Sunday, August 14, 2005

Methamphetamine & Drug Policy

Just like in New Zealand, the media (in this case, Newsweek) in America is going into a frenzy over methamphetamine or what they call 'America's most dangerous drug'. Jack Shafer from Slate Magazine has a rebuttal titled 'Meth madness at Newsweek: this is your magazine on drugs' which points out just how much the government exaggerates this "epidemic".
A New York Times commentator also writes on the issue:

"It's the problem identified by William Bennett, the former national drug czar and gambler."
"Using drugs," he wrote, "is wrong not simply because drugs create medical problems; it is wrong because drugs destroy one's moral sense. People addicted to drugs neglect their duties."

I believe it is this notion of 'duties' we must challenge. No longer is the individual sovereign over his own life, now he owes something to society. In an ideal society, individuals do not have duties to the society as whole. If a society accepts notions of duties, man becomes a moral slave which means he has no right to live for his own sake. Hence problems like drug addiction become more than a moral failing; they are an attack on other members in the group because your failings are bringing the group as a whole down. This collectivist way of looking at things presumes individuals are only important in so long as they contribute to the group. Once this is accepted, you're no longer a free man. You are a slave to others.
The chicago tribute also takes on 'the latest drug crisis'. Meanwhile left-wing New Zealand bloggers get it right for once and nail 'fuck-knuckle' Jim Anderton for his never ending promotion of the drug war.

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