Effective Drug Warrior Posturing 101

When a policy doesn’t work no matter how many dollars and officers you throw at it, how do you keep the lights on and the citizens engaged?

Well, histrionics, demonization, war propagandizing, and hysteria have worked wonders in the past. Let’s listen to the President of the Philippines give them a shot:

… she ordered an “all-out war, an unyielding and unrelenting war against illegal drugs and their devil merchants.”

This is a great start. With “unrelenting” in there you make it clear the policy can never be altered. With so many people critical of the war, you can’t have people thinking they can just end it!

“A country awash with illegal drugs is a country compromised, its law-and-order institutions tainted and corrupted.” …¬†“No other criminal activity does a better and faster job of tearing apart the social and security fabric of a nation than the trade of illegal drugs”

Good use of fear mongering with a dose of hysteria.

… calling on her fellow Filipinos “not to allow this menace to spread its tentacles, ruin our youth, and gnaw on the integrity of our law-enforcement institutions and our judicial systems.”

Tentacles, integrity-gnawing teeth; you’ve clearly got a demon. There’s no time for studying policy efficacy. Get a gun.

… she declared the all-out war because “governments that delay action against illegal drugs, or regard it as a routine police matter, do so at their own peril.”

Wow, blaming other governments for the failure and issuing veiled threats. She must have studied how we talk to Canada anytime they mention wanting to decriminalize marijuana.

The country’s anti-drugs agency, however, has branded the report [citing alarming use statistics] “unfair,” and said there were some errors in the data which were made as the basis of the report.

She didn’t address this, but here’s a suggestion: “In war you don’t waste time checking errors. Now get out there and do the same thing you’ve been doing for years, but this time really do it! One other thing: we can’t win a war without supporting the troops so we’ll be needing more tax dollars.”

Oustanding job overall, though she did fail to attack the credibility of policy opponents. If short on time, “they’re all stoners” is useful, but our outgoing drug czar John Walters recently offered this more nuanced technique:

Many of these [medical marijuana proponents] care little for the actual suffering and pain of others, but are instead using it to advance their own pro-drug agenda. [link]

Drug policy reformers are both pro-drugs and don’t care about people’s suffering. That’s a pro move.

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