Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ll on Drugs

As most of my regular readers know, I am opposed to the "War on Drugs" and a supporter of drug legalization. These positions are not based on any particular feelings about drugs themselves- rather they are based on strongly held beliefs about the immorality of forcing ones own views of personal morality and risk assessment on others. And more importantly, my views are based on the position that free people have the right to their own bodies.

First to comment briefly on the "War On Drugs." This is a war that has cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars with virtually nothing to show for it. There are no statistics that show the drug war has reduced drug use or reduced the drug supply- so why spend so much money on it? Additionally, the war on drugs has militarized our police forces, made ordinary citizens criminals, and filled our prisons with non-violent drug offenders. Finally, drug laws have been an anathema to property rights- property seized in drug arrests can be kept by the state, even if no charges are ever filed.

To legalization- Legalization does not mean a stamp of moral approval. Cheating on your spouse is legal, but that doesn't make it right. The cheating example is a good one, because cheating can have just as many negative effects on families as drug abuse can. (And these secondary effects on others are often cited by prohibition supporters as reasons why drugs should remain illegal.) The point is that drug use is a personal choice and the government should have no right to interfere with that personal choice.

Legalization would mean an elimination (or at least a vast reduction in the amount) of black market drug activity. Just as there is virtually no black market for alcohol today, legalized drugs would mean no drug related crime and a drastic decrease in the amount of inner city violence as legitimate businesses would be able to safely supply drugs to consumers at lower prices.

Many of the common arguments against drug legalization full flat on their face- any argument that applies to dangerous behavior while under the influence applies equally to alcohol, a legal drug. Arguments that certain drugs are more dangerous than others fail as well. Ignoring the question of what dangerous means in the first place, there is the even larger question of why the government should protect us from ourselves in the first place.

And finally, to discuss drugs in general, there is a difference between use and abuse. It is a mistake to treat all use as abuse and it is even more of a mistake for the legal system to treat all use as abuse.


Post a Comment

<< Home