the implementation of the Act, an article in American Medicine pointed out that under the federal law, an addict was:

...denied the medical care he urgently needs, open, above-board sources from which he formerly obtained his drug supply are closed to him, and he is driven to the underworld where he can get his drug, but of course, surreptitiously and in violation of the law...19

After two and a half more years of burgeoning crime rates and outrage from the medical community, the secretary of the treasury appointed a committee to review the Harrison Narcotic Act and the state of illegal opiate traffic. In a response that was to set the standard for similar evaluative bodies in the future, the 1918 committee recommended more aggressive enforcement of the Harrison Act, as well as the enactment of state legislation along the same lines. . . .

History of Drug Prohibition (J. June, 1993) http://members.bellatlantic.net/~inco/home.htm


Many drug legalization advocates say that America's experience with Prohibition supports their position. The first problem with that argument is that I've seen evidence that suggests that the number of alcoholics declined during Prohibition.

Note that Doggett never bothers to share ANY of his "I've seen evidence that suggests" ...


The second problem of using the experiences of Prohibition is that the America of the Prohibition era no longer exists. Back then, America was profoundly rural. Segregation was legal and the television, the interstate freeway system, computers, copiers, cell phones, and air conditioning were not a part of everyone's life.

The old "things are different now" argument. Doggett and other prohibitionists would have us believe that because this or that invention was invented, Americans should lose ever more traditional rights. I don't buy it. Because cars have been invented, for example, that's no reason to take away everybody's right to consume alcohol (say) whether they are driving or not. But such is Doggett's reasoning.


If we want a better example of the potential impact of the legalization of drugs on America, let's look at gambling.

Wait a second ... What ever happened to the "Swiss experiment" that Doggett told us proved that America was right and proper to kill, steal from, incarcerate and generally destroy marijuana smokers?


In the past 20 years, legalized and regulated gambling has spread from Nevada and New Jersey to 47 states. Every study that I have seen, including those of state lottery commissions, says that legalized gambling has increased the number of gambling addicts across America. Every study I have seen says that instead of getting the mob out of gambling, legalization has unleashed an epidemic of bribery and corruption of public officials.

Again, we have Doggett's good word (spin) to rely on here, Doggett's "Every study I have seen says" assurances aside. We have a clear example in the case of alcohol prohibition; when the drug alcohol was made illegal misery and lawlessness were increased. That's the reason alcohol prohibition was repealed.


If you doubt my words,

(Instinctively at this point.)


look at what has happened in Louisiana. Amazingly, legalized gambling has made politics in Louisiana more corrupt, not less.

Really? How did Doggett come to that conclusion? What were his measures of corruption before and after? Oh I forgot: Doggett's word should be enough for us.


So if we use our experience with gambling, the one thing we don't want to do is legalize drugs.

If Doggett says so. He's the man with the "evidence", after all.


Unfortunately, using examples doesn't end the debate.

Haven't seen anything checkable that Doggett has presented so far. Not concrete "examples". Just claims.


Because the reality is that tens of millions of Americans consume drugs every day although they know that they are breaking the law.

They know the law is wrong, and in this case it is an act of civil disobedience as much as anything.


Most of these people never become addicts. Their continued use of illegal drugs argues that the War on Drugs will never end.

Perhaps also this is because many Americans realize the government is wrong jail marijuana users, for example?


So, if we can't win the war, should we keep fighting a losing cause? If most drug users don't become addicts, should we give drug use our blessing?

More false dilemmas, more emotive rhetoric in place of logical argument. Not locking people up for doing this or that is not to give anything a "blessing". The government give no blessing to the drinker of vodka; it just does not jail adults for doing so. A simple enough distinction to grasp, if one truly wants to understand.


I am a Christian, so for me, the answer is simple. If you truly believe in God, you don't need drugs.

I missed in the Bible where using marijuana for example became sin... became sin in 1937, only after politicians declared it so.


In fact, all major religions believe that the only way to a higher consciousness is through a deep and profound relationship with God, not by using drugs.

And I also missed where the Bible suggests persecuting drug users... It never does. And if it did, why was this only "discovered" only in the 20th century?


However, you don't have to be a Christian to be deeply troubled by the addiction issue.

One ca be "deeply troubled by the addiction issue" without advocating the persecution and incarceration of users.


You don't have to believe in God to have serious concerns about a society that profits from the addiction and destruction of a significant portion of our people. If you think that the term "significant portion" is extreme, consider this. There are more drug addicts in America than there are Americans of Asian or Jewish heritage. For me, drug addiction is a scourge of holocaust proportions.

"Drug addiction" does not incarcerate people, corrupted governments do. "Drug addiction" does not raid into the wrong houses and shoot the occupants. Corrupted police state governments like Doggett cheers, do.


I cannot accept any argument for legalization that ignores the human and spiritual cost of increased drug addiction.

Good to know that Doggett won't be swayed by facts (so we won't try with Doggett). Again, who gets to decide for everyone (at the pain of imprisonment) what is the "human and spiritual cost of increased drug addiction." (I.e. not locking up adults for using marijuana, which is what it all boils down to). Doggett again wants to ignore the PRISON that he is suggesting for marijuana users.


On July 16, 1998, The Dallas Morning News ran a chilling Associated Press story about Portland, Oregon's heroin epidemic. I saved this article because it touched me deeply.

Oh brother ... here we go: another prohibitionist uses the despair exacerbated by the COST of illegal drugs as reason to keep them illegal and the price high. Talk about circular reasoning.


Some of the most vulgar drug legalization supporters claimed that I had no right to have my own opinion unless "facts" supported it. Well, smoke on these "facts":

Doggett has the "right" to write whatever he wants. Of course, we have the "right" to show Doggett's writing for what it is.


Oregon couple's public suicides put spotlight on heroin problem Officials lament scarcity of assistance for addicts in area hit by high rate of drug use. PORTLAND, Ore. -- As afternoon traffic rumbled by, a young couple in grunge clothes and combat boots climbed over the rail of the downtown Steel Bridge, slipped twin nooses from a single rope around their necks and jumped to their deaths. For nearly an hour, the bodies dangled side by side about 50 feet above the Willamette River. Cars slowed. A crowd gathered on the banks. Workers in office buildings rushed toward the windows. Amtrak passengers were warned to close their curtains as their train drew near the lower level of the bridge, where the bodies hung at eye level until police could remove them.

A tragic (emotive) propagandistic image. Fitting that Doggett would resort to this desperate tactic.


The couple, 29-year-old Michael Douglas and his 25-year-old fiancie, Mora McGowan, were heroin addicts whose habit left them broke, tormented and hopeless.

Read that again. "habit left them BROKE". Broke, because of prohibition.


"I think I've decided on an old-fashioned public hanging," Mr. Douglas wrote in a 13-page journal found in the book bag slung over his shoulder. "The Steel Bridge shall be my gallows ... Mora and I go together on the Steel Bridge." The public suicide July 1 shocked this city, at least for a moment, into the realization that many of the young people who live on the streets in Portland are addicts and there is little help available for them.

Problems made worse because of prohibition, as we can see.


"A lot of us really took this to heart," said Donna Mulcare, a volunteer at the Oregon Partnership's drug and alcohol HelpLine.

Of course they did! Playing up prohibition assisted suicide was a great way to drum up busine$$.


his issue hits many more people than you realize -- chances are you know somebody or work with somebody or passed someone on the street who is addicted."

So therefore they should be jailed? We should guarantee that their drugs are black-market expensive?


Heroin is responsible for more deaths in Oregon than any other drug, said Dr. Larry Lewman, state medical examiner. In 1997, there were 221 drug-related deaths in Oregon; of those, 161 involved heroin. In a study released this month by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, nearly 14 percent of the men arrested in Portland and 27 percent of the women tested positive for heroin or related opiates. The rate among the Portland women was the highest of all 23 major U.S. cities studied. Just over 1 million people live in the Portland metropolitan area.

Deaths due again to prohibition. In Holland and in Switzerland, heroin addiction has abated. Not so in prohibitionist nations.

''Although the Netherlands had an epidemic of heroin use in the early seventies, there has been little growth in the addict population since 1976''

''Then in January 1994 Swiss authorities opened the first heroin maintenance clinics ... By the end of the trials, more than 800 patients had received heroin on a regular basis without any leakage into the illicit market. No overdoses were reported among participants while they stayed in the program. A large majority of participants had maintained the regime of daily attendance at the clinic; 69 percent were in treatment eighteen months after admission. This was a high rate relative to those found in methadone programs. About half of the "dropouts" switched to other forms of treatment, some choosing methadone and others abstinence-based therapies. The crime rate among all patients dropped over the course of treatment, use of nonprescribed heroin dipped sharply and unemployment fell from 44 to 20 percent. ''

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n955/a01.html


Oregon has the nation's 10th highest suicide rate, at 17 suicides per 100,000 population.

The editor placing this sentence after the heroin stats does not establish cause and effect. But cause and effect was implied. Not a very honest technique.


Mr. Douglas had once worked as a tattoo artist and landscaper, Ms. McGowan as an assistant manager for a downtown beauty salon. They got engaged and moved in together a year and a half ago and had been responsible about paying their rent until last August. Those who knew Mr. Douglas said drugs were always a part of his life. When he and Ms. McGowan began using heroin, they started pawning everything they owned of any value to feed their habit. They were eventually kicked out of the friend's apartment where they had been staying and put out on the streets.

Cost of prohibition again. Of course, prohibitionists like to forget that part; "pawning everything they owned" becomes 'reason' for prohibitionists to try to raise the price of drugs all the more.


At least once, Ms. McGowan tried treatment but failed. In despair, she tried suicide by cutting her wrists, but her mother rushed her to the hospital. Mr. Douglas tried to come up with the money to buy enough heroin for an overdose, but he couldn't. Police Sgt. Kent Perry said Mr. Douglas wrote in his journal about the grind of having to raise $200 every day to pay for his fix

Another prohibition related cost ...


and how he considered other ways of ending his life, including shooting himself or lying down on the train tracks.

Implication the propagandist wants to make: that "drugs" made these people suicidal.


"It was a waste of life," said Isaac Frankel, an analyst at Northwest Natural Gas who saw the twin suicide from his office building. "I thought it was just a prank, until the police came." Every weekday morning, on the scrubby fringe of Portland's downtown, where black tar heroin sells for about $50 per quarter gram,

Which should only cost a few dollars if that, but for prohibition.


at least 20 people line up for a chance at the few daily slots in the Hooper Center for Alcohol and Drug Intervention, the city's biggest detoxification clinic. "There are far fewer treatment resources than are needed -- probably for every 10 addicts that have wanted treatment, only one is admitted," said Richard Harris, executive director of Central City Concern, which oversees the clinic.

Perhaps if the government hadn't spent so much on incarceration and persecution, then it would have more for treatment?


Some of those who waited in line said news of the double suicide spread quickly on the streets. "It seemed like people should have taken it harder," said a slender 22-year-old heroin addict who asked to be identified only as Margaret. "When you are a junkie, your options are limited. You just have to keep doing what you are doing." For three years now, Margaret has been scrounging for the $50 a day she needs to stay high selling everything she owns, even her body.

Again, costs caused by prohibition. If it were legal, she would no more have to pay $50 a day.


She and more than 10 others were turned away at the treatment center.

Blame prohibitionists again, as they divert money from treatment to incarceration, driving up the cost also.


Portland is a very "progressive" city. What would Portland look like if we legalized drugs?

Like Switzerland probably.

Does Europe Do It Better?
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n955/a01.html


Do we really believe that people with co-dependent personalities will be less likely to become addicts if we legalize drugs?

That's not the point. The point is not for Doggett's Big Government to become nanny to everyone; the point is to stop locking up people for crimes made up by politicians only in the 20th century. Doggett wants you to forget about the prison part; he wants to gloss over the incarceration bit. Don't let Doggett and other prohibitionists off the hook! Every chance you get, remind them they are incarcerating and thereby hurting harmless people!


I know people in every part of this country who struggle with drug addiction every day.

Locking up addicts and stealing their property is no solution except for the police-seizure-thieves and jailkeepers enriching themselves.


I know people who have died of drug overdoses.

Prohibition caused overdoses due to unknown drug purity ...


I know people who have been robbed, beaten and murdered by drug addicts.

Caused by prohibition inflated drug prices ...


I don't want their numbers to increase.

Neither does anyone. But of course Doggett will be happy to throw those marijuana "addicts" in jail or impose forced "treatment"... That's fine with Doggett.


My question for all of us is this: Given the horrors of drug addiction, is legalization the best solution?

Yes.


If legalization with regulation included full treatment for all addicts, would America be better off than it is now?

Yes.


Or is the real problem that in America, we have become addicted to the idea that if it feels good, we should be able to do it?

Another false dilemma couched in specious and emotive language; Doggett leaves out an infinity of other possibilities. (Interesting how Doggett finds another "The Real Problem" too.) It is not true that either "we have become addicted to the idea" etc. or "legalization [is] the best solution": (even if Doggett's point made sense) the two are not mutually exclusive options.


Some drug legalization supporters have told me that the "only good addict is a dead addict."

Doggett keeps throwing out these absurd statements, as supposed examples of "drug legalization supporters". Last time I checked, it is not "drug legalization supporters" who are calling for the murder of their fellow citizens, it is Doggett's ideological bretheren.

''What are we to make of the statement of former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates (also the founder and designer of the DARE program, "Drug Abuse Resistance Education"): In 1990 he advised the U.S. Senate about the "'casual user' and what you do with the whole group. The casual user ought to be taken out and shot, because he or she has no reason for using drugs." Gates later emphasized that he was not being facetious and declared marijuana users to be guilty of treason.''
http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/media/rlmiller.htm

also see:
ARMED AND DANGEROUS - Oklahoma investigators mum after cops shoot mother holding child.

Police Shoot Man 12 Times In Drug Raid - Autopsy report indicates that nine shots were in the back.

17 year old Girl Dies in Botched Stakeout

16 Month Old Baby Girl Shot in Drug Raid

Mother Says Slain 17-year-old was Police Drug Informant

New York Police Out of Control

Court Ruling against BOP in Prison Guard Rape Gang, but NO CHARGES are Filed Against Guilty Parties!

Human Rights and the Drug War - HR95

Collateral Casualties of the Drug War - Botched Raids and Innocent Victims.

The Killing of Esequiel Hernandez - Drug Policy Forum of Texas

etc.


I reject any attempt to dehumanize drug addicts.

But Doggett is happy to toss them into jail, like animals in a cage. No, that's not dehumanizing, is it?


I am also sympathetic to the argument that the current War on Drugs criminalizes drug addiction instead of treating it as an emotional illness.

Oh yes: we can tell that from the way Doggett passionately opposes the jailing of drug users...


Many drug legalization advocates say that we should separate marijuana from other drugs. They cite medical studies that refute my contention that marijuana is a gateway drug. They point to convincing evidence that marijuana has legitimate medicinal uses.

Yeah, Doggett was fully refuted on that and every other "contention" Doggett had on this subject.


However, Governor Johnson and his supporters are not talking about just legalizing, decriminalizing or regulating pot. They want to include all drugs, including the hardest and most addictive drugs.

More intentional confusion on Doggett's part. Doggett misrepresents Johnson at every turn.

''Johnson suggested that drug sales to minors could be banned, and that more dangerous drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, might be available under a doctor's prescription and be administered in a hospital or clinic. ''
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n1122/a03.html


If complete legalization of all drugs is our only choice, most Americans will reject any attempt to scale back our War on Drugs.

Another specious Doggett "contention": he knows very well that "complete legalization of all drugs" is NOT "our only choice." But details like that don't make for good rhetoric.


Instead, we will insist that the constitutional rights of all of our citizens be protected.

And we have seen how Doggett has stressed the protection of "constitutional rights" in this matter.


We will insist that more resources be targeted towards the cure and treatment of addicts.

Again, this seems to be a new and belated emphasis for Doggett.


However, we will reject an American government that says it's all right to use heroin, cocaine, LSD and other hard drugs.

Another specious argument: a government that doesn't throw its citizens in jail for something, is not the same as "an American government that says it's all right" to do that "something", be it skydiving, beer drinking, or hot-dog-eating contests. Not jailing people for something is a different issue from "an American government that says it's all right" to do something.


Every country and empire that turned its back on drug addiction lost its soul and eventually lost its freedom.

Another unsupported Doggett-claim.


If the drug legalization community wants to make any headway, it must address the legitimate, serious concerns of the majority of Americans.

Did Doggett say "majority"? Ironic, considering the referendum results from California, Washington State, Oregon, Arizona, Washington D.C., Nevada, etc.


The drug legalization community must also disown and discipline those who would attempt to silence opponents by threats of violence.

An attempt to divide the drug reform community. Drug law reformers are diverse, true; yet they are united in their opposition to the imprisonment and murder of Americans by government in the name of drugs.

And I would remind everyone that the violence against peaceful marijuana users (and non-users!) is from the government. Remember Pedro Oregon. And Donald Scott. And Mario Paz. And Esequiel Hernandez...


Protecting everyone's right to have their own opinion is one of the rights that makes America the greatest country in the history of the world.

Doggett, as anyone, is certainly entitled to his opinion.

''It is the besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which the masses of men exhibit their tyranny.''
  -- James Fenimore Cooper


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