Monday, February 26, 2007

A smokescreen for Libertinism

David Vance over on A Tangled Web notes the proposal for the NHS to start handing out free "over the counter" heroin and cocaine to addicts. I expect this will not surprise very many people, but I am completely opposed to such a scheme.

I do not object too strongly to the idea of using taxpayers money to get these addicts off their chosen poison (though I do believe that they need to be punished as much as pitied), but the idea of using taxpayers money to KEEP them addicted while the NHS struggles to find the cash to fund essential operations is obscene.

Let's get one thing straight. Drug addicts are not victims, but they ARE criminals. They have chosen freely to pursue an illegal activity and in a sane society they should expect to be punished for doing so - no if's, buts or maybes.

At the root of this idea is the ridiculous belief that we can not win the war against illegal drug use and should therefore concentrate on "harm reduction". Interestingly, the idea of "harm reduction" doesn't extend to the idea of taking these criminals and locking them up in prison where they can no longer harm society. No, it means reducing the harm to the criminal - not society. Any claim that this will reduce the harm to society too is spurious. It will create more addicts, cost more money and those who take advantage of the "free" drug from the NHS will just carry on stealing, mugging and burglarising either for additional "fixes" or just because they can. They are criminals - what do you expect?

It never seems to occur to these people who claim that we can not win the war against drugs that we are winning the war on the legal drug, tobacco. How come we can convince more and more people to stop - or not to start - using a perfect legal substance, but we can not convince people to stop - or not start - using illegal drugs?

My view is that it is because there has never been an anti-drug campaign as relentless as the anti-smoking campaign. Look at the difference in the way they tackle smoking and the way they tackle illegal drugs.

Smoking kills you. Smoking kills others. Smoking harms your unborn baby. Smoking makes you smell. Smoking makes you an outcast. Smoking makes you selfish. Unremitting, relentless propaganda campaign against cigarettes and smokers. There is no equivocation, no balance, no suggestion at being non-judgemental yet I've never known anyone who has stolen, burgled or murdered to feed their habit - even though smoking probably costs as much as a moderate cannabis habit these days. The vast majority of smokers I know are thoroughly decent people and do not deserve to be treated as pariahs.

Then compare the way they deal with drugs. Get the facts, let's have a discussion, talk to "Frank". Nothing like the relentless propaganda against smokers. Instead it's all about being reasonable, balanced, non-judgemental, understanding and considerate. I've no doubt that a lot of druggies are also decent people, but just as many are conniving, cunning, sneaky, lying, lazy, itinerant scum.

If we started treated drug-users like we do smokers, if we had an anti-drugs campaign half as committed as the anti-smoking campaign we could stamp it out in a generation. I wonder why we don't do that?

Pretty soon we are going to have a situation where smokers can not even receive basic treatment from the NHS while drug-addicts get whatever they want free and without prejudice. Soon we are going to have a situation where those who pursue a legal activity are hounded, fined and persecuted, while those who pursue an illegal activity are encouraged to continue with free handouts and excused from punishment.

What a crazy world we live in, but it is to be expected thanks to progressive liberalism which is, as I suggest in the title of this post, has nothing to do with liberalism but is just a smokescreen for Libertinism.


xoggoth said...

Indeed. Although there will be a few, the idea that most drug users are useful citizens who just got hooked in a momemnt of recklessness is utter nonsense. Many of them were inadequate, dependent or criminal before addiction.

I think it reasonable to offer rehab rather than prison initially but if someone persists in crime to feed an addiction it should be treated as an aggravating factor, not an excuse because they are more likely to reoffend.

The practical problem with prison is that drugs are so freely available there (mostly thrown over the wall a prison officer told me) although it is hard to see why that could not be prevented with a little more effort and less concern about "rights"

nbc said...

But, but, they're victims...!

Smokers, apparently, are just evil.

No really, legalise the drug. Just make the buggers pay for it.