A member of the Coalition – Simon Heffer – has penned a truly ignorant piece in the Times. Quite frankly, some of the tripe he has written is so self-evident that it’s hardly worth countering. So instead, I’ll deal with the crux of his article;
We have a drug problem because the punishments aren’t severe enough.
Most will already have seen straight through the ignorant veneer of this, but let’s just give it a quick prod anyway!
So the basis is, if we strengthen our punishment against drug users, the problem will go away.
Sounds good! Let’s go Singapore style and bring in Capital Punishment for drug use. Oh wait, we used to execute for murder, and yet it still happened. In fact, there used to be a fair few capital offences, and yet people still committed them.
OK, what’s worse than death? I know, we’ll torture people to death if they are caught in possession of drugs. What a lovely society we’ll live in once we’ve enacted this law!
Admittedly, I’m being a little tongue in cheek here. Even those in power haven’t banged their heads so hard as to believe execution is a good punishment for drug use (at least not in the UK!). But, the argument that the drug ‘problem’ exists because we don’t punish severely enough is a fallacious argument. The drug ‘problem’ exists because the Government decided to hand control of these substances to the black market.
Mr Heffer begins his argument with the sentence “Drug dealers and, indeed, drug users are criminals” but omits the very important “because our laws say they are“. I thought our society had evolved beyond believing that criminals are a specific types of people, hell why don’t we go back to using phrenology whilst we’re at it?
You can read the rest of the Times article here. I’ll leave it to you to pick out the many errors and fallacies contained within.