Friday, December 15, 2006

Australian Justice Minister Seeks to Ban Language

This story highlights the control freakery of those in power in Australia. Prior to a crisis meeting on ice, the justice minister, Chris Ellison, has called for the use of the terms "party drugs" and "recreational drugs" to be outlawed. So it's no surprise that he is against injecting rooms despite the fact that these have proved to be effective in reducing crime and rates of addiction as has been amply demonstrated in the Canton of Zurich.

1 comment:

Mike J said...

Since drug prohibition began there's always been an Orwellian dimension to the official use of language around it. 'Abuse', for example, has tended to mean the same as 'use', even though they should be opposites. We regularly hear on the media about the medical use of diamorphine; far less regularly are we told that it's the same thing as heroin (in all the coverage of the Shipman case I don't recall seeing this connection made once). Cocaine is a 'narcotic' despite actually being the opposite, a stimulant (this is a hangover from it being tacked on to a US Narcotics Bill in the 1900s). Etc.etc.

Underlying much of this, including the current example, is the reluctance to name the obvious motive of most drug use: pleasure. 'Drugs of abuse' are drugs of pleasure; drugs that are not pleasurable are not abused. Until this connection is acknowledged, the language around drugs will always need to be 'spun' or ideologically constructed - and increasingly, as in this case, enforced by political edict.