I read on 23 November the tweet of forester Erik de Jonge. In his tweet he reported on cleaning up illegally dumped drug waste.
“Thanks to all taxpayers who made it possible that last night the police, fire brigade, municipality, population care, team environment and a clearance company (and me) were busy with the #waste dumping #drug waste that I found. (Ostrich screamers about legalization come in) ”
Apparently I hadn't been the only one to read his tweet, because soon there was a lot of reaction from various supporters of legalization. Then everyone was cornered by the ranger.
“A hint at the troll army that immediately jumps at you when you say something like that on twitter. What would you like to legalize? Criminals will switch to other means. Apart from the impossibility, I also think it is a very bad and very naive idea morally. ”
I found it a striking example of this the drug debate as is currently being conducted in the Netherlands. The forester, employed by the government, pretends to be very brave by writing on twitter that he thinks that legalizing drugs is morally a bad idea, while simply repeating what Minister Grapperhaus en other politicians say. Authority loyalty disguised as activism. You just have to come up with it.
With the same dedication, politicians from the CDA and the ChristenUnie meanwhile argue for it criminal prosecution of drug users. The CDA wants to address the user of hard drugs on his moral responsibility, but that is not all, according to Madeleine van Toorenburg:
“Apparently the drug user doesn't want to listen. Then they just have to feel. Criminal prosecution, therefore, so that a festival goer really understands that it is punishable if he uses hard drugs. ”
In addition to the fact that this is impossible because the use of drugs is not punishable under the Opium Act, such judgments are dangerous because they can prevent people from daring to seek help if they get into trouble as a result of drug use.
The moral appeal of the minister, the forester and the politicians of the CDA seems to be mainly based on an inner sense of good and evil. They are the moral winner of the battle against drugs. They should have won, when in reality they have long lost the battle. The most recent figures show that the current approach to prohibition and repression does not lead to the desired result. Drugs are becoming stronger and purer and drug trafficking in Europe continues to grow. The Netherlands plays an important role as a production and transit country, not least because of the good infrastructure and strategic location.
Since the moral winners apparently cannot accept that they have lost the battle, they become more and more fanatical in their message. Drugs are evil, so drug users are evil. That's why we have to punish people because we want to protect them, because if you don't listen, you should feel. Drugs are evil, so proponents of legalizing drugs are evil. They are ostrich screamers, they are part of a troll army and they are naive because when drugs are legalized, criminals turn to other criminal activities.
Both comparisons are flawed, but unfortunately the minister, the forester and the politicians of the CDA do not see it. Blinded by their own moral right, they demand ever tougher measures, more and more repression. They should have won because they were on the right side. To them, admitting that the battle is lost is tantamount to admitting that evil has won. That is unacceptable and leads to an existential crisis.
What particularly bothers me is that any proposal to legalize drugs is rejected because it would be immoral. Legalizing drugs is not the same as releasing drugs. Legalization is accompanied by strict rules and conditions for production, distribution and consumption. Just look at the statements made by the government requirements and conditions closed coffee shop chain around the experiment.
The legalization of drugs has major benefits for the protection of human health and the environment. In addition, legalizing drugs offers economic opportunities and benefits for society. That is why I am in favor of legalizing drugs. I do not have the illusion that crime can be banned by legalizing drugs. But unlike the minister, the forest ranger and the politicians of the CDA, I also have no illusion that crime can be banned by banning drugs. Only when that realization penetrates, we will come a step further.
Until then, I wish the minister, the forest ranger and the politicians of the CDA every success in cleaning up the next load of illegally dumped drug waste, partly made possible by their own moral right.