U.S.: Ex Drug Czar Bennett's New Book 'Going To Pot' Rails Against Legalization
By Steve Elliott
In a sadly predictable development, the mortally wounded but still dangerous War On Cannabis has produced a new book from former drug czar William Bennett. Bennett's new nonsense-filled tome is called Going To Pot, and anyone who enjoys right wing moralizing, pseudo-scientific scare-mongering, and patent nonsense can certainly have a hell of a time with this piece of trash.
Bennett served as director of national drug control policy (drug czar) under President George H.W. Bush, and he's long been known for his obnoxious pronouncements and conservative backwardness, as well as tiresomely moralizing and practically unreadable volumes such as The Book of Virtues.
In Going To Pot, Bennett and coauthor Robert White, managing partner in an international law firm and former assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, examine current efforts to legalize pot. "Marijuana, once considered worthy of condemnation, has in recent years become a 'medicine' legalized fully in four states, with others expected to follow," they write.
Here's a handy rule of thumb, folks, and so far, it's reliably worked 100 percent of the time for me. Whenever you're reading something and they put "medicine" in quotes when speaking of cannabis, you're wasting your time; read something else, preferably something where the author isn't suffering from advanced cranial-rectal inversion.
Bennett says it's his intention to provide "a call to action for the 46 states that know better than to support full legalization, and a voice of reason for millions who have jumped on the legalization bandwagon because they haven't had access to the facts."
Unfortunately, in Bennett's aging mind, the "facts" consist of the same tired old Reefer Madness myths and superstitions, minimally dressed up with a barely there covering of cobbled together "scientific evidence" from discredited and unsupported studies averring "permanent brain damage."
The authors seem particularly offended by the fact that cannabis "is a substance whose dangers the President of the United States recently downplayed, in the face of the very evidence of his own Office of National Drug Control Policy, DEA, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse promulgate." Translation: They're really pissed that Obama dared to speak the increasingly obvious truth -- that marijuana is safer than alcohol.
"Adding to the catalog of unhealthy products in America does nothing to reduce problems we already have; it only serves to increase the harm by adding yet another dangerous substance to the marketplace," Bennett and his coauthor write, in a startlingly clear illustration of their embarrassing cluelessness.
Let's leave aside the unsupportable contention that cannabis is somehow "unhealthy" when the best and latest science we have shows it is one of the safest -- nay, healthiest -- substances on the planet.
Anyone who has been paying even nominal attention to American societal trends for the past 75 years knows that we are "adding" nothing to the marketplace by legalizing cannabis; we are merely acknowledging the reality of a substance that has been part of the fabric of our society for decades, and beyond that an important part of human culture for thousands of years.
Does anyone in America really believe that marijuana prohibition keeps weed out of the hands of those who really want it? Well, yeah, apparently, there are two pitiable guys left who believe that: Bennett and White.
“Legality is the mother of availability and availability, as former health, education, and welfare secretary Joe Califano recently put it, is the mother of use,” they write. Yes, they really think prohibition can keep young people from using pot.
Bennett and White argue that "the argument" is about "the health and well-being of our children and our country." What they don't seem to realize is that they already lost the argument, decades ago -- and that the laws are inevitably about to catch up with the people.