Pubdate: Sat, 18 Jun 2005
Source: Tri-City News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005, Tri-City News
Author: Chris Buors


The Editor,

Re. Nothing safe about it" (Opinion, The Tri-City News, June 8).

What a master propagandist columnist 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. Junkies is a
stigmatizing term, not a descriptive term. And speaking of superficial
perceptions, isn't that exactly what the drug problem" is in the first

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 Mr. 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, 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 mentioned 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.

I was once offered the opportunity to save my railroading career by
attending treatment after being arrested for a cannabis offence. I knew that
to be forced religious and political conversion but I did not know how to
make the intellectual arguments. I now know how. Classic liberalism and the
notion of individual responsibility are the trump card.

Jefferson enlightened me. Truth stands on its own and the state lies
enshrined in the immoral policy of prohibition will look like laughable lies
once the history books are written.

Who are the aggressors is what history will want to know. The
prohibitionist, the legislators, the courts that uphold these lies as
constitutional and the politicians who set the social construct are the

Chris Buors, 

Winnipeg, Manitoba
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