Reefer Madness: Anti-Drug Fanatics Seek to Capitalize on the Tucson Massacre

Despite the fact of its abject failure over the course of the last seven decades, the war on drugs continues to receive vocal support from fanatical prohibitionists on both sides of the duopoly divide.  The Democratic-Republican bipartisan policy consensus in favor of the war on drugs has led, among other things, to the militarization of the police, the incarceration of millions of individuals in conjunction with a mind-boggling expansion of the prison industry, the erosion of core rights such as the freedom from illegal search and seizure, and the squandering of trillions of dollars in resources.  Simply put, the war on drugs is part and parcel of the Democratic-Republican party's war on the people of the United States.  In recent days, the moral degeneracy of anti-drug zealots was on full display as they attempted to capitalize upon the Tucson massacre and score political points to further their decades-long crusade against individual liberty and rational drug policy.  The day after the shooting, none other than David Frum asked, "Did Pot Trigger the Giffords Shooting?" Excerpt:
After horrific shootings, we hear calls for stricter regulation of guns. The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana. Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a “pot smoking loner.” . . . After the Tucson shooting, there may be renewed pressure to control the weapons that committed the crime. But what about the drugs that may have aggravated the killer’s mental disease? The trend these days seems toward a more casual attitude and easier access to those drugs. Among the things we should be discussing in the aftermath of this horror is the accumulating evidence of those drugs’ potential contribution to making some dangerous people even more dangerous than they might otherwise have been.
The facts of the matter do not support Frum's premature speculations however.  Reports indicate that the assassin had "given up drugs and booze" as early as 2008.  From a Mother Jones interview with a long-time friend of the assailant, Bryce Tierney:
In October 2008, Tierney was living in Phoenix, and Loughner came to visit. They went to see a Mars Volta concert with friends, and Tierney was surprised when Loughner said he had quit partying "completely." Loughner, according to Tierney, said, "I'm going to lead a more healthy lifestyle, not smoke cigarettes or pot anymore, and I'm going to start working out." Tierney was happy for his friend: "I said, 'Dude, that's awesome.' And the next time I saw him he was 10 pounds lighter." Tierney never saw Loughner smoke marijuana again, and he was surprised at media reports that Loughner had been rejected from the military in 2009 for failing a drug test: "He was clean, clean. I saw him after that continuously. He would not do it."

After Loughner apparently gave up drugs and booze, "his theories got worse," Tierney says. "After he quit, he was just off the wall."  [Emphasis added.]
As Democrats and Republicans continue to seek reliable scapegoats for this heinous crime, it is likely only a matter of time before they will return to their old favorites: hip hop, heavy metal, video games and movies.


Unknown said...

If only he had remained a pot head, he would have never had the motivation to do this.

Thurman Hubbard said...

Odds are the reefer was what kept him sedated enough to ignore the voices in his head.