Monday, 24 January 2011

A Normal Weekend on Drugs?

I wonder if this weekend is what policy makers envisaged when they created our drug laws? Somehow I doubt it.

I assume their mission would have involved a few basics like evidence based strategies, plans for reduced drug use and a quiet confidence that they would be winning the "War on Drugs”. Oops.

Instead, we got 40 people arrested for party drugs at a music festival, cops admitting that drugs cause very few problems in the night club districts and a bunch of self righteous loonies protesting about evidence based health programs. Oh, and an admission from police that they are losing the fight against organised criminals specialising in drug distribution. And what’s the weekend’s news without the media quoting some old, discredited information while trying to embellish a drug story? In an article about a student drug dealer, the Herald-Sun have drudged up that old fable about a mephedrone user who tried to rip off his own scrotum with his bare hands. Along with The Age, they also said that mephedrone was ‘linked to’ 25 deaths in Britain although it had been publicly revealed six months ago that most of them actually died from another cause and simply had traces of the drug in their system.

That’s a lot of bad news for law makers and politicians especially for a quiet weekend. What it does though is remind us that experts give out advice for a reason - they are experts. Good intentions and agenda driven policies have a habit of returning to bite you on the arse when you ignore the experts. And this can’t be any clearer than drug policy.

What we desperately need to avoid is the ramblings of social commentators and outrageous opinion writers who also refuse to take on the advice and findings of experts. These are the people you see at parties who argue every point about every issue and when challenged will laugh off their debate loss with, ‘Oh, don’t mind me … I have an opinion about everything’. Having an opinion is fine but having some proper knowledge about the issue is probably a good idea.

Just what we need - Prue Macsween giving us her opinion on health policy.
(Shouldn't she be hosting the daily bimbo news or something?)

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Firesnake said...

Poor Prue ("special needs kids hold back normal kids") MacSweeny.

Her grasp of the situation comes through in her advice. "Put a condom over your head".

And sure, there's "no safe or responsible way to take drugs".

Get those goddamn safe drinking, age appropriate ads off the telly then.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks FS.

Don't you just love her job title - Social Commentator.

Thankfully I had never heard of this dreadful woman before but I wonder how many people actually listen to her and agree with her grade 3 logic?

She's just what we need to help unravel complex, social issues!

And good point. It's OK to have ads for the safe consumption of alcohol because it's her drug of choice.

Claudia said...

It just makes me so angry to hear this kind of ill-informed bullshit being spewed out the mouth of someone who is in the position of being able to give voice to their opinion on national TV. Thank god the other guy spoke with some semblance of logic and reason.