By Christiaan van Huyssteen (@cvh23)
There is a common misperception that people who are in favour of drug legalisation are ‘pro-drugs’. This is not true in most cases. Most drugs are harmful, and people who use them are perhaps unwise. But there are at least 3 major arguments that can be made to justify legalisation, starting with marijuana.
From The Washington Post:
Farmers in the storied “Golden Triangle” region of Mexico’s Sinaloa state, which has produced the country’s most notorious gangsters and biggest marijuana harvests, say they are no longer planting the crop. Its wholesale price has collapsed in the past five years, from $100 per kilogram to less than $25.
“It’s not worth it anymore,” said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis farmer who said he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. “I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.”
1. The case made from a civil liberties point of view. We own our bodies, and can choose what we do with it. Saying that the state may determine what we can do with our bodies could in essence mean that the state owns our bodies. Drug abuse is a social medical problem. We need to endorse the idea of self-responsibility, and solve drug related problems through family, friends and churches. The hard hand of the law, and the coldness of a jail cell (and everything that comes with it…) are not going to make you take care of yourself. It never has, and it never will. If the government can, and has the authority to solve social problems, why don’t they just round up all the overweight people, and put them on a diet? If the government really cares about public health, why don’t they criminalise tobacco and alcohol use? After all, smoking kills millions every year. Marijuana has never killed anyone.
2. The economics are very easy to understand. Make something more available in a free market, and it becomes virtually impossible for an oligopoly of gangs to control the distribution of that thing, and it’s price. Honest businesses will be able to produce good quality marijuana, and there will be competition. ‘Consumers’ would have greater power to negotiate lower prices. The gangs’ income streams would be cut off, and there would be no more resources or incentive for their violent behaviour to continue. People in gang ridden areas will be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as gang violence will essentially stop overnight. Gangster’s livelihoods depend on drugs.
3. Virtually everyone reading this ‘knows someone, who knows someone’ who can hook you up. Making something illegal doesn’t make it go away. If that were the case we would have no murder, no rape, and no discrimination. With a moderate amount of effort, anyone can get their hands on whatever they want.
Anti drug crusaders can’t accept that they have neither the right nor competence to run other people’s lives. The crusade against drugs is simply ego boosting moral exhibitionism.
You can’t regulate personal behaviour, and you certainly can’t regulate morality.
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