Sep 072007

There’s something both obscene, yet expected in what Michael Duffy of ABC Radio National’s Counterpoint has to say about ‘recreational’ drugs.

The attitudes expressed are typically pragmatic libertarian, however there appears to be little regard for the real problems of legalising so-called ‘recreational’ drug use, simply because it’s a problem, which in Duffy’s estimation, is just all too hard to be bothered with. Besides, he reasons, there’s much better uses for all that money being wasted by governments in the endless fight against human beings killing themselves by their own hands….or noses.
I like to think I’m pretty much of a pragmatist, on certain issues, like alcohol and nicotine, for example. Yes indeed, smoking kills people. Drinking to excess, kills people. So does driving cars and slipping in the shower. Snorting cocaine, as one of those ‘recreational’ drugs which Duffy regards as a non-event because it’s fun, will kill you as well, but in the process many others will get hooked on the substance, or a derivative, because it’s deemed fun for the person they’re watching. Smoking isn’t regarded, and has never, in my experience, been regarded as fun. It’s a social habit, and one which is often engendered through peer pressure. Similarly with alcohol. While drinking to excess, falling down a lot and throwing up in bed might be considered by some to be a part of the social aspects of alcohol, socially doing so is not regarded as fun. Yet, addling one’s mind on marijuana, destroying one’s facial tissues and brain chemistry with cocaine or wrecking one’s liver, kidneys or nervous system with meth-amphetymine is, apparently. Excused by a supposed waste of public monies through encouraging the populace that these are the facts.
I drink socially, and I smoke a pipe occassionally. I don’t ‘need’ to do either, especially as an adjunct to enjoyment of my overall lifestyle. I do so because I can and because I enjoy the sensations, the flavours. I’ve never understood the ‘need’ by some people to inject, snort, smoke or otherwise ingest chemical substances, which they know full well not to be either socially acceptable, or legal, simply to enhance their lives. If your life needs an artificial lift from substances which have a known capacity to kill or at best incapacitate you, then frankly, you’re doing it all wrong.
I’ve never had much time for Duffy’s cynacism, and even less so now. Promoting illegal drug use because of the money used up in the fight, because flauting the law is naughty fun for radical libertarians is mindless opposition for the sake of opposing a system in place for everyone’s protection. In short, Duffy’s a complete fuckwit!