Legalizing Drugs

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I believe, solemnly, that taking substances like alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana and other drugs into your body is bad for you. There is nothing good about drinking alcohol. There is nothing good about smoking cigarettes. There is nothing good about smoking marijuana, even considering whatever study there has been that might indicate the contrary. The same goes for all the non-medicinal drugs.

However, does that give me the right, individually, to take away other’s drugs and destroy them, to take away the money they earned selling the drugs, to destroy and otherwise seize their property, and imprison them?

That is, ultimately, what the War on Drugs comes down to. Shall we, as a people, treat those who deal with these drugs as criminals, and punish them for it by taking their property and imprisoning them?

If you cannot say that you would, if you had the power, lock up a drug dealer or user in a cell, and that you would, if you had, take away the drugs and other property of the person dealing drugs, then you cannot say that you support government doing the same.

Rights end where another right begins. Do people have the right to destroy themselves by manufacturing, distributing, and consuming drugs that have no redeeming value? That is, are they allowed to kill themselves slowly by participating in activities that are obviously dangerous with no redeeming value whatsoever?

A clearer question would be, Do people have the right to commit suicide?

I believe that no one has the right to kill themselves. The right to live is not a right to die, just like the right to liberty is not a right to sell yourself into slavery, and neither is the right to pursue happiness the right to pursue misery.

When you die, a little bit of our society dies as well. A businessman would readily identify the lost opportunity of death. Having an economy with three hundred million drug addicts is far less valuable to everyone than an economy of three hundred healthy people. When you ruin your body, you are hurting opportunities we had to help each other benefit each other. That is a real cost, and that is proof enough that we can never act in a vacuum. All of our choices affect everyone, more than we know.

Because you do not have the right to kill yourself, nor enslave yourself, nor to pursue misery, you do not have the right to take part in the drug culture. Such things not only hurt yourself, but it hurts everyone else. Imagine a bright young mind, a potential statesman or lawyer or businessman or engineer or father, who decides rather than to pursue life and liberty and happiness, to partake of marijuana and cocaine and heroine. What has he done to us? What of the freedoms and liberties he may have protected as a statesman? What of the innocent he would free, the guilty he would condemn justly as a lawyer? What of the lost jobs that were never created by that businessman? What of the inventions and devices he would design as an engineer? And what of the children he might have raised right had he been a father?

Identifying that partaking of drugs are not beneficial, and actually damaging to everyone in our society, let us consider the next question. Having determined that no one has a right to commit suicide, what actions are we justified in taking to prevent it?

Do we have the right to deprive people of their property when it is used to feed people their addictions or obtain the substance they are addicted to? Would a father or a mother be justified in confiscating all the property of their child who is on drugs? Of course. What about a brother or a sister? Yes. A son or daughter? Of course. A cousin, aunt, uncle? Yes. A friend? A neighbor? Yes, and yes. By depriving the addict and the dealer of their property, we are protecting life and liberty. We are giving them something they did not give themselves.

Do we have the right to deprive people of their liberty when it is used to deal drugs or take drugs? Absolutely, provided their time incarcerated is used to help them see the error of their ways and learn something new, either how to handle their addictions or to find a new line of work that doesn’t involve destroying people’s lives.

Do we have the right to use armed force, even if it means that dealers and users may get killed? I believe so. In the case of dealers—growers, refiners, and distributors—they have already shown a grave disregard for life and liberty. The are no different than a slave owner or mafia gangster who inflicts their perverted will on the people around them. The fact that they are paid for the honor of being the oppressor makes them no less an oppressor.

What about addicts? If they refuse to comply, do we have the right to use physical force with the threat of death? I wish addicts were reasonable, but often they are not. We know from sad experience that the addict understands only force, until their mind can be cleansed from the harmful effects of drugs. Any rhetorical device, any plot or plan is used to keep them feeding their addiction. From the simple, “This harms only me, and even then, it’s only temporary”, to the “Just one more time, and then I’ll quit.” there is no sense reasoning with them.

Now that we have justified our actions in pursuing dealers and addicts with force, and depriving them of property and liberty until such a time as they can show they will change their ways, the question is how aggressively should we pursue this? Do we make it a higher or lower priority than violent crimes, property crimes, and so on? How much are the police and judges justified in receiving as tax revenue from the people?

This is something we have to decide on our own.

I have one final word. The War on Drugs is not a lost cause. Having the federal government in charge of the War on Drugs is a lost cause, however. The War on Drugs should be a community affair. That is, treat the drug problem the same way we treat terrorism in Iraq. Then work to employ the community, in other words, the militia, to effectively fight the war before it turns into a shooting match.

If we can, at our community level, stand firm, united, against drugs, we will win, every time. If we, as individuals, abhor drugs yet show sincere love and interest in the welfare of those caught in its vicious cycle, we can turn hearts and minds.

The community starts with the individual. Then comes the family. And then the neighborhoods and churches and so on and so forth. We must strengthen our own families by first strengthening us. From there, the natural progression will naturally follow.

As always, our societies strength is in the individual and the family. Let it fail to live up to the high moral demands of our day, and our entire society will crumble in death and despair. But let families and individuals learn how to stand for what’s right and truly love their neighbor, and our society will beat this disease.

Yes, we should have laws making the trafficking of drugs illegal, the possession and consumption illegal as well. But those laws will be enforced by the communities, not the federal government or the state troopers.

Let the federal government look at international affairs. Let the state consider inter-community affairs. But let each community fight its war in its own way, and the problem will be beat.

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2 Responses to “Legalizing Drugs”

  1. Bill Harris Says:

    One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, communists, and non-whites under prosecution of the war on drugs. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

    The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. Behold, it’s all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery is being extradited to prison for selling seeds that American farmers use to reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

    The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Administration fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop in the land, instead of taxing sales. Society rejected the plague of prohibition, but it mutated. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

    Nixon passed the CSA on the false assurance that the Schafer Commission would later justify criminalizing his enemies. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA shut down research, and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use, period. Former U.K. chief drugs advisor Prof. Nutt was sacked for revealing that non-smoked cannabis intake, e.g. vapor, is scientifically healthy.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. God’s children’s free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with their maker.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for data collection of best drug-use practices for intentional outcomes.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      So, it’s the prisons who destroy people, not the drugs? I mean, those crack addicts were perfectly peaceful citizens until Uncle Sam showed up and started throwing them in jail for exercising their God-given right to enslave ignorant people with drugs?

      I’m sorry, if you want to experiment with drugs, do it in a way no one can find out what you are doing. After all, no laws can prevent what people do in true privacy.

      Don’t infect our culture and society with your drug-addled brains.

      When we find out what you did to yourself, we’re going to take responsibility for you since you are incapable of doing it yourself.

      If we find out you’ve been profiting off of other people’s addictions, we are going to seize your blood money and throw you in prison until we can rest assured you won’t do it again.

      If we don’t protect people’s right to live (there is no right to die), people’s right to liberty (there is no right to slavery), and people’s right to pursue happiness (there is no right to pursue misery), then we don’t have any rights at all.

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