20 Feb 2012

Why Not?

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James Delingpole is not only sound on Anthropogenic Global Warming pseudo-scientific fraud, he is able to articulate the fundamental moral problem with drug prohibition quite succinctly.

    VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul decried the “war on drugs” Thursday night, telling supporters in Washington state that people should be able to make their own decisions on such matters.

    Voters in Washington are likely to decide this year whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana

    “If we are allowed to deal with our eternity and all that we believe in spiritually, and if we’re allowed to read any book that we want under freedom of speech, why is it we can’t put into our body whatever we want?” Paul told more than 1,000 people at a rally in Vancouver, a suburb of Portland, Ore.

Yep. Go on… friends. Tell me: why not???

In a follow-up post, Peter Robinson quotes Milton Friedman in support of Delingpole.

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4 Feedbacks on "Why Not?"

GoneWithTheWind

Lets assume your motive is constitutional and not because you are a drug user. I think then we can agree on a few things: 1)Most of the drugs that are now illegal are harmful and possibly fatal to use as prescribed. I doubt you believe crack is good for you so I’m going to assume you agree with this. 2)If someone forced my to take crack (or cocaine or heroin etc) they would be assaulting me perhaps even guilty of attempted murder. Again it is a no brainer so I will assume you agree. 3)A child under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to things an adult can consent to. If someone gives my child drugs and my child cannot consent legally then they are “forcing” my child into a harmful/deadly act. Again, a no brainer. About now you are beginning to see where I’m going with this and are looking left and right for a way out. 4)Anyone who tries to kill/assault/attack my child has stepped over a deadly line and I have a constitutional right to protect their life and use deadly force. I assume suddenly you aren’t agreeing with libertarian interpretations of the constitution and want to disagree with me even if it forces you to flip-flop on your beliefs. So that’s it! I will agree to accept that drugs should be legal and we have a constitutional right to put poison in our body if we choose AND you agree that I have a constitutional right to protect myself and my minor children and I can constitutionally use deadly force . Yes! I am saying legalize drugs and tell parents they can shoot anyone selling, sharing or giving their child drugs. All in all I think it is a good compromise, what do you think?



JDZ

Like most people who attended college when the Baby Boom generation was young, I did heaps and piles of all kinds of drugs. I’m now getting on in years and rather past all that. I have long since also quit smoking, and am obliged to watch my diet fairly carefully. I wish I could do all the things I used to do at age 20 in as carefree a fashion, but there is no possibility of that at all. I do get plenty of drugs, though. I have several prescriptions for regulating blood pressure and so on that I have to take every day.

I have enough experience of life to know perfectly well that some people will kill themselves using drugs recklessly and excessively. But I also know that actually an even larger number of people will inevitably proceed to ruin their lives and kill themselves with alcohol.

We recognized, long ago, that alcohol prohibition didn’t really stop people from drinking. It merely created a hugely profitable black market and caused a nationwide wave of crime and violence. Legal alcohol is associated with harm, but in fact produces much less harm.

The question of your children is a red herring. If you raise your children properly and they do not inherit special weaknesses and neuroses, they ought to be able to drink alcohol and use drugs responsibly and without major untoward consequences at appropriate ages and occasions like most people.

If drugs were not especially forbidden, there would no drug dealers for you to shoot.



DirtyJobsGuy

It is often overlooked that many countries and some Canadian Provinces enacted alcohol prohibition before the US did. Why? The US did this by Constitutional Amendment which is a difficult process requiring a large nationwide consensus. My question is how bad was the drinking problem in the US to provoke this? Remember that Henry Ford paid a record wage for this assembly line workers to get sober guys who would show up reliably (not as the left foolishly repeats to make a market for the Model T). He also had an extremely intrusive “social bureau” to monitor worker homelife.

My guess is that drinking, especially among men, was out of control. So the question for legalizing drugs is how bad can it get post legalization before the most libertarian society must act. The Opium wars are another example.

So from the conservative standpoint, we have to really think through legalization with the consideration of how bad could it get.



T.K. Tortch

Re Dirty Jobs Guy, I believe that I’ve seen studies conducted after prohibition relating to cirrhosis of the liver – the rate of alcohol related cirrhosis dropped dramatically after prohibition was enacted and has never risen to its (per capita) pre-prohibition levels. Same goes for estimates of how much alcohol Americans were drinking before and after — we still don’t drink as much as we used to.

As an attorney who used to practice tons of criminal law, I have severe reservations about our drug laws – not just relating to incarceration rates, but ancillary related results of the war on drugs like the expansion of government taking of private property alleged to be connected to criminal acts, and the militarization of law enforcement agencies.

I also have severe reservations about sweeping decriminalization of drugs, especially the nastier ones. I know what it does to people, families, and communities. The damage is real, can be severe, and it goes beyond the individuals taking the drugs. Though some of the damage is related to the fact that the drugs are criminally prohibited and the ensuing criminal conduct associated with selling illegal drugs, not near all of it is.

In any case, I’m in favor of pretty intensive reform of drug laws, but I think the results of sweeping decriminalization would be a lot uglier than supporters imagine. Alcohol causes plenty of mayhem, but most human populations have been dealing with it for thousands of years. We know its ins and outs. There are a lot of functional drunks. There aren’t a lot of functional meth or crack users – not for long. Making the drugs easier to get or safer to use (in terms of adulteration*) isn’t going to stop people from taking them.

*Who’s going to regulate that, anyway? FDA? Think of how they’ll screw that up. Probably make users return to the black market to get decent drugs!!



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