Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Phoney War

It seems to me that the chief problem here is that the state has taken on the role of a ‘nanny’ and is wont to issue various stern moral commandments - even though, of course, that is not the function of a (secular) state. Politicians (whose wages are paid by us) are stuck in an outdated mindset which views psychoactive drug use as immoral and they feel obliged to promote their dislike of such behaviour (apart, that is, from alcohol use, the acceptance of which is evinced by the four subsidized bars in the House of Commons). Even the word ‘drug’ has become pejorative, at least in the UK. So as soon as you mention drugs, there are negative associations.

In thinking about all this, one is reminded of the hatred and malice once meted out to gay people. Being gay was (and still is in certain quarters) proffered as some kind of moral degradation, so much so that homosexuality was criminalized and punished. As a case in point, not many people know that the grandfather of modern computing, Alan Turing, was publicly ridiculed to the point of suicide on account of his homosexuality. So you get this finger wagging and demonization, as if the ills of the world are caused by a certain subset of the population engaging in a behaviour that the state views as immoral and improper. It is oppression pure and simple and no different in kind to, say, racist oppression. You pick some behaviour (or physical attribute in the case of race) that you are afraid of, or that unsettles you in some way, or that you do not really understand, or that you know nothing whatsoever about, and then you vilify and condemn that behaviour, you drag people in front of judges, and maybe you jail them for good measure.

This is classic subjugation, a classic power game that ends up supporting a veritable industry of oppression. Think of all the police manpower used chasing drug users, all the organized dawn raids, the court costs and extortionate lawyer fees, and the privatised prisons that profit from a sizable incarcerated population from which free labour can be drawn. And that is not to mention the vast webs of organized crime that thrive the world over on the back of drug dealing. The black market trade in illicit drugs is right up there with arms sales and oil sales.

The irony here is that prohibited drugs are referred to as ‘controlled’ drugs. Yet they are well and truly out of control. There is no control over production, no control over distribution, no taxes are paid, no educational leaflets are handed out - the situation is appalling and has been so for over forty years. And yet it rolls on and on and we still hear the cry of ‘zero tolerance to drugs!’. It is an oppressive mess.

To reiterate: the central issue is health. If you are addicted to heroin you have a health problem that needs to be treated. It's the same with any other drug addiction. If, on the other hand, you don’t have health problems and you are not hurting anyone, then there is no problem (about 90% of all drug use is considered to be non-problematic). What is totally out of order and has no place in society is unwarranted oppression and demonization. Yet this is what the war on drug users entails.

As far as I can see, the immediate decriminalization of all and any drug use is a no-brainer. Thereafter, we would need to address how best to properly control all drug manufacture and distribution away from the hands of unscrupulous armed cartels and the like. Society needs to take back control. The so-called ‘war on drugs’ is a scam, a pernicious folly that does not stand up to close scrutiny. The sooner ordinary people ‘come out’ and declare drug use to be a health issue and not a criminal issue, the better.

A Phoney War  by Simon G. Powell


  1. Couldn't agree more! Why stop at decriminalization, everything should and shall be legal. It is NOT up to our governments to decide what we do with our bodies, with our lives or with our health. It is pure and utter fascism, dictatorship or whatever, that our governments dictate our lives from cradle to the grave. It is all about power, controll and money.

    From what I have read, heroin doesn't damage the body or mind significally, otherwise than the dependence. That should be up to the individual. It is the prohibition that is harmful and dangerous.

    Very good and interesting blog you write :)

    Sincerely Thomas//Sweden -The most drugtaliban country of the modern world.

    1. Amen!! Preach!! Took the words right out of my mouth!

  2. Comparison with gay peeps is so true but I wonder if someone is fighting for the right to get high off of the opiates, guess it was kinda easier for gays since they are more outgoing and therefore more people take notice. Problem with opiophiles is you look half dead when actually you're enjoying your buzz but for common folk it's enough to assume "it can't be good just look at him" kinda thing😆 fuck them,eh ?

  3. Why do the uneducated of a certain subject think they have the right to dictate demonise and opionate about the said subject? It always baffles me when a work colleague or a senior employee during certain h+s courses spout out some government sponsored bullshit without doing a single minutes research for themselves. There's no way I would get up in front of many colleagues and come across to them like a knowledgeable lecturer. While being totally clueless knowing people listening to me, know far more than me and know I'm making a complete tit of myself. It happens every other week I myself have taken opiates for over 25 years , so I've researched the subject a lot. I have to pay for a gp's letter every year to say I'm fit and not a danger to anyone else. Yet by far and away I'm the fittest 50 Yr old at work this is undisputed. Main reason is I don't drink alcohol, that's a different argument though. Legalise all drugs then and only then will a government have control over them. Only downside criminal politicians will have to pay taxes on their shady deals.