Just thinking about this when I heard an anti-marijuana advertisement on the radio, Friday, on a New York city area station.
The words we use matter. Be it ‘junkie’ instead of ‘addict’ or ‘she had a few drinks’ versus ‘she took drugs’ the words chosen shape the emotional response.
The callous attitude which wants us to maintain criminal penalty for petty drug possession is not one premised in practicality or reasonableness. It is an ideological belief that sees drug users as impure and addicts as a subhuman scourge who block the way into Brown Thomas.
For these people, a young person having their stomach pumped from excessive alcohol intake is ‘a naïve teen that went too far’ a 24-year-old sitting at a field listening to their favourite band caught smoking cannabis is a ‘criminal’ to be put in handcuffs, humiliatingly escorted out of the venue by police and given a criminal record scarring her life prospects forever.
This is the reality of criminalizing possession that many overlook. A bizarre, wholly ineffective…
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