I originally planned to fact check this Politico op-ed by former Bush-era Drug Czar John P. Walters, but it quickly became apparent his arguments were beyond logical refutation. The piece gets progressively more bizarre and disconnected from reality until it ends with Walter warning Libertarians that drug legalization could lead to a dystopic future where our democracy is ruined by politicians actively plying people with drugs for votes. From Walter:
And the political risks are already evident. All these marijuana users that are reliable supporters of pro-legalization candidates in their state campaigns—that donate their money and pledge their votes—how would we feel if they were all heroin users, compelled by their disease to support a particular political candidate? The fact that the United States is currently experiencing a surge in heroin makes this a question worth asking. […]
How does a libertarian abide the threat that today’s congressman might become tomorrow’s party functionary in charge of dispensing or withholding the desperately needed dose? If an essential predicate of libertarian society is the willing, rational actor, capable of weighing and understanding consequences, what’s left when this condition is absent?
Such a state is not the attainment of liberty, but rather its end.
I would point out the irony of Walter’s argument that his preferred solution of continuing to lock people in cages is better for enhancing liberty, but it seems Walter is beyond irony at this point.
As much as I would like to dismiss Walter, sadly he is still taken seriously. He is actually a top public spokesman against drug policy reform who still gets to write op-eds in major publications, and his policy letters to members of Congress make the news.
So it is important to publicly highlight and make a record of just how insane the positions of the top “thinkers” in the anti-reform movement really are. Hopefully if more people are made aware of just how ridiculous their positions are, it will help to discredit them.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy