Monday, September 10, 2007

Vicious circle

If you get hysterical enough about drugs, you'll start claiming people who've taken them commit crimes as a result. What happens next is inevitable in the way a car crash you watch in slow motion is inevitable: people who have committed a crime say it woz the drugs wot done it and get lighter sentences if they promise to enrol for some gesture therapy. This makes the people who got hysterical about drugs feel doubly convinced that people who take them commit crimes as a result. Then people who committed crimes...

You get the picture. So did a kid in Richmond, Virginia:

A teen charged with raping and killing his sister may have been under the influence of marijuana during or after the crime, his defense attorney suggested in court yesterday.

Also in court, the boy's mother suggested her son is insane and needs help.
I'm halfway with Mom there. The kid is clearly insane. Quite why this should be seen as a defence escapes me though. Can it be sane to rape and murder your sister?

But I digress. The attorney is an opportunistic... well, attorney. But why should anyone take this seriously for a moment? "Well, I smoked a reefer, felt all vague, a bit sleepy after a while, got an irresistable urge to eat pate and marmalade sandwiches... then I raped and murdered Sis". That doesn't follow.

OpenMarket sums it up:
The fact that this defense would even seem plausible to anyone is a negative side effect of the War on Drugs and its overheated rhetoric and exaggerated claims about drugs. Marijuana doesn’t make people kill. Marijuana smoke is unhealthy (it contains carcinogens), and is certainly not good for developing adolescent minds — but it does not foster violence. Yet over-the-top government propaganda has depicted marijuana as causing “Reefer Madness.”

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