The claim by these self-loathing dreadlock-junkies is that drugs are a “victimless crime”, that the war on drugs is a pointless campaign aimed at criminalising the innocent and preventing consenting adults from exercising their free choice. This may sound reasonable, but on closer inspection it is an argument about as valid as claiming that Christopher Pyne should be the new lead singer of INXS.
Try telling the victims of drugs that drug-taking is a victimless crime — you can’t, because they are the victims! Try saying that marijuana hurts nobody, to all those mourning parents whose children were killed by pot-smoking drivers. Tell those who have suffered domestic violence from ecstasy-addicted husbands and fathers who have come home from the rave in violent mood, that “recreational” drugs are “recreational”. Tell the grieving families of those who die from LSD-induced lung cancer that “there are no victims”. And try selling your “harm minimisation” message in the remote Aboriginal communities who have been torn apart by cocaine abuse. Illegal drugs ruin lives — that’s just a simple fact. And what’s more, they cause additional crime — who among us hasn’t been mugged on the street or burgled or carjacked by a wild-eyed junkie looking for his next “fix”? And if they’re committing crimes now, when drugs are illegal and expensive to get, imagine how much more crime they’ll commit when drugs are legal and cheap, and they don’t have to hold down a steady job to afford them anymore. Do the maths, people.
And that’s why the war on drugs is a war worth fighting, and a war worth possibly winning one day if things go quite well. It’s just such a shame that the brave warriors in the war on drugs aren’t revered the way our other war heroes are. We always hear about Simpson and his donkey, but why aren’t our schoolchildren being told the tale of Piers Akerman and his fearless forays into the no-man’s land of zero tolerance advocacy? We know the legend of Weary Dunlop, but what about the legend of John Howard, who stood up under heavy fire to not relax drug laws and thereby save the lives of billions? Albert Jacka is an Australian hero, but where is Miranda Devine’s VC? These are all valid questions, but I’m not going to dwell on them — those of us who fight in the trenches of the drug war don’t do it for glory; we do it for our fellow human beings, and our passionate belief that no human being should enjoy themselves quite that much.
And I guess that’s what’s at the heart of the war on drugs — those of us who have experienced something of life and know enough of the sorrows of this world to write serious magazine commentary and watch Insiders know that too much “recreation” leads only to disaster. The Roman Empire, after all, fell because people were having far too good a time. The British Empire disintegrated because Englishmen grew to prefer having a laugh to subjugating brown folks. And Germany fell under the spell of Nazism because everyone was too busy sloping off to cabarets to notice Hitler smashing things up.
And that’s probably the most important reason to keep fighting the war on drugs. Australia needs people to put their shoulders to the wheel, their noses to the grindstone, and their crotches to the buzzsaw, and keep pumping out the elbow grease that keeps the economy ticking over. And that just won’t happen if we’re all lounging around sucking on bongs, or leaping madly about to electronic noise. We can’t afford that sort of extremist leisure, not if we hope to compete with our hard-working, drug-free, dubstep-hating Asian neighbours.
Simply put, drugs lead to fun. And too much fun is, in the end, what will kill us all. Just say no, kids. Say no now.