"Prohibitionists want you to think drugs can make you dirty. If this were true then Jesus would not have said it’s not what goes into a person that makes that person unclean, but what comes out of the person’s mouth." [Matthew 15:10-20, Mark 7:14-23]
I am not a religious person, and generally find that religious people are usually supporters of prohibition. Anti-drug fundamentalism often go hand-in-hand with religious coalitions, and within the US we're mostly talking about Christianity. It can be hard to try to counter arguments for drug prohibition that are religious in nature. Well I came across this site the other day, Christian's Against Prohibition. There is a lot of good writing here on why Christian's should oppose drug prohibition. Here's a sample:
It doesn't matter Jesus said, "be merciful," because [the prohibitionists] only apply that to themselves; they judge you based on another saying of Jesus, "be perfect," and if you're not what they consider perfect, then they adjudicate themselves to beat the hell out of you, drive you bankrupt, incarcerate you, or kill you, all with impunity.
Attributed to: Andrew C. Bairnsfather
Commentary: "…all with impunity," until Judgement Day, that is. Then they find out they have not been serving the God of Love, but The Destroyer. And they are tossed out ON Da Crap Pile, which Jesus refers to as Gehenna.
In particular I recommend also this article, The Diseased Theory of Addiction. Here's a snippet:
Dear Drug Policy Reform Advocates,
I would like to see us use another term for addiction other than disease.
Pathogens cause diseases. Drugs are not pathogens.
I do not call drug use a disease. I avoid calling addiction a disease.
Do some people with diseases use drugs? Yes.
Can injecting-drug-users contract diseases from sharing needles with those who are infected? Yes.
Clearly, people called, or calling themselves, addicts can definitely feel uneasy, ill-at-ease, and so forth, even dis-eased, but I am certain that labeling drug use as a disease is playing into the hands of the wrong crowd.
Prohibitionists want you to think drugs are contagions.
Prohibitionists want you to think drug users are diseased and infectious, this gives them the excuse to break down doors with screaming violence in order to isolate them — lock them up — to “quarantine” them, so they can be treated like social lepers.
Prohibitionists want you to think drug users are contagious in harmful ways. If this was true then nearly every undercover officer would also become a drug addict.
Prohibitionists want you to think drugs can make you dirty. If this were true then Jesus would not have said it’s not what goes into a person that makes that person unclean, but what comes out of the person’s mouth. [Matthew 15:10-20, Mark 7:14-23]
What diseases do people contract where their pain, suffering, and/or symptoms go away when exposed to more of the pathogen? None that I’m aware of.
First, they say addiction is not a disease, so immediately all addicts were outlaws and no doctors could prescribe maintenance doses to them; although those doctors clearly knew their patients had need of medical oversight vs. languishing in coerced confinement.
Now some Drug Warriors and Prohibitionists (ahem, John Walters) are saying addiction is a disease, but what are the constants that haven’t changed?
Using shame and punitive measures.
Despising an intelligent system of regulation.
Ignorantly conflating all drugs.
Completely ignoring the realities of the underground market.
For the time being I don’t have a word that makes me say “this is it, spot on!” And for the most part I even try to avoid using the label of addict or addiction.