Pubdate: Tue, 21 Jun 2005
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Hacker Press Ltd.
Author: Chris Buors


Editor, The News:

What a master propagandist Tom Fletcher is. For instance, Mr. Fletcher
rails against harm reduction as a questionable bit of social
engineering," without considering that drug prohibition is not exactly
the natural state of affairs.

Mr. Fletcher alerts us to the Orwellian lesson that to control
language is to control mankind, then proceeds to use strong control
words himself. For instance, the notions of hard/soft drug problem,"
junkies" and superficial perception" is using language Orwell himself
would identify as political. Hard" and soft" are moral judgments, not
chemical properties. Moral judgment is based on a feminization scale
not scientific fact. Junkies" is a stigmatizing term, not a
descriptive term.

And speaking of superficial perceptions, is that not exactly what the
drug problem" is in the first place?

The drug problem boils down to the fact that some people want to use
drugs that other people don't want them to use. Over time and cultures
the name of the substance changes. To rid ourselves of the contrived
language that the state has dominated, the viewpoint of an
anthropologist would be enlightening to say the least.

Ceremonial and ritual drug use is as old as humanity is itself. Opium
and cannabis are the ceremonial and ritual substances of Asian
cultures; coca is used in native South American cultures for the same
reasons. Alcohol is the ceremonial drink of the Anglo Saxons. It is
wine in the priest's goblet.

What Tom Fletcher needs is a good dose of Jeffersonian wisdom to clear
up any muddled thinking. Political correctness did not exist when
Thomas Jefferson wrote that it was his observation that in order for
the state to control the diet or medicines of the people, the state
must also control the ideas the people have about those substances.
Jefferson mentions that free people who have their thoughts shaped or
controlled by the state are not free.

In a free country, it is not the duty of the state to help people get
off drugs." It was never the duty of the state to lie or control the
language of the debate - substance abuse" indeed.

Chris Buors

Winnipeg, Man.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin