Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Fail Quote of the Day: Obama administration cheers Prop 19 defeat

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White House drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske
Gil Kerlikowske

The Obama administration has made no secret of its contempt for California’s Prop 19, which would have decriminalized recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and over, effectively constituting the first real blowback against the nearly four-decades-old War on Drugs. We even had Attorney General Eric Holder openly declaring that the federal government would continue to prosecute and imprison Americans caught smoking pot in California even if Prop 19 was passed. Now that’s contempt for the will of the people.

Now that Prop 19 has sadly been defeated (all thanks to a low voter turnout – again, thanks to all disaffected lazy idiots), White House drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske was quick to break out the trumpets and champagne in the following statement:

"Today, Californians recognized that legalizing marijuana will not make our citizens healthier, solve California's budget crisis, or reduce drug related violence in Mexico," read the statement. "The Obama administration has been clear in its opposition to marijuana legalization because research shows that marijuana use is associated with voluntary treatment admissions for addiction, fatal drugged driving accidents, mental illness and emergency room admissions."

Witness the typical Drug Warrior boilerplate response: Distortions about Drug War opponents’ actual arguments completed with a generous amount of outright fabrications.

Firstly, no-one ever said legalizing pot would, or was in any way intended to, make people healthier. The argument was that pot simply doesn’t make people less healthy; years and years of various research have found no credible indication of long-term physical or psychological harm from light-to-moderate use of marijuana. (And that’s just apart from the obvious and well-known pain/stress management effects, hence the existence of medical marijuana in the first place.)

Secondly, no-one also said that pot legalization would fix the state’s budget crisis. But they do argue – as with any other sensible person – that decriminalizing such a popular substance and regulating and taxing it – ie., turning it into its own legit business – would bring in lots of much-needed cash at the very least. Solve the deficit? No. But it sure as hell wouldn’t hurt.

Thirdly, the idea that decriminalizing marijuana (or, frankly, drugs in general) would not decrease the levels of drug-related violence in Mexico (and elsewhere) is downright moronic. Draconian anti-drug laws are the very reason for all the terror and bloodshed. The comparison between modern anti-drug efforts and the Prohibition of the ’20s has been made many times and is a perfect example showing how preventing people from seeking out a service or product they greatly desire can and will only lead to escalated measures to procure such services or products.

And finally, all that last stuff about marijuana use supposedly leading to increased drugged driving deaths and mental illnesses and so on – all complete bullshit. There isn’t a shred of evidence to support any of these absurd claims. And I would safely bet that Gil Kerlikowske knows this very well. Which makes the fact that he nonetheless opts to spew such nonsense all the more revolting, albeit entire typical for Drug Warriors. In fact, research in countries that already allow recreational use of marijuana shows only improvement of drug-related issues.

(via The Agitator)