Drug Policy

Sting Can't Be Right About the War on Drugs Because 'He's Not Even an American'

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Those who believe single-name musical celebrities have nothing to say about public policy that's worth hearing may be surprised by a new Drug Policy Alliance video in which the most articulate (and libertarian) testimonial comes from Sting: 

The war on drugs represents an extraordinary violation of human rights…It is time to step out of our comfort zones and begin to tell the truth about drugs and our failed drug policies….I support the Drug Policy Alliance because I believe in the right to sovereignty over one's own mind and body.

A rainforest-saving rock star condemning drug prohibition and endorsing an organization funded by leftish billionaire George Soros was an irresistible target for Bill O'Reilly. Last night the professionally indignant populist, whose passionate support for the war on drugs has not driven him to learn much of anything about it, mocked Sting with assistance from Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. O'Reilly, who apparently has not read John Stuart Mill, began by using his favorite drug-related factoid to rebut Sting's support for individual autonomy:

O'Reilly: You know what galls me about this? Sting [affecting an effete British accent]: "We have sovereignty over our own bodies." Seventy percent of child abuse and neglect in this country is substance abuse driven, most of it narcotics.

Kelly: Exactly right. They actually say it could be even higher than that. It could be as much as 80 percent.

O'Reilly: You know, what do you have to say about that, Sting? How about the rain forest, putting that aside and looking at child abuse once in a while? Ooh.

Far be it from me to contradict what "they" say, but O'Reilly and Kelly seem to have pulled these numbers out of their asses. According to Childabuse.com, "Among confirmed cases of child maltreatment, 40% involve the use of alcohol or other drugs." According to Childhelp USA, "Nearly one-half of substantiated cases of child neglect and abuse are associated with parental alcohol or drug abuse." According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Substance abuse may be a contributing factor for between one-third and two-thirds of maltreated children in the child welfare system." Furthermore, these estimates refer to "substance abuse" generally, the vast majority of it involving alcohol, not "narcotics." Finally, the causal interpretation of these associations remains controversial, so O'Reilly's assumption that more drug use means more child abuse is unsubstantiated. 

More fun with fake numbers:

O'Reilly: The reason we have a war on drugs is to protect people from people who get intoxicated and do terrible, terrible things. We have alcohol, that's legal. You don't compound the problem.

Kelly: But cocaine is not the same thing as alcohol. [You have a] 75 percent addiction rate on people who try cocaine and 10 percent on alcohol.

A 1994 study (PDF), based on data from the National Comorbidity Survey, estimated that 17 percent of cocaine users qualify for a diagnosis of "substance dependence" at some point in their lives, suggesting that Kelly is off by a factor of more than four. The same data indicate a lifetime addiction rate of 15 percent for alcohol. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health also indicate that addiction rates for alcohol and cocaine are similar.

So much for the substantive part of the discussion. Here Kelly and O'Reilly explain why we should not listen to what Sting has to say about the war on drugs:

Kelly: There he sits in his little ivory tower. He's not even an American, first of all, so save your opinions about our domestic policy for your own domestic policy. And, you know, when he's not working on his tantric sex, apparently he's thinking about American drug policy.

O'Reilly: But that clears your mind, doesn't it?

Kelly: I'll defer to Sting on that. But he sits over there in his ivory tower—this guy has got more money than God—he's not going to be affected by it if, you know, the streets are filled with drug addicts.

O'Reilly: But he wants to get stoned.

In short, although we have no idea what we're talking about when we discuss drug policy, we are more reliable than Sting, because he's a rich, pointy-headed, sex-obsessed, drug-addled foreigner. Am I the only one who thinks that people like O'Reilly and Kelly are inadvertently making the case against the war on drugs?

Here is the DPA promo:

Here is O'Reilly and Kelly's response:

And here is my most recent drug policy "debate" with O'Reilly:

NEXT: Glenn Greenwald, on "this suffocating, two-party monster"

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  1. Tantric sex, my ass. I knew it was drugs that facilitated Sting’s day-long orgasms.

    1. Since Tantric Sex also alters consciousness, no doubt O’Reilly would want to make it illegal. If he could pronounce “Tantra.”

  2. “Those who believe single-name musical celebrities have nothing to say about public policy that’s worth hearing may be surprised by a new Drug Policy Alliance video in which the most articulate (and libertarian) testimonial comes from Sting:”

    No surprise here.

    1. Let’s be careful about calling Sting’s position on this “libertarian”. He’s recently on the record explicitly stating that we need more Big Government, and I’m sure you’d be hard-pressed to find many issues where he does find the individual’s choices to be sovereign and none of the government’s business. If you dug into this one a little, I’m sure you’d find a plan for the National Health Service to distribute drugs on demand, and to provide babysitters on demand for people who wanted to get fucked up, and to provide hotel rooms on demand for those who didn’t want to do this at home (you don’t want them doing this on the street, do you?).

      1. agreed. also be careful about calling the Pauls and the teabaggers, “libertarian”.

      2. Yeah,Dave let’s all be moronic cunts like you and the Fox twats and comment on something totally irrelevant rather than what he actually said, you fucking idiots. Please commit suicide.

        1. Well, that was certainly appropriate and not at all psycho.

          1. No, but seriously, this debate like many other publicized debates is problematic because both sides are trying so hard to get their own point across that they are neglecting to answer the others’ questions in an informative and respectful manner. “Fox twats” purposefully used red herrings in their arguments and Sullum was unsuccessful at articulating his point in the time O’slyly slammed him down with more unrelated and inaccurate misinformation. This style and course of debate are most likely related to why our drug policies are still inefficiently in effect.

  3. He’s not even a bee.

    1. O’Reilly, OTOH, is an ess oh bee.

    2. Not only that… he’s never been a police officer of any kind!!!111!!!!

  4. 100% of the Fox commentators noted in this article are Know-Nothing, statist pukes.

    Hey – I just made that up! Well, actually…

  5. Oh come on Jacob, don’t you know the rules for TV journalism? Paragraph 5.5 of the talking head handbook clearly states that it is perfectly permissible to make up bullshit numbers when talking about the subjects of rape, drunk driving, or anything even tangentially related to “the children”.

  6. The reason we have a war on drugs is to protect people from people who get intoxicated and do terrible, terrible things.

    The reason we have a war on the Internet is to protect people from people who read bad websites and do terrible, terrible things.

  7. “You irresponsible libertines cause so much damage….” Lets see Old Riley, which category of people, irresponsible libertines or knob headed drug warriors, have cause the following?
    Trillion dollars for drug war over 40 years.
    20 million americans arrested since the 70’s for nug.
    800,000 americans arrested for nug last year.
    Prison industrial complex that may be irreversible.
    Cop who “don’t make the laws, just enforce them” but belong to unions and other organizations who spend millions lobbying for more laws.
    No significant interuption of supply.
    No significant reduction of demand.
    Better quality of drug.
    20,000 deaths in Mexico in last 3 or 4 years.
    and so on.
    and so on.

    1. You must be a Sting fan, and therefore WROOOOONNNGGG!!!!

      😉

  8. Stop confusing me with facts!

    1. No one would confuse you with a fact; you don’t even look alike.

  9. Sadly a whole lot of people think just like Kelly and O’Reily. I wish it were not true. But they are anything but out of the mainstream on this.

    1. My parents, both intelligent, in their late sixties, still believe all the 1930’s era refer madness about “the grass”, and it’s propensity to cause addiction, violence etc. Propaganda is effective, this is despite a lifetime of direct evidence about how worse booze is.

      1. Someone who is 65 was born in 1945, therefore was 27 during the summer of love. Wasn’t everyone down with LSD and anonymous sex those days? Who of that generation would buy the drug warriors schtick?

        1. The ones who had jobs and lives when they were 27. You have to remember the hippies were a bunch of rich kids and a minority. Most of American got out of high school and either went to Vietnam or got married and got a job.

          1. If you say so, my only experience with that era is from PBS documentaries and the writings of Robert Anton Wilson.

            1. I’m a young’un too but history shows the Love Generation were not nearly the huge groundswell they like to portray themselves as.

              P.S. Robert Anton Wilson FTW!

          2. That was the case.

        2. The younger boomers who became the yuppies of the eighties turned against drugs in a big way when their kids started to grow up and the former hippies didn’t want to explain their drug-soaked pasts to their progeny.

          Never underestimate the duplicity of the Spoildest Generation.

          1. Yippies became yuppies

            And they really liked cocaine.

        3. Keep in mind, it’s often those of that same generation fucking things up for the rest of us today. Free love, my ass. Fucking hayseed hypocrites.

  10. Y’know, I was a statistician. That was before I was a schoolteacher, which was before I worked on an offshore oil rig, which was before I performed in a circus, which was before I was a nuclear physicist.

    So I KNOW what I’m talking about. I’ve BEEN THERE.

    Jacob, I’ll give you the last word…

    1. O’Reilly was also a midwife and a nursemaid, which gives him an expert opinion on Roe V. Wade.

  11. John Stossel wasted his time (as usual) arguing with Megyn Kelly earlier today on her show. It’s always surprising and a little depressing how intelligent people like Kelly can be so wrong when it comes to the War on Drugs?. One may as well debate atheism with the Pope. There’s simply no point.

    1. You honestly think she believes the shit she spouts on TV? She’s just making a living.

      1. I have no reason not to take her opinions at face value.

        1. I hope she was play acting. At times it sounded like she was begging Stossel to totally rebuke her.

          1. no trust me ive seen enough interviews with megan kelly to know she dumb as rocks

          2. no trust me ive seen enough interviews with megan kelly to know she dumb as rocks

            1. Not dumb enough to post twice.

            2. Not dumb enough to post twice.

              1. Posted once. I win.

    2. You honestly think she is intelligent?

  12. Didn’t Sting announce a few years ago that he no longer practiced tantric yoga, in part because it’s all people wanted to talk to him about?

    Oh, and to hell with Bill O’Reilly. 100% of the people I polled said that.

    1. Hell no, we love Bill O’Reilly

      1. I’d rather have the loofah. I own stock in a loofah company, and it has paid dividends on a massive scale!

        1. I own stock in a falafel company.

          1. You got falafel all over my loofah!

  13. It’s quite disappointing that Obama’s people are adamant about not addressing this issue (at least this term). It’d be more popular than a lot of his other big agenda items. Hell forget about polling, most of the country is jacked up on something anyway. Few policy changes would be easier or generate more improvement in society than decriminalizing drugs. Obama obviously knows it, but I suspect he doesn’t think he’ll be able to be the president who does it–for reasons that are unsavory but probably true.

    1. Politics is ruled 98% by pragmatism and 2% by ideology. And yes, I pulled those numbers out of my ass.

      1. 70% of statistics are made up u=on the spot.

        1. Some say it’s as high as 80%.

    2. “(at least this term)”

      Tony — hyper-optimist or hyper-stupid. You make the call.

      1. What, you think President Huckabee will be good for this issue?

        1. Yeah, that’s totally what he said.

          1. Totally.

    3. Are you nucking futs?

      While a majority do favor an easing of the drug laws, it is nobody’s primary issue, other than libertarians.

      Easing drug laws would hand the Socons a Big Issue, which they would hammer Obama on in 2012. And a good chunk of Obama’s base is very socially conservative. (Look at the demographics of the vote on California’s Proposition 8 if you don’t believe me.)

      Obama’s political advisers are savvy enough to realise that this is a ‘no-win’ issue.

      1. Uh huh. The black middle class is very socially conservative and totally supports the drug war.

        1. But the black lower-class is very socially liberal and is strongly against the drug war.

          1. I suspect they are more opposed to the abuses of police power in the drug war, not the drug war itself.

            1. I’d suspect that they don’t like either of those, but the drug war has to take priority as it’s the over riding issue.

              That said, the black lower class isn’t exactly famous for its fund raising drives and coming out to vote en mass. You’re right when you say this is (unfortunately) a no-win issue for politicians; democrats especially can only lose votes by supporting this.

              The movement to decriminalize/legalize will build up gradually, I think it’s gained a lot of steam in the last 15 years.

              Drugs might be legal in another 20 years and most surely will be in 40, but not in Obama’s second term.

          2. …and, unless Obama skins alive and then eats a black baby on live television, they’re going to vote for him at a 95% clip in 2012.

            The Dems have no reason to buy the cow when they can get the chocolate milk for free.

            1. …and, unless Obama skins alive and then eats a black baby on live television, they’re going to vote for him at a 95% clip in 2012.

              Odd. If 95% of the white population and other races would display such an en bloc voting statistic they would be immediately labeled racist under current litmus testing for racism.

              Would any of the house liberals explain to me why the black population gets a pass using this criteria?

              Tulpa, everyone knows babies are best prepared sauteed in butter and garlic with a hint of tarragon. Peanut butter has ruined your palate

    4. Yeah, he’s too busy ramming through legislation that the majority doesn’t want and figuring out whose ass to kick. Meanwhile, he hasn’t changed anything significant from the policies of his predecessor.

    5. Anyone not yet realizing “Tony” is a troll persona, and not a real liberal troll, here’s your wakeup call.

  14. Oreilly is a great journalist…for me to poop on.

    1. This is both the funniest thing I have heard all day, and a phrase for all seasons. Well played, sir.

    2. Don’t you fucking get me anywhere near him.

    3. Just awesome.

    4. With as much as his mouth is open, you have plenty of opportunity.

  15. Seventy percent of child abuse and neglect in this country is substance abuse driven, most of it narcotics.

    I’m pretty sure that merely engaging in substance use/abuse in the presence of children is counted by child services as child abuse (or neglect, or something similar), regardless of whether you actually harm the child or not.

    So, you know. That MIGHT affect that 70% estimate there. Just a bit.

    1. I’m pretty sure that merely engaging in substance use/abuse in the presence of children is counted by child services as child abuse

      But kicking in the door or the child’s house and shooting their dog…while the child is there? For their own good, of course.

    2. Or maybe what percentage of people who use drugs beat their kids? Not just what percentage of parents who beat their kids are on drugs.

    3. Or maybe the sort of people who abuse their kids are the sort of people who use drugs to excess.

      1. You know, that correlation/causation thingy.

        1. Maybe they beat their kids because their kids are annoying little shits, and they take drugs to escape the undeniable truth.

          1. OMG! you just described my life.

          2. That’s fucked up.

  16. Sorry, but here goes …

    Few policy changes would be easier or generate more improvement in society than decriminalizing drugs.

    OK.

    Obama obviously knows it,

    Citation needed.

    but I suspect he doesn’t think he’ll be able to be the president who does it–for reasons that are unsavory but probably true.

    You mean, just because he’s a druggie? What reasons?

    1. Don’t have a citation, but he’s not stupid. It’s hard to believe he didn’t form a reasonable opinion on the drug war during his time as a community organizer.

      (Because he’s black.)

      1. That’s what scares us, Tony. I think he should have formed a more reasonable opinion while he was a young man smoking spliffs in his room.

      2. Let me get this straight (hee-hee). You’re saying:

        I suspect he doesn’t think he’ll be able to be the president who does it–for reasons that are unsavory but probably true. (Because he’s black.)

        Any way I parse that seems … unsavory.

      3. Maybe he doesn’t want the stigma of the first black President being the one who legalized drugs? Probably doesn’t want to feed stupid peoples prejudices just yet. Image is more important than doing the right thing.

        1. He doesn’t seem to mind the stigma of being the first black president who also let the Black Panthers get away with threatening people on camera at polling places.

      4. Maybe he’s more interested in maintaining the power which has been vested in the federal government as a result of the War on Drugs than in ending the suffering caused by continuing it.

        1. Ding, ding, ding!
          We have a winner!!

  17. Bill O’Reilly is what you get when you let an Irishman sober up.

    1. You sure he’s sober?

      1. I’m not even sure he’s Irish!

        1. Can we Irish please excommunicate him?

          1. I seem to remember reading that he said he’s never been drunk. So, while he’s railing on Sting for talking out of turn for not being American, maybe O’Reilly should look at himself for knowing nothing about the subject at hand.

            My dad always said, “Don’t trust a man who doesn’t drink” while he was feeding us Guinness at the breakfast table.

            1. You grandfather sounds like a great, great man.

            2. Guinness for strength

              1. Guiness builds muscle.

            3. My beer can has a doohickey bouncing around in it.

              1. Actually, it’s called a widget. Guinness for health!

  18. Didn’t watch the video. Did Sting have a man from an Amazonian tribe in a cage behind him?

  19. Classic O’Reilly. Says he’ll give you “the last word,” then cuts you off and calls you a stoner.

    1. LOL, he is such an ass and that’s probably why he’s on television.

  20. The last clip is priceless. Classic O’Reilly. Make shit up, ridicule your opponent when your rhetoric fails, get angry, call your opponent names, make more shit up, promise to give your opponent the last word, then renege five seconds later. The Factor is the most unserious show on prime-time cable news, and that includes Olbermann’s and Maddow’s freak-fest and Larry King’s sleazy celebrity circus.

    1. I said “last word” not last paragraph.

      1. Technically, you’re right. Bastard.

        1. O’Reilly’s “last paragraph” contains words though, so technically, he’s still a lying sack of shit.

          1. You are even more technically correct. When O’Reilly inevitably gets around to that, his guest should say, “Word!”, get up and leave.

            1. I do hope a supporter of Drug Policy Reform does this soon!!

    2. …and yet, people keep agreeing to appear on his program, because, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than being shouted at by Bill O’Reilly is not being shouted at by Bill O’Reilly.

      1. Never underestimate how many stupid people will watch a stupid TV show. See: American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, etc.

    3. Sullum made us all proud there. Came out swinging and made his points firmly. Beard was stunningly well-groomed.

      I actually don’t think O’Reilly comes across that badly in this video. He calls Sullum crazy, but also calls him a smart guy. And O’Reilly deploys the most effective argument against drug legalization: the great number of addicts and the threat that this will worsen with legalization. Not saying he’s right, just saying that it’s an effective image that Sullum doesn’t counter.

    4. I’ve only once seen someone successfully ‘debate’ with Jeremy Glick, the anti-war activist whose father had been killed in the WTC on 9/11. Glick kept his cool throughout the whole thing because he refused to be baited by O’Reily, so much so that O’Reily became visibly steamed BECAUSE he wouldn’t be baited. By the time it was over, O’Reily had to pull the plug because Glick was obviously not going to be his monkey.

      I may disaree with Glick, but I respect him as all hell for accomplishing the impossible.

  21. I support the Drug Policy Alliance because I believe in the right to sovereignty over one’s own mind and body.

    Slow down there, cowboy, we have an obesity crisis and a smoking problem in this country.

    1. Have you seen what happens to people when they maintain sovreignty over their own mind and body?

      1. Christ, what a poorly presented buffet!

        1. And where is the butter fountain?

          1. Under the pizza.

            1. Which one?

              1. Should be the one with the pancakes on it. Although I heard they used it to make the best koi pond ever.

                That image makes me ill and lose faith in my fellow human beings (you sumbitches).

        2. Why the fuck would anyone go to all the trouble to make that much food, and then throw it all over the place like that? There was no other place for the pancakes but on top of the pizzas?

  22. In all fairness to Kelly, who doesn’t round their numbers off to suit.

    Cop: How many drinks did you have tonight, sir?
    Me: Couple.

    1. NEVER say two. Always go with one or three.

  23. I hate how drug and alcohol issues are lumped together, when perhaps 80% or so is alcohol (just a guess), and then blamed 100% on DRUGS.

    1. That’s why governments would ban Alcohol if they thought they could get away with it.

      1. Yeah I seem to recall them trying. The most ridiculous part about the drug war is how many of my friends I attended college with, who’ve done massive amounts of drugs with now have kids and support the drug war because of it.

        It’s so mind-bogglingly hypocritical a half expect them to collapse into a singularity by espousing a universe ending paradox. Instead I’m left with an existence where a significant plurality of the US population has done drugs and yet a vast majority of them believe other people should go to jail for doing them, but not themselves.

        1. now have kids and support the drug war because of it.

          As if a criminal record would benefit them, if they happen to get caught doing what their parents did.

          a vast majority of them believe other people should go to jail for doing them, but not themselves.

          They truly believe that they are the exception that doesn’t get caught.

        2. Compartmentalization.

          I did drugs, but we were much more mature than my children are– we knew the dangers. Plus, I know realize the error of my ways, and can no longer condone or even apologize for such behavior. Drugs should remain illegal.

          1. It’s Friday, I’m out of the office in 10 minutes and I have to work brunch in the morning. I can’t contemplate headache inducing ridiculousness any more today. Gotta enjoy my few hours of weekend fun.

            Thankfully there was no Balko ball kick today, or I missed it somehow.

        3. “Well, when the baby boomer does it that means that it is not illegal.”

        4. “and yet a vast majority of them believe other people should go to jail for doing them, but not themselves.”

          This is where the hypocrisy really gets me. If you want to argue that you did them, but in retrospect think it wasn’t a good idea and don’t want your kids to do them, I can accept that as a sincere argument. But when you are supporting people BEING IMPRISONED for the exact same things that you spent years doing, while of course not turning yourself in for such crimes, you can go fuck yourself.

          1. The term for this should be “Mel Gibsoning”, as in “Mel Gibson fucked everything that moved and drank his face off when he was younger, and then when he decided he was done, began to lecture the rest of us on religion and behavior”.

            This is of course followed by “And then when he decided he was ready to start again, went buck wild, drinking and fucking everything in sight”. Kind of like the “former” drug using parents who are now clean. Except for the Xanax and Vicodin, of course.

  24. O’Reilly “Unacceptable!!!! No man who plays the Lute can have a valid opinion on drugs.”

    1. Sting had a lucid thought. I’m glad it happens to agree with my lucid thoughts… but in the end, we do give a little too much deference to guys who have cool hair and play guitars with middling to average skill and who have a higher than average fan base.

      Many a time I’ve asked myself “why does this dimwit who plays the guitar rather well or sings a couple of catchy tunes keep showing up on my tv waxing phiolosphical about geopolitics?”

      1. Oddly enough, I’m not a fan of Sting’s music but I see him as a respectable and innovative thinker on many important issues.

        If he were giving a lecture in my town, I would have no problem plunking down some cash to buy tickets. But I would never buy one of his albums 😉

        1. Saw him twice. Once was when he opened for the Grateful Dead; odd pairing. The second time was because we wanted to see Johnny Lang, who was the opening act. Left halfway through Sting’s set.

          1. The Police were pretty good.

            1. Thanks to Stewart Copeland.

              1. Stewart Copeland was the Police.

                That group should have been named “The Police, featuring Stewart Copeland”

                1. Fuck off!

                  1. Andy Summers played guitar well…. he should be on my tv waxing philosophical about matters geopolitical.

                    1. I have mixed feelings about this issue. A lot of people, myself included, get annoyed with celebrities running their mouths off about political issues, but we all do that. If you’re reading this right now, you probably do it in this very forum. On the other hand, if their fame allows them a bigger pedestal and media access, then they are also have made themselves a bigger target.
                      I guess my problem isn’t with celebrities who express an opinion, or even celebrities who express an opinion with which I don’t agree. It’s with celebrities who don’t have a clue as to what they are talking about, but consider themselves authorities based on their fame. My favorite example is probably Barbara Streisand’s open letter to Bush where she spoke of the “logging companies'” influence in pushing for the Iraq invasion. Because there’s so much lumber to be had over there.

  25. Bill O’Reilly doesn’t know a falafel from a loofah.

    1. He’d eat more loofah, if it didn’t financially contribute to terrorism.

  26. I am so tired of the ridiculous idea that people somehow become uncontrollable monsters when using certain substances. It’s so patently absurd, but somehow it persists. So, a well-adjusted, non-baby-raping person is going to pull a Mr. Hyde as soon as he or she takes a drink, or does a line of coke? I don’t think most people are stupid enough to believe that, so why does this canard keep getting trotted out?

    1. As long as the very people who use said substances use that as their defense, well, the notion’s going to stick around for a while.

      1. Man, if I had a dollar for every time I drank three bottles of vodka, blacked out, murdered my neighbors, and set fire to their house…

        At least now I’ve got plans for my Friday night.

        1. Let’s not go too far. I can think of many cases where substance use caused or at least contributed to people becoming violent. Most of those cases were from alcohol, and we already have a legal framework to deal with that and seem to accept it just fine, so I don’t find it a very compelling argument. But still, that doesn’t mean we should pretend it doesn’t happen.

          Now if you’re going to make that argument about weed, you’re a fool. TV watching may increase and the potato chip industry may experience shortages, but if anything, violence will go down.

          1. Bingo, This Dave….

    2. So, a well-adjusted, non-baby-raping person is going to pull a Mr. Hyde as soon as he or she takes a drink, or does a line of coke?
      According to Harry Reid, yes.

      1. Opps, forgot he said jobs and not alcohol in that one. Still works for showing what idiots politicians are though.

        1. Better keep a close eye on Harry come the third of November.

          1. Who the fuck is Harry Reid?

            1. What the fuck is a voter?

    3. And ironically; as we all know, the substance most likely to cause aggression when used to abusive levels is alcohol.

      1. I’m not sure if that’s true.

        It may be statistically by virtue of the fact that alcohol is legal and therefore the most commonly abused substance. But I would hesitate to scientifically declare that on side-by-side comparisons, there isn’t some other substance that results in more aggressive behavior than a Vodka Gimlet.

        1. Either way, I’m not a fan of the “alcohol is worse” line of reasoning as a pro-legalization argument. There aren’t any substances that morph you into a monster Reefer Madness-style, and the majority of people who use alcohol or other drugs do so responsibly. The people who don’t would doubtless find some other excuse for their bad behavior even if there were no mind-altering substances on the face of the earth.

          1. There aren’t any substances that morph you into a monster Reefer Madness-style

            Ahem.

          2. I believe that the “alcohol is worse” meme came out a knee-jerk attempt to show people who drink but support the war on drugs as hypocrites.

            However, with age comes wisdom, and I’m very leary about that talking point, because as we’ve seen, given the chance, the government will take that argument at face value and equalize the disparities by making everything illegal.

          3. Either way, I’m not a fan of the “alcohol is worse” line of reasoning as a pro-legalization argument.

            True, it is really a freedom issue. It just shows the hypocrisy, and wrt alcohol prohibition, how prohibition is worse.

          4. Alcohol is definitely worse than pot. You can overdose and die on alcohol. You cannot on pot. Pot really has no health risks beyond lung cancer, which can be eliminated by ingesting it in some other manner besides smoking.

            1. “Pot really has no health risks beyond lung cancer”

              [citation needed]

            2. We’d love it if pot was legalized. I can see it now: “Doesn’t cause lung cancer”!

              Gold.

            3. Alcohol is definitely worse than pot. You can overdose and die on alcohol. You cannot on pot.

              Yes you can, it just may take unrealistically large amounts. All poison is in the dose.

              1. To be fair that rhesus monkey experiment was total BS. Put a monkey in a glass box and pump it full of any kind of smoke and that monkey will die.

                1. To be fair that rhesus monkey experiment was total BS

                  Not if it had been a Rhesus Phesus monkey.

              2. Shhh.

                I can see the FDA press release now:
                “Rats who smoked the equivalent of 1,000,000,000,000 joints had a 15% higher probability of developing plebny.”

              3. Yes you can (fatally overdose on cannabis), it just may take unrealistically large amounts. All poison is in the dose.”

                The overdose ratio is about 15% of your body weight. You could overdose, but it’s more likely you’ll try to light the bong and produce a conflagration that totally consumes Earth’s atmosphere. Either way, it’s a chance I’m willing to take…

          5. There aren’t any substances that morph you into a monster Reefer Madness-style

            Except tequila

            1. I saw my best friend morph into a monster under the influence of ouzo. Smashed a chair, got kicked out of a Cult show, somehow talked his way back in by claiming he was with the band, then was kicked out again. Very strange.

              1. Very strange.

                The friend or the band?

          6. I completely agree that the “alcohol is worse” is kinda a LAME argument, and it kinda misses the point, my personal lay opinion is that it’s probably true. Take a meek librarian and feed her booze, I think there’s a GOOD chance she will become loud mouthed and hostile. It’s the nature of the effects of alcohol. I just don’t see that with other drugs, not crack cocaine, not X, not heroin, not weed, or PCP, or K… Mushrooms… I just can’t think of ANY other substance other than alcohol where good natured, generally agreeable people who, after a one time indulgence on the weekend, become unusually mean and maybe a little violent.

        2. Statistics are probably at play, but pot is probably not that far behind alcohol in some demographics.
          True there may be, but alcohol does lower inhibitions and affect judgment in ways that most other intoxicants don’t. Certainly not pot.

          1. Pot lowers my inhibitions about eating everything in the kitchen, and affects my judgement too, but I don’t remember how.

            1. I actually gave up beer and just stuck to pot because of my growing beer belly.

              I then learned that just smoking pot makes you gain much more weight than a couple beer.

              1. I don’t know if the argument needs to be “Alcohol is worse”, but invoking alcohol answers a lot of the questions that pro-prohibition types put forth.

                “What if someone is under the influence and hurts somebody?”

                What if they do that on alcohol?

                “What about the gangs that sell drugs?”

                Banning alcohol during Prohibition empowered gangs; everyone agrees on that. Same thing with drugs.

                “But what about the children?”

                What about the children with alcohol? Many kids say it’s easier to get drugs than alcohol because dealers don’t card.

                1. Yes, indeed. But a lot of hippies are drunk on hater-ade and use comparisons to push some agenda that is very different than saying “I own my body and i’ll do what I want”

    4. …So, a well-adjusted, non-baby-raping person is going to pull a Mr. Hyde as soon as he or she takes a drink, or does a line of coke?…

      Typical libertarian thinking: “Nothing happened right away, so nothing will ever happen”. It’s either stupid or dishonest. Which is it for you?

    5. I agree with that sentiment, but as most know – there are plenty of people with addictive personalities that find the need to get drunk, or do harder drugs ( coke, meth, heroin, etc. ) become THE dominant driving force in their lives. I am all for at least the decriminalization of cannabis and its derivatives, BUT, I would like other, harder drugs to remain illegal. JMO…

      1. Why? Why does some addict need YOUR protection? Who does it benefit when we teach some LOSER that his rights not to be tempted trumps everyone else’s right to explore their own minds however they see fit and can afford to do? How does keeping illicit substances illegal even accomplish that? It just makes desperate people MORE desperate and gives them a lot less to lose in a lot of situations. That victimizes us all.

  27. Anyway, you can size up the tremendous task at hand in fighting the War on Drugs and Salt and Obesity and Fat and everything else that makes life fun when you have right-wing populists like O’Reilly agreeing with left-wing nanny-staters. There’s nobody in the middle, just us lonely libertarians way out on the rim of space, shouting into the void.

    1. You’re not alone. You have me.

      Ok, you’re intellectually alone, but I’m still here.

      1. That’s comforting. And a little creepy.

  28. Don’t come near my family! I love it when they say that.

  29. “Far be it from me to contradict what “they” say, but O’Reilly and Kelly seem to have pulled these numbers out of their asses.”

    But, but, but Bill assured me this was a No Spin Zone!

  30. O’Reilly is a dope. But not so fast Sullum. Those numbers you cite in your argument are still pretty bad dude. We should not fall for those red herring arguments in any event.

    The issues are (1) personal freedom and (2) the practical benefit of the “war on drugs”, and the relationship between those two. If parents abuse their kids because they abuse substances, take the kids away. Think how much more money society would have to take care of abused kids if we didn’t spend billions on “the war”.

    I don’t do drugs, or consume alcohol, anymore. I used to. Like Mitch Hedberg once said, “I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to too.” And if you want to kill yourself like Mitch did, go ahead.

    1. Libertarians wanting to legalize substances must always be prepared to have a rational discussion about the effects of substance abuse- which won’t go away with legalized substances..

      A desperate crack addict peeing herself in the alley is still a desperate crack addict even if the drug is legal.

      However, I still think it’s reasonable to say that since we already have the crack addict peeing herself in the alley, the War on Drugs is largely a failure, and there has to be another way.

      1. I don’t know that there is much to do with that crack addict, if they haven’t committed a crime (a real crime, harming a person or property, natch). And I think that’s what some people find unpleasant- that there’s no appropriate “do something!!” action for the state to take if a person wants to abuse drugs.

      2. If you believe in self ownership (and no one can claim to believe in liberty who does not) then “the effects of abuse” are a completely irrelevant issue. These arguments about how bad this drug is versus alcohol or the possible medicinal effect of this weed or that one or the religious justification for mushrooms or peyote – as far as I am concerned these are precisely the wrong tack and is playing into the hands of those who oppose liberty.

        The word that always pops into my head is expediency, but that’s not the word I want. Utilitarian, I guess. You can either argue from utilitarianism – an argument you will always lose with authoritarian thinkers – or you can argue from first principles and force people the suffer the discomfort of cognitive dissonance of supposing they believe in the notion of liberty on which the country was founded while at the same time trying to justify to themselves the right tell other people and to be told what they can or can not ingest into their own bodies. I believe most people do intuitively understand the concept of principle.

        1. That doesn’t invalidate my point. The discussion will happen, even if it happens to you.

          Believe you me, I’m very much one of the original anti-medical marijuana wet blankets around here. I think marijuana should be legalized, full stop.

          However, when talking about drugs at large, sometimes libertarians run away with themselves and suggest that if only drugs were legal, all the negative aspects of drug use would melt away, because everyone would be doing it in a safe manner and with clean needles instead of hiding on a back street somewhere.

          While I believe some of the negative effects of drug abuse will be mitigated by legalization, we’re still going to be faced with debilitating drug addiction and you have to be ready for a response when the opponents of liberty point to that and say “see?”

          And you know they will.

          1. The answer is, “yes there will be addicts that need help in a legal future just like there are addicts that need help in the illegal present. The difference will be how easy it will be to help that person when they don’t have to fear incarceration.”

            1. And that’s really all I’m talking about. A perfectly reasonable response within the discussion.

        2. Just a reminder: In Libertopia there are no government-funded rehab centers and no government welfare if you fuck yourself up. Do you understand that or are you planning on keeping those intact after the revolution?

          1. In Libertopia (?), I’d imagine that that would fall under the heading of Personal Responsibility.

          2. Nah dude, no state run rehab. No no. Pay for it yourself. Oh, but drug addicts are likely poor. …Tough shit, huh.

            Seriously, tho, there is charity and Steve Wilkos episodes and for everyone else, that’s uh, the risk, isn’t it? Don’t fuck up your life if you wanna keep it.

      3. This is actually a very similar issue to gun control. The problem is not the object, it is the person.

        For those of you who know people whose lives were destroyed by drugs (temporarily or not)- would you honestly say that they were fine and it was all caused by the drug? Or did problems that already existed in those people manifest themselves as drug addiction? Every time I see a parent on TV talking about how their daughter was a straight-A model student until someone gave her drugs at a party, I can’t help but think “You’re leaving out the part where her accomplishments were never good enough for you, where you called her a whore if she wanted to go on a date, where you told her what college she was going to and what she was going to study whether she like it or not, etc.”
        I have a relative who went through a very difficult teen period (drugs, running away) and was viewed by some of the family as a bad kid, which was true enough, but those people always seemed to forget about the part where her parents had spent the previous 12 years (in other words, her whole life as far as she could remember) tearing their marriage apart and being fucked in the head.
        But it’s so much easier to blame it on the drugs.

        1. +100

        2. Ya. My parents sometimes stop and think to ask “What was all that ABOUT, after high school?” referring to my few years of reckless drug abuse. But I guess they always think I’m kidding when I say “You convinced me to buy my own car and take on a huge student loan… but you picked the car and the classes. What was THAT about?” So they ask again in a few years, inevitably. I still remember.

          Haha. Still, I have to say, a BIG part of it is the drugs, isn’t it? Unless it’s EXTREMELY rare for you to dabble in some fun illicit substance, even weekend partying can turn into something sinister pretty quickly. I mean the gap between the number of first time users and hardcore addicts doesn’t exactly tell the WHOLE story. Plenty of people “experiment” ONCE. With insufficient amounts of whatever drug they wanna “try”.

          I’m not claiming to have any scientific evidence, just from personal experience and first person observations, being too fucked up on drugs to realize you’re becoming dependent on them happens to plenty of intelligent, emotionally stable people.

          Holding people responsible for their own actions is still the best action to take. Let people fuck up their lives all they want and don’t make anybody pay for other people’s mistakes.

  31. When O’R said “It’s the same thing [as alcohol abuse],” it would have been nice to ask him whether he favors reinstating Prohibition. Ron Paul did that long ago on teevee.

  32. Megyn Kelly isn’t doing much to dispel that “dumb as a box of rocks blonde” stereotype.

    1. I like to watch all those blonds on FOX. For all the right reasons.

    2. But she isn’t dumb. That’s what’s infuriating.

  33. I hate O’Rielly so very much. He is, I would say, the worst talking head, even worse than Hyperbolberman.

    1. I hope his blood pressure is proportional to his demeanor. If so, he won’t be around to hate much longer.

      1. YouTubes servers will explode the day he keels over on the air.

    2. Don’t forget Hannity.

      1. This. O’Reilly is a blowhard, but he is in his way ‘his own man’

        Hannity is the most hacktastic hack in hacktown.

        (but to be fair, he’s still better than Mark Levin; Hannity actually seems like a decent if misguided human being, Levin is just plain despicable.)

  34. Look at these feeble claims:

    According to Childabuse.com, “Among confirmed cases of child maltreatment, 40% involve the use of alcohol or other drugs.”

    Note the use of “maltreatment”, not abuse. And what does “involve” mean here, anyway?

    According to Childhelp USA, “Nearly one-half of substantiated cases of child neglect and abuse are associated with parental alcohol or drug abuse.”

    Sigh.

    “Associated”? What the heck? I bet 100% are “associated” with TV watching.

    According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, “Substance abuse may be a contributing factor for between one-third and two-thirds of maltreated children in the child welfare system.”

    1. (Continuing) … or it may not be.

      Nice, R C. Too bad many (most?) folks are not as attentive.

      1. Excuse me Dick, and Resident Cunt Dean, you seem to be missing the entire fucking point of bringing up those statistics. It was not to assess the claims of Childhelp, it was to point out that O’Reilly and Kelly pulled the figures out of the air. If Childhelp’s figures are not up to scrutiny this in NO WAY invalidates the argument you absolute fucking idiot!

        1. Calm yourself there Roid Rage.

  35. Do I understand this correctly?

    They claim that any marijuana use by parents constitutes child abuse. Then they claim that all the real child abuse caused by alcohol is confirmation that the war on selected drug users, including peaceful cannabis users, but not including alcohol users, must be vigorously fought. ???

    1. They claim that any marijuana use by parents constitutes child abuse.

      It’s actually double child abuse, because it’s illegal.

    2. Smoking in general is argue to constitute child abuse. The Drug War is expanding before our eyes, not contracting.

  36. That Drug Policy Alliance video is pure shit, though. “The War on Drugs is a War on People of Color”? Ugh.

  37. Sting is a mass murderer just like libertarian pigs.

    1. I so want to fuck you right now.

  38. “O’Reilly: But he wants to get stoned.”

    Too bad that’s the prevailing attitude in far too many political discussions. People only want something to be legal because they want to do it.

    I’ve never smoked pot, but think it should be legal. I think that would make O’Reilly’s head explode.

    1. Think again pinhead. My head is solid as a rock. Believe it!

      1. Which head? I think the head further south is not only solid as a rock whenever you have hot Fox News anchors on, but also about to explode.

        1. Great. Because that’s an image that I wanted kicking around in my brain.
          Thank you, J. Thank you so very much.

  39. I wish O’Reilly would get stoned. 6″ diameter stones should do the trick nicely.

  40. Here’s one of the better drug-related album covers in a while.

    1. I always appreciate the music videos, Warty 🙂

      1. I aim to horrify, but if I can’t achieve that, I appreciate any appreciation.

  41. If you’re for the war on drugs, YOU ARE A PUSSY. It’s as simple as that.

  42. While I may have a common “The drug war is bullshit.” connection with those opposing Orly’s retarded position. I’m pretty sure each person I agree with in opposition to Orly wants to fuck over the rest of my rights. Especially if good old I made mine (by fucking others) fuck you for yours George is involved.

    I’m not much for the enemy of my enemy is friend sort of thing. It seems to never workout well.

  43. Wasn’t Sting, a couple weeks ago, going on about how “only big government can save us [from global warming]”?

    Internet research says, “Yes”.

  44. Prohibitionists dance hand in hand with every possible type of criminal one can imagine.

    An unholy alliance of ignorance, greed and hate which works to destroy all our hard fought freedoms, wealth and security.

    We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: “Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!”

    Nobody wants to see an end to prohibition because they want to use drugs. They wish to see proper legalized regulation because they are witnessing, on a daily basis, the dangers and futility of prohibition. ‘Legalized Regulation’ won’t be the complete answer to all our drug problems, but it’ll greatly ameliorate the crime and violence on our streets, and only then can we provide effective education and treatment.

    The whole nonsense of ‘a disaster will happen if we end prohibition’ sentiment sums up the delusional ‘chicken little’ stance of those who foolishly insist on continuing down this blind alley. As if a disaster isn’t already happening. As if prohibition has ever worked.

    To support prohibition is such a strange mind-set. In fact, It’s outrageous insanity! –Literally not one prohibitionist argument survives scrutiny. Not one!

    The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

    During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    In an underground drug market, criminals and terrorists, needing an incentive to risk their own lives and liberty, grossly inflate prices which are further driven higher to pay those who ‘take a cut’ like corrupt law enforcement officials who are paid many times their wages to look the other way. This forces many users to become dealers themselves in order to afford their own consumption. This whole vicious circle turns ad infinitum. You literally couldn’t dream up a worse scenario even if your life depended on it. For the second time within a century, we’ve carelessly lost “love’s labour,” and, “with the hue of dungeons and the scowl of night,” have wantonly created our own worst nightmare.

    So should the safety and freedom of the rest of us be compromised because of the few who cannot control themselves?

    Many of us no longer think it should!

  45. How much money does god have?

  46. Are the dangers posed by gangs real or just media-generated hype? If you read the news today you can easily imagine MAC-10 toting drug dealers on every street corner randomly spraying bullets at passerby. Just like during prohibition where Tommy-gun sporting gangsters ruled the nation with an iron hand. The fact is that it’s bullshit.

    And it’s the same with Mexico. With cartels that rival or even surpass government authority what do you expect would happen? The recent shootings at the rehab centers were just “business” to the cartels. It would have happened regardless of the legal status of narcotics because an inefficient and corrupt government would be powerless against the cartels.

    1. Juarez ain’t media-generated hype.

    2. Yes, moron, that’s why in places with weak governments the brewers and distillers are gunning each other down.

  47. Sting – a big-government egomaniac with 7 estates and a carbon footprint the size of Argentina (but he buys offsets from Al Gore!) who is going to tell you – then demand government make you – how you can live. But not him.
    Yes, Bill O’Reilly is a populist blowhard… still beats listening to any of the lunatic. tinfoil-hatted statists on MSNBC….or ABC.

  48. No, Monty, they are all equally bad. O’Reilly is not better than Olbermann. They are both disingenuous fucktards who spew ear-splitting invective at television cameras in order to make money. There is no difference between Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann. They are both parasites of human emotion and shitstains of debate.

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  51. Discussion on the O’Reilly factor consists of a) Shouting at someone he disagrees with. b) Bringing in someone he agrees with and nodding along.

  52. I support the Drug Policy Alliance because I believe in the right to sovereignty over one’s own mind and body.

    So he opposes socialized medicine?

    1. For himself and his family. The rest of the great unwashed, NHS!

    2. Well if he’s a true libertarian he would be. Everyone needs access to clean healthy body healing herbs and healing. But not at the governments appointing.

  53. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  54. freggin’ depressing. Even an editor at Reason magazine clings to this childish form of libertarianism

  55. They say sitting in an ivory tower having tantric sex and smoking a bowl like its a bad thing. maybe it Kelly or Riley got some they’d see what verbal diarrhea they are spewing. Uggh. And these morons are on TV molding minds of millions. JFK.

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