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Klavan On The Culture

How to Ruin a Good Drug Doc with Leftist Propaganda

March 2nd, 2014 - 7:30 am
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If there’s one thing the left and right should be able to agree on, it’s the need to put an end to the so-called War on Drugs. Conservatives should oppose the War on Drugs because it empowers the government to restrict your private behavior, and we are for liberty; it unfairly targets the poor and black, and we are for justice; and it puts an undue burden on the police and we are for law and order. Leftists should oppose the War on Drugs because it throws so many of their voters in the slammer. Instead of giving dangerous felons the right to vote, as our venal hack Attorney General Eric Holder would do, we could just stop arresting people who don’t really need arresting in the first place. Presto, everyone’s happy: right wing freedom fighters, and corrupt “progressive” creeps as well.

So in theory, a well-made pro-legalization documentary like Matthew Cooke’s How to Make Money Selling Drugs should be able to appeal to right and left alike. And it would, if it were not full of unnecessary anti-Republican misinformation and propaganda.

Which, really, is a shame. It’s a clever and appealing film. It’s designed like a video game, in which you move from level to level: street dealer to supplier to drug lord to cartel king. There are some very good interviews with people who worked at most of these levels. And the film largely tells the truth about not only the uselessness, unfairness and abusiveness of the anti-drug laws but also the misery that drugs cause for so many of the people who use them. That is, it doesn’t romanticize the drug life; it just demonstrates convincingly that the laws don’t work to stem it.

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All Comments   (33)
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I see that TomDPerkins has resulted to name calling and has the nerve to state that my "thinker's busted." Sorry, waste-of-skin libertard, you're beneath me.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
T.S. Eliot: "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with legalizing all types of drugs is that drugs don't just affect the user, 1 hit of heroin is not the same thing as a bottle of beer it's just wrong to allow that kind of stuff to be done legally because then the availability will rise and next thing you know there's people going crazy while on pcp
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know why you think the WoD is productively restricting access to them now, or why you think we can afford the sort of WoD that could.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kind of makes you wonder about the wisdom of your position when you see who your newfound friends are.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Somewhere on the order of 6% to 8% of the 12 and older population is addicted to drugs, both legal and illegal. The cost to the taxpayers and society as a whole is incredible. Somewhere on the order of 80% of all felonies, 80% of all homicides, and 33% of car accident fatalities (about 25,000 deaths) are committed or caused by people under the influence at the time. The costs to taxpayers alone exceeds $250 Billion dollars per year, notwithstanding the costs to families affected. (Yes numbers vary but they're in the ballpark. See Stat sites below for a start)

The US government spends about $15 Billion per year on the War on Drugs. Compare that to Welfare spending now up to $493 Billion per year. Perhaps the War on Drugs is failing because it's a war in name only. We aren't doing squat to change the addiction rate, we're just jailing those easy to catch and taking everything they got that might help us and them control their addiction and its effects on society.

So by all means, declare WOD dead, and see crime, addictions, deaths, and all the misery such additions cause society to increase. But hey, you'll save $15 Billion while spending another $500 Billion or more dealing with the consequences. Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish.

All the above being said, I totally agree that the War on Drugs is a total failure. If we want to fix this problem, we'll need to spend a lot more money than we are and change our approach completely. So let's have a public debate on that vice giving up on a problem that will only get worse if we give up and legalize all drugs.

http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/statistics-on-alcoholics.html
http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics
http://www.drugstatistics.org/Drug_Statistics.htm
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_welfare_spending_40.html

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21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"So by all means, declare WOD dead, and see crime, addictions, deaths, and all the misery such additions cause society to increase."

Except the opposite will happen instead. When getting help for a problematic addiction doesn't mean admitting a felony, more people will get help. As normal market forces can take effect, quality--purity and predictability in dosing--all rise. Overdoses decline. Functional addicts (the overwhelmingly large fraction of drug users who are addicted by government standards) stay functional, unjailed, not clogging the courts and prisons.

Children find access to drugs drastically more restricted, because sellers have legal businesses and standing to lose if they sell to minors. Of course they'll still get drugs, but it won't be a bigger problem than them getting alcohol now.

The Progressive social engineering experiment called the War On Drugs needs to be shut down, just like the rest of them. There's nothing conservative or Burkean about it.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
TomDPerkins, Good. At least we're debating the issue. I disagree with your premise that the opposite will occur, but I'm game for an experiment to find out.

I've never seen a functional addict; only those temporarily between highs and lows, always fighting and losing the itch to give themselves to the bottle or the drug. I've seen them so crazed that they'll kill their mother to steal a few bucks, so angry that they lash out blindly at anyone near, in short they are insane and a danger to themselves and others. and yes for those short times they're sober, they have remorse, but they can't control themselves. They also always lie to themselves and others about being in control and that they can stop when they want to, but its all BS.

Smack babies weren't made because drug lords forced addicted mothers to give drugs to their kids, they did in their chemically induced insanity. Drug lords don't tell their marks to draw attention to themselves by committing crimes, the mark does it because he can't control himself.

And yes, all are Gods children, have loved ones, family, are pretty or handsome, have dreams that are as good as any, but they eventually abandon all for the fix.
Think of them as your neighbors or family members that got infected by some Zombie plague. They can't be reasoned with, eventually they can only be treated, caged like dangerous criminals, or killed.

To equate selling of highly addictive substances in a free market is akin to endorsing enslaving 6 to 8 % of those in the market. That's not freedom. And don't think market force will keep the sales of those substances to only your mythical functional addict. Just look at the efforts tobacco companies made to create new young addicts to their products until exposed.

Like mental illness, addiction is a problem that afflicts more than the individual. Like some mentally ill, the addict is always, eventually, going to become a danger to others and must be either restrained or cured, at least temporarily, with the knowledge that they'll be battling addiction all of their lives.

I agree that throwing them in prison and throwing away the key isn't the answer, and WOD is a total failure, but again not doing anything is wrong too. We have the right to protect our families from dangerous individuals who in their drug induced insanity threaten our safety. The question is how to do so without making the lives of those addicted more of a living hell than it already is.
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21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
It isn't about the money it's about the liberty. The fact is that ending the insane war on drugs will save far more lives destroyed by "unintended" consequences of this idiocy than will die of the addictions (most people quit given time) but THAT DOESNT MATTER. You are free or you are not. Period. There is nothing worse than the rule of the moralist, they will afflict you without end and always for your "own good". At least the tyrant sometimes sleeps.

Also I say "unintended" consequences because prohibitionists, in general want drugs and alcohol to be dangerous. I have two tragedies in my own extended family, one overdose on too pure heroine and one death in a street deal gone sideways where two fundamentally decent people who statistics and our own experience say would have eventually come around when they just got a little older. Both were starting to make the noises and say the things that typically presage wising up and quitting. Both died because their drug of choice was illegal and therefore occasionally of unknown purity and sometimes sold by violent criminals.

My extended family is slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun, but NO ONE has any tolerance for the "War on Drugs" after that. Any analysis of cause and effect shows what we should have learned with Prohibition. Criminalization leads to black markets of unknown quality run by violent organized criminals who corrupt the rule of law.

Frankly, I've no patience with this kind of stupidity. A study showing that it is bad to addict yourself to drugs? Really? WTF is that supposed to prove? Yeah, Drugs are bad when used to excess. So what. So is fried food. Let's have a "War on Fat". So is eating wheat flour which is possibly as addictive as heroine. Let's have a "war on Bread."

God...can you people just get your noses out of other peoples business?!?! At long last...
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
hornspe, Perhaps you didn't read all of my post. I agree that WOD is a total failure and must be replaced with something else. And like you I've lost close relatives and friends who did drugs. However, addiction is slavery and while a few might escape, most do not. They live with addiction all of their lives and they suck on the lives and resources of the rest of us. If they only hurt themselves perhaps I'd callously not interfere and hope for the best, but the truth is they take away my freedom by their actions. They rob, maim, murder, destroy property, destroy lives while under the influence and no, it doesn't happen immediately but over time. Again, I agree WOD isn't the answer but legalizing drugs isn't the answer either. We need to find another way.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
So why don't the drug laws just go away? Because there are a lot of people, left and right, who see the damage that drug abuse causes. Should people be free to make their own mistakes? That's an easy position to take until you start seeing the consequences: kids growing up in meth addict homes; marriages destroyed because one party or the other has an addiction problem (including legal drugs like alcohol); the large percentage of violent crimes that take place because the criminal (and in the case of rape, often the victim) are intoxicated.

Yes, it would be best to focus on prevention and treatment. But it is a heck of a lot easier to get people with serious substance abuse problems to seek help when they have a court ordering it.

Yes, alcohol is legal, and is at least a comparable social problem. So the solution is to add more intoxicants to the existing disaster?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
@ claytoncramer
"So why don't the drug laws just go away? Because there are a lot of people, left and right, who see the damage that drug abuse causes. "

Prohibition only means the fact people will use drugs, and will explore the use of new and unfamiliar intoxicants, will be the most damaging and most socially expensive use possible.

"But it is a heck of a lot easier to get people with serious substance abuse problems to seek help when they have a court ordering it."

Sure, that's why we have all these unmedicated crazy people wandering homeless.

"Yes, alcohol is legal, and is at least a comparable social problem. So the solution is to add more intoxicants to the existing disaster?"

Absolutely! The criminality associated with prohibition is gone at a stroke, and treating every other ill becomes easier--the people needing help don't need a priori and in the absence of any real crime, to be worried about jail.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was up all night completing a project and 1/2 watched a show remembering the old tv show "Dynasty". Periodically they would inject vile commentary regarding the misery brought on by the presidency of Ronald Reagan. The cast would fondly recount charming anecdotes of the kindness of their cast members and suddenly with great vitriol comment that simultaneously the homeless population was skyrocketing due to Reagan Policies. Their shamelessness was rivaled only by their vitriol. The networks have a gay ombudsman. What they really need is a conservative ombudsman.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Funny how those idiots don't realize just how those mentally ill homeless people were kicked out of the hospitals.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The emptying of the mental hospitals started with the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, signed by President Kennedy. Reagan did sign the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of 1967, but that was only one of the efforts to deinstitutionalize the mentally ill, a very bipartisan, well-intentioned, disaster. My book My Brother Ron: A Personal and Social History of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill (2012) will give you the history of this mistake.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
It would be interesting to ask Matthew Cooke or David Simon for their opinion on anti-smoking, anti-trans fat, anti-alcohol, anti-fast food, and anti-big soda laws. The response there is usually an easy way to differentiate the liberal from the libertarian.

The latter is against all laws limiting public freedom. The former (occasionally hiding under the guise of a 'liberatarian') simply challenge the laws that restrict their own favored recreational pleasures/lifestyle choices while having no problem restricting other choices they don't like via draconian government laws. If Cooke's simply a liberal who likes to smoke pot or do a little coke, he'd be the type who could make a movie like this while at the same time having no problem with the nanny-state regulations enacted by Michael Bloomberg and others against otherwise legal activities over the years. It would also explain why he sees no problem with Democrats in his documentary.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Conservatives should oppose the War on Drugs because it empowers the government to restrict your private behavior, and we are for liberty; it unfairly targets the poor and black, and we are for justice; and it puts an undue burden on the police and we are for law and order."

Condescension from a white conservative is just as bad as condescension from a white liberal.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, if you disagree that the war on drugs does not affect the poor and black, that the poor and black are not incarcerated at a much higher rate for drug offenses, then just say so.

Calling facts, science and stats as a form of condescension is trite.

Ignoring it and looking the other way the way you demand is liberal limousine disconnected condescension at its worst.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Calling facts, science and stats as a form of condescension is trite."

Considering I didn't see any facts there and just opinions.

Also, I did not say the "War on Drugs" does not impact people. However, there is a way to avoid being in the "War on Drugs"; that is the condescension I'm referring to on the part of Andrew Klavan, not his "facts, science, and stats".
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Black dealers target themselves. Generally speaking, blacks sell to strangers on the street, whites sell to friends out of their homes. It's a cultural thing.

Any fool knows that in the trade, you have to keep your stuff wired tight and your profile low. People who don't do that don't last long in the white end of the trade. White weed dealers hide their money - black dealers flash it.

If you're a narc, who is easier to bust: a guy on a street corner you can surveil, or a closed circle of friends dedicated to purposefully camouflaging traffic by breaking up patterns using delivery?

In the white trade, there is a trade-off between risk and reward where if less money equals less risk, they take the less money. There are white low level dealers did their trade for 30 years with no problems, and black teenagers on the same level busted 10 times. Greed equals jail.

Having said that, having paramilitary types busting in your door over something as innocuous as weed is insane. States haven't legalized it but some are sane enough to have decriminalized it. They basically ignore it unless it's big time.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no condescension in the article. Check yo self, bro...
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, because all blacks need are superior thoughts from our white saviors.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well you need superior thoughts from somewhere, your thinker's busted.

"Conservatives should oppose the War on Drugs because it empowers the government to restrict your private behavior, and we are for liberty; it unfairly targets the poor and black, and we are for justice; and it puts an undue burden on the police and we are for law and order."

I note you have no factual objections, so I suppose you resent reality.

Welcome to the club, here's your helmet.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule ..."

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and the person who sees condescension in the other guy is the one doing it himself, so that's all he's been trained to see.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't need to be coy when condescending, as you are. Just say you agree with the author and keep your idiotic white noise to yourself.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey, you mad bro?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I were mad you would know it.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are mocked because you have behaved mockably.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
His next sentence will be-
"A Black man can't be Republican!"

Fine sentiments, agree wholeheartedly with you, Mr. Klavan.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Considering the person who is writing is Black AND conservative, your foolishness is noted.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Liar! I don't for one second believe anyone could be black, conservative, and as stupid as you have been in this thread.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
On considering what else you've written here, I suppose it is possible.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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