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February 16, 2005

Drugs Are Bad, Mmmmkay?

Hugh Hewitt and Andrew Sullivan (second point) are talking about Crystal Meth. I don't support any kind of recreational drug use, though like most conservatives, I support some loosening and restructuring of the existing drug laws. Crystal Meth is a complete exception - this is a very, very dangerous drug. I can honestly say that I don't know anyone who has used this drug, at least to my knowledge. Yet every article I've ever read on it, including a huge Rolling Stone piece a few years back, is just terrifying in its depiction. Everything suggests that this is the most dangerous drug out there; more than heroin or any form of cocaine.

I'm not sure what we can do about it, though Hewitt suggests an attempt be made. Here's a starter: Honesty. Honesty from the government. Make sure D.A.R.E. officers tell kids that meth is far more dangerous than pot or beer. Pot and beer might make you a bum, but meth will turn your brain into sludge. The anti-drug warriors should be just as honest. I don't want to hear the folks at Reason suggest that crystal meth usage is acceptable. It's not. It's dangerous, and if it makes its way into the cities the same as cocaine or heroine...well, we're all in a lot of trouble.

Posted by Matt at February 16, 2005 10:57 PM

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I agree. But it would be nice if this caused some of the more libertine leaning libertarians to ponder the ethics behind drawing such a line anywhere.

If we ban Crystal Meth, is banning crack okay? Cocaine? Pot? Wherever you draw the line, what is the rationale behind your justification.

The rationale interests me more than the specific place to draw the line here.

Posted by: Doug at February 16, 2005 11:53 PM

I am not about to drown myself in the sea that is the arguments for/against drug legalization. All I am asking is that pro-drug libertarians (Jacob Sullum, et al) acknowledge that Meth is far more dangerous than marijuana, and there's probably a lot of anecdotal evidence that it's more dangerous than cocaine. Not crack, maybe, but regular cocaine. Again, I'm not saying it's good to use any of these drugs, but if Rolling Stone can't prevent Meth use in a positive light, that should tell us something.

Posted by: Matt at February 17, 2005 12:04 AM

P.S. Meth is already banned.

Posted by: Matt at February 17, 2005 12:08 AM

I agree. But what, other than their personal feelings, will they base that on? How do you make the argument "pot should be legal, but cocaine banned, or crack should be legal, but crystal meth banned" from principle?

To me there is no good answer to that question. Which is why I want to see how pro-legalization advocates who feel that way address the challenge.

Posted by: Doug at February 17, 2005 12:34 AM

Well... there are two arguments they can make:

1) the "danger" argument: weed isn't likely to harm anyone but the user, and it's not even likely to harm the user. Other drugs are, so ban them.

2) the "public opinion" argument: there's no good reason to draw the line here, but we'll do it because that's what the general public thinks.

Overall... I'd really like if both the pro- and anti- drug people were honest about which drugs are really dangerous, and which aren't so bad.

Posted by: LotharBot at February 17, 2005 03:04 AM

I'm not getting into a pro or anti drug banargument here, other than to note that I am in favor of keeping the laws intact. I worry that marijuana tends to lead to other drug usage, but, again, I don't care to debate this at the moment.

I do know a few people who have used meth. I'll just reiterate what Matt said--it is dangerous unlike any other drug out there. Heroin and PCP seem to be the only ones that come close. I know of a person who was off of it for at least two years. He then returned to it. It's a killer and, I agree, libertarians should be hard-pressed to justify why it ought to be legalized.

Posted by: Mark Sides at February 17, 2005 08:37 AM

hey mattie---

crystal meth can be made in the garage of your next door neighbor. google "meth lab" and police in the news section...they go down every day.

hate to break it to ya...meth is already more prevalent in our cities than heroin ever was...and our kids our using it too. i'd guess (based on a lower price = easier to obtain) that it is also more prevalent than cocaine.

Posted by: skibrian at February 17, 2005 01:47 PM

Meth has not hit the inner cities the same way crack has. That's what I was referring to. Suburban kids and clubgoers can have it, but bums aren't selling. Not yet.

Posted by: Matt at February 17, 2005 02:16 PM

i didn't say crack. is still cheap though.

Posted by: skibrian at February 17, 2005 03:37 PM

Oklahoma has made it illegal to purchase the cold remedies that contain pseudoephedrine off the shelf.
This is used in the manufacture of meth. To purchase it you have to get it directly from a pharmist. You cannot purchase more than two packages at a time and you have to have an I.D. This has been effective in reducing the number of meth labs in this state. This should become a federal law.

Posted by: Judy B at February 21, 2005 11:32 PM