Legalized Soma

Anyone who has any familiarity with the drug game knows that the libertarian claims about drugs are mostly nonsense. Drugs certainly play a role in the degeneracy of the lower classes, but they are not a cause.  Poor people make bad choices, have high time preference and a below average IQ. There are exceptions, but that’s always the case with general rules. Drug use is a symptom of other problems, like the unwillingness oft he ruling class to do their duty.

That’s not to say the war on drugs is a good thing or even a necessary thing. In a time of low cultural confidence, aggressive policing of vice is never going to work. In fact, it just adds to the social pathologies that blossom during times of cultural decay. The cops are not hassling drug dealers in the ghetto out of righteous anger. They are doing it for money and the right to push people around in public.

That’s why the tide seems to be turning on the drug war. All of the most glamorous people are now proud of their hookahs and dank tanks.  The cultural elite are squarely behind legalization and the political elites are coming around now too.

A 21-member international panel urged a global overhaul of drug policies on Tuesday, calling for some drugs such as marijuana to be regulated, an end to incarceration for drug use and possession, and greater emphasis on protecting public health.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy said traditional measures in the “war on drugs” such as eradicating acres of illicit crops, seizing large quantities of illegal drugs, and arresting and jailing violators of drug laws have failed.

The commission’s 45-page report pointed to rising drug production and use, citing the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime’s estimate that the number of users rose from 203 million in 2008 to 243 million in 2012.

The commission includes former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan; the former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland; British tycoon Richard Branson and former U.S. Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker. It was established in 2010 with a stated purpose of promoting “science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies.”

The commission’s first report in 2011 condemned the drug war as a failure and recommended major reforms of the global drug prohibition regime. This report goes further, encouraging experiments in legally regulating markets in currently illicit drugs “beginning with but not limited to cannabis, coca leaf and certain novel psychoactive substances.”

It called for “equitable access to essential medicines, in particular opiate-based medications for pain,” noting that more than 80 percent of the world’s population has little or no access to such medications. It also called for an end to criminalizing people for drug use and possession, a halt to “compulsory treatment” for such people, and alternatives to incarceration for non-violent, low-level participants such as farmers, couriers and others involved in producing, transporting and selling illegal drugs.

“The facts speak for themselves,” said Annan, who is also the convener of the West Africa Commission on Drugs. “It is time to change course.”

The facts clearly show the war on drugs to be a failure. Compared to the past, drugs are cheaper, more diverse, more potent, more evenly distributed and more sophisticated than at anytime in history. If prohibition was having any impact on supply, all the metrics would point in the other direction. The best you can argue is it could be worse, but that’s a gratuitous assertion. When you add up the costs, the war on drugs looks like an epic failure and probably a deliberate failure.

Legalization will not be a panacea. In fact, there may be an even higher cost to legalization. Drugs like weed have been proscribed for generations now. No one alive recalls a time when heroin, cocaine and cannabis were legal. More modern drugs like hallucinogens and dissociatives were broadly banned decades ago. That means generations have adjusted to the current arrangements. There will be a cost to breaking up those arrangements.

No one considers that because it is hard and not very cool. Libertarians, like Liberals, see only one side of the ledger. Basking in their new hipness, the drug legalizers are in no mood to think about the other side of the ledger. But, the first time a “dispensary” blows up or the owner is gunned down, everyone will suddenly remember that the drug dealers did not pack up and go away just because weed is legal.

Not that it will matter. The rulers have concluded that it is too much fuss to defend western civilization. The easy choice is to give the mob free drugs so they can sleep through the rest of the collapse. The Romans gave away free grain. The new Rome gives away free weed. I’m sure it will turn out just fine.

7 thoughts on “Legalized Soma

  1. Joseph K nails it about the “therapeutic managerial state”. That is about it. Shut down the factories, box up the machinery, ship it to China. The rust belt turns into the heroin and meth belt.
    No problem, growth industry; a rehab on every corner. Soma indeed!

  2. I would favor decriminalization of drugs over legalization. Letting the government into the dispensing, regulating, and taxing business is extremely corrupting to the character of government. Yes, it are already corrupted. That is why they can live with legalization.

    Cigarettes, bad! Warning on package! Die a horrible death, do not smoke! Impose an evil tax to discourage evil smoking, raise hundreds of billions to save the children. Keep on smoking, save the children?

    “One of the commonest weaknesses of human intelligence is the wish to reconcile opposing principles and to purchase harmony at the expense of logic.”–Tocqueville

  3. “Drugs certainly play a role in the degeneracy of the lower classes, but they are not a cause.”

    Absolutely correct. Drugs take hold in the lower classes because the soil is ripe. But there is a flip side to the story.

    Contrary to what the IQists assert, most people are not born with a strong propensity for self-discipline and self-regulation, no matter what their IQ. That is a Rousseauist fantasy. Dumb people can be very disciplined, and smart people can be out of control. Discipline must be learned, in fact implanted, and therefore must be part of the culture. The mainstreaming of drug use, to the point where a majority of middle-class kids start using drugs at an early age with little adverse consequence, has meant the ghettoization of the middle-class. The old bourgeois culture that made Republicanism and capitalism possible is nearly dead, and the mainstreaming of drug use has been a major factor.

    I would be all for drug legalization if the entire welfare state was dismantled beforehand. In the old days, when drugs were legal, only the very poor or the very rich could be incessant drug users, because the one could afford it, and the other would die without consequence. A middle class or working class person who did drugs would end up in the bowels of society, with no support or succor. Punishment was swift and ruthless. You ended up dead, or the living dead, which was worse. The elites made drugs illegal when they amped up the welfare state for a reason. They were smarter then.

    The war on drugs has not been a failure, because it has never been fought. Where it has been fought it works. What we have in the West is a game that produces revenue and justification for the therapeutic managerial state, and an excuse to put problematic members of the lower orders in jail. The war on drugs is working just fine in Asian countries, which is why they are now stomping the West. Kids in Singapore don’t smoke pot at 14. Low level drug dealers are executed in China and their organs are harvested. The Asians learned from the Opium Wars. They made it extremely punitive for their citizens to do drugs, while taking over the supply side. They are very happy to supply the West with the means to its own destruction. I’ll bet the Chinese Politburo is eagerly awaiting the day drugs are completely legalized in the U.S. and Europe.

  4. “Dank Tanks”
    Thanks for that Z.
    I had no idea.

    Another 50 years of drugs & consequence free dysgenic breeding ought to finish us off.

    I think Adams had it about right back then:
    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    …John Adams

    I think Derbyshire has it about right, now:
    “We Are Doomed”:

  5. The reason for libertarians to keep legalization activists the hell away from their movement should have been readily apparent, with the application of a little reason (ha ha, see what I did there?)–potheads are going to be mighty easy to convince of the need for all sorts of government benefits.

    Thanks for making a few million crude lunkheads with outstretched hands politically active, libertarians–thanks loads.

  6. Legalization will likely have profound long-term consequences. There are strong cases for legalization, and strong cases for the status quo. The status quo might be the best you can hope for in a modern democratic society.

    I come down on the side of legalization, but like you, don’t pretend it’s a panacea.

    One alternative is to give away drugs free in the prisons. Kind of solves all the problems at once 🙂

    • One alternative is to give away drugs free in the prisons. Kind of solves all the problems at once

      I have said for year that we should sedate the hyper-violent inmates. Keep them doped up and packed with calories so they get fat. If it is OK to dope up grammar school buys to keep them from acting up, it’s OK to dope up the lifers in the can.

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