Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Marijuana Option

Instapundit links to a piece on Hillary Clinton that proclaims that Hillary wants to stop sexual violence.

Women and girls in particular have been victimized on an unimaginable scale, as sexual and gender-based violence has become a tactic of war and has reached epidemic proportions. Some 1,100 rapes are reported each month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every day.

I visited a hospital run by the organization Heal Africa and met a woman who told me that she was eight months' pregnant when she was attacked. She was at home when a group of men broke in. They took her husband and two of their children and shot them in the front yard, before returning into the house to shoot her other two children. Then they beat and gang-raped her and left her for dead. But she wasn't dead. She fought for life and her neighbors managed to get her to the hospital – 85 kilometers away.

I came to Goma to send a clear message: The United States condemns these attacks and all those who commit them and abet them. They are crimes against humanity.
Well ALRIGHT!! Hillary. But how about we tackle such a problem a little closer to home. Not quite so severe. But some easier to reach. And instead of convincing another government to do something we just get our government to act.

Here is an excerpt from the book

Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
The social consequences of all this student drinking are even more alarming. At the most tragic level, alcohol abuse is a leading cause of fatalities on college campuses. In 2001, there were an estimated 1,700 alcohol-related unintentional-injury deaths among college students and others aged 18 to 24. But these deaths are just the tip of the alcohol-related-injury iceberg. Researchers estimate that every year approximately 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured while under the influence of alcohol. Of course, those who drink are not the only ones adversely affected. Even more disturbing is the number of injuries to others that are caused by students under the influence of alcohol. Each year approximately 700,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by students who have been drinking, and close to 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. Yet these raw numbers only tell part of the story. The much broader impact of alcohol abuse on campus is evident when one looks at the percentage of violent acts that are booze-related. According to a 1994 report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), 95 percent of all campus assaults are alcohol-related, and 90 percent of all reported campus rapes involve a victim or an assailant who has been drinking alcohol.

"Virtually every sexual assault is associated with alcohol abuse. Almost every assault of any kind is related to drinking." - University of Maryland President C.D. "Dan" Mote, August 2008
So what do the book authors suggest? No doubt it will come as a surprise.
University officials are well aware of these startling statistics. As is evident by the quote above, campus leaders not only recognize that alcohol is a frequent cause of injuries and assaults, but many also believe that it is a factor in almost all campus assaults. Think about this point for a moment. These same officials are aware that students use marijuana on their campuses?most likely to a greater extent than they would like. Yet despite pot's popularity among the student body, you rarely if ever hear university officials or campus police publicly blaming assaults or rapes on marijuana abuse. In other words, the people responsible for maintaining safety on college campuses recognize that alcohol use frequently leads to widespread injuries and violent student behavior while marijuana use does not. You would think that leaders of institutions of higher learning would rationally and impartially examine this data and act accordingly. Think again.
I guess one thing you can say for sure is that alcohol prohibition for people under 21 isn't working. And marijuana prohibition for everyone isn't working either.

Normally people drop policies that aren't working. If not sooner then eventually. But we have government involved here. There are people making a very good living doing things that are counter productive. And what about the alcohol industry? They would lose some of their best customers. And don't forget people in the illegal drug trade who depend on prohibition for their profits.

And so we have to ask. Is Hillary looking into how substituting marijuana for alcohol could reduce sexual violence in America? And if it works here could we give it a go in Goma?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Virtually every sexual assault is associated with alcohol abuse. Almost every assault of any kind is related to drinking."

This surprises me. I am not sure why because it seems very plausible in hindsight. I bet virtually none are linked to hash, grass, weed, shrooms, etc. except by association (the person had them in his possession or was a dealer) I don't know about other drugs but I suspect that crimes used to acquire cash for them are more common than resultant sex offenses.

Now just because a drug is or is not linked to sex assault does not give weight to an argument to ban it as the many social drinkers will attest. Even our alcohol phobic society recognizes that crimes are not mitigated due to alcohol intoxication unless there is a demonstrated history of addiction and even then it is not a get out of jail free card. But it the relative harm done by legal drugs over illegal ones is certainly an important part of the issue.

Frankly, crimes should be illegal. Substances that criminals use that might have allegedly contributed to their decision making should not. I might make an exception if there were a drug that caused many otherwise normal people to become murdering rapist wackos but even alcohol doesn't do that. And such a drug would probably not be that popular. Put the money into addiction research which is making great breakthroughs and stop micromanaging people's lives while supporting criminal gangs. Spend the effort tracking down child porn creators involuntary prostitution and if they manage to stop that then we can talk about re-prohibiting drugs and voluntary prostitution.