All drugs should be legal. No experiences have altered my belief, held since the mid-1970s. The burden, in a land “that’s known as freedom,” should be on government to justify laws that jail people who possession a plant.
The default position should be that unless something is intrinsically wrong, e.g., outright murder of a human being, that thing should be legal. Reasons given for the “war on drugs” are based on a false notion that government should protect us against ourselves.
1) Not all drugs are treated equally. A “drug”: “1. A substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease. 2. A natural or synthetic substance that alters one’s perception or consciousness.” Black’s Law Dict., Pocket Ed., 1996, p. 209.
That definition covers alcohol, marijuana, heroin, LSD, tobacco and other substances. Some are outlawed while our government subsidizes the manufacture and sale of others. Prohibition of alcohol failed. So has prohibition of other drugs.
2) Laws against drugs cause greater harms than the drugs themselves. The United States leads the World, per capita and in total numbers, in prison population. This inherently contradicts our position as the Land of the Free. People with felony records after release can’t get jobs.
Organized crime thrives on illegal markets for drugs. A recent example is Florida pedaling shots to immunize against COVID. When booze was illegal, prices were sky-high, quality was suspect, and people died from “bathtub gin” and battles over turf.
3) People will not seek treatment if they have a substance problem or addiction if the substance is illegal. Booze is legal and is more destructive, to the individual, than marijuana. Many people relax with a glass of wine or a beer after work. If it’s out-of-control: treatment.
Treatment costs us all. However: a) If we use cost-benefit analysis in regard to a liberty interest, liberty interests always lose. b) The costs of enforcement of laws and of imprisonment of tens of thousands for drug violations are greater than treatment.
Calvinists preach prohibition but do not acknowledge many people drink or smoke pot or take weekend “trips” on substances without harm to others. Driving deaths are real, but a) alcohol, a legal drug alcohol is more of a culprit. b) people need to learn not to drive “buzzed.”
The American people are programmed and reject “drugs” without any further thought. All drugs should be legal. After all, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson smoked pot. Such drugs were legal until the prohibition of booze ended and former revenuers needed jobs.
Wouldn't it be better to grab the low hanging fruit - marijuana - than try to in your first attempt pick the fruit at the top of the tree?
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