Monday, June 26, 2006

The Drug War

People are usually surprised to hear that I'm for the legalization of marijuana since I'm so conservative. But I'm not really for legalization, so much as I am for ending the drug war entirely.

The logic behind it seems is inherently flawed.

"No, you can't do that to yourself."
Why does the government get to tell me what I can and can't do to myself? If I choose to eat triple bacon cheeseburgers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and die a bloated, sweaty death, I am free to do so. Should I wish to finish off at long day at the office with a beer (Jack and Coke, actually) I am free to do so. If I have some friends over, and we decide to smoke a bowl, we can be thrown in jail. None of these actions affect anyone but myself, nor do they infringe upon the rights of other citizens. Why is one worse than the other? It's like congress passing a law forbidding the sale, purchase, or use of onion rings. WTF?

Drugs cause social and moral decay!
People argue that onion rings are different than drugs because drug abusers rob and murder people to fund their addictive habit. Well, maybe if we outlawed onion rings there would be people robbing and killing to fund their onion ring habit. "That's silly!" You say, "Onion rings aren't addictive; drugs are." Non-addictive? Since when does the addictive nature of a substance contribute to its need to be contraband? Alcoholics are certainly addicted to alcohol. People get addicted to legal substances like pain killers, cigarettes, and caffeine all the time. (if you don't believe you can be truly addicted to caffeine, try talking to someone who's been drinking coffee for years, and tried to quit) Just because something's addictive doesn't mean it should be illegal, or that it contributes to "social and moral decay." So why are drugs illegal? mmmm, I'd kill for some onion rings right now...

But, "X" is a terrible vice!
So? This is possibly the worst argument. Where in the constitution does it give the government the power to keep us from engaging in "vice?" And, why is the government playing nanny? What's next; laws preventing us from touching hot stoves? The government is not your mommy or daddy, and certainly does not have the authority to tell you what you can and can't do to yourself (yet exercises it by jailing people who've committing no crime against anyone). Remember the failure of prohibition.

Drugs fund bad people!
This argument, I can agree with. Except that the only reason that drugs fund bad people is because they are illegal. If drugs were made legal, people wouldn't be buying these drugs from shady characters with questionable intentions; they'd be buying it from companies and corporations providing it for sale, as they do with their legal drugs now (AND they'd be paying taxes on their purchase). By simply making something illegal, you instantly create a black-market where there was none. Out of prohibition came the rise of various Mafia groups (not to mention street violence from turf wars). If drugs fund bad people, then why not let drugs fund good people?

Drugs are still bad.
Persuasive argument. While I can agree that drugs are bad, and that their use is simply not a good idea, the fact remains that the government has no right to make it a crime to do something to yourself.

Don't ignore the infringement of your rights just because you agree with the ends.

When they came for the drug users,
I remained silent;
I was not a drug user.

When they came for the smokers,
I remained silent;
I was not a smoker.

When they came for the gun owners,
I remained silent;
I was not a gun owner.

When they came for the Muslims,
I remained silent;
I was not a Muslim.

When they came for the Catholics,
I remained silent;
I was not a catholic.

When they came for me,
There was no one left to speak out.

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