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Friday, March 7, 2008

A recent study from Australia concluded that banning alcohol in Australia's Aboriginal communities lead to an increased rate of cannabis consumption. There are a couple of items lacking in the news story that troubled me.

First, it seems that the assumption is made that cannabis is somehow worse than alcohol. Secondly, the report doesn't seem to address if there were any sociological problems associated with the substitution of alcohol for cannabis. Was there increased violence? Was there an increase of theft? Was there an increased suicide rate? Probably the converse is true.

If not for western influence, cannabis would probably be the "drug of choice" for the indigenous people. Who are we of European ancestry to tell the tribes how they should live their lives? We're on there homeland! It's our influence that destroyed their way of life, not their self-determination.

You can also look at this story from another perspective. The conventional wisdom is heroin is worse than cannabis, is worse than alcohol. Following the prohibitionist's own logical fallacy wouldn't cannabis prohibition contribute to increased heroin use? Of course I believe alcohol is far more deadly than cannabis, but doesn't this show the lack of logic and compassion in their drug policy?