The War on Drugs
This is a sensitive subject and many people fear what the Libertarian answer could lead to. I hope to cover three reasons the general public would be concerned by legalized drug use. It is a little unfair to use a blanket term like “drugs” when the spectrum is so vast but for now we are going to stick to the “bad” drugs as most would define them like Heroin and Meth. The problems surface in Health, Morality, and Crime. Many terrible things that happen because of “drugs”. From the criminal element, to the family torn apart by addiction, and then the growing epidemic of overdoses.
There are drugs created in labs and drugs created in bathtubs. Some grown by nature and others by chemists in white coats. Some we deem legal, sanctioned, others we criminalize though they share the same effects. Some drugs have been created to save lives or improve our quality of life. The determining factor isn’t the health repercussions. The heroin created in a lab is no less addictive than the tar smuggled in. The only difference is bureaucracy has decided through lobbyists which should be legal. While I recognize the lab will create a more pure sample the patient’s opioid receptors are probably less discerning. How many heroin addicts have been created by Oxycontin? Where is Fentanyl created?
If we are not going to fool ourselves into thinking it is because of the health benefits or the “non-addictive” opioids brought to us by pharmaceutical companies then we are left next with morality. Surely a good person would not do drugs some say. If a person is in pain and the doctor prescribes hydrocodone it is okay. Someone using a natural supplement however is not okay. This doesn’t add up to me. The idea that someone could break a moral code based off the source doesn’t work. We also do not know who’s subjective pain is worse. Leaving them more justified in the use. As long as a person is able to not break the law while under the influence it should not matter what they do to their own bodies…
a little on Crime and Punishment…
…which brings me to Crime. We have laws in place for any crime that we are worried about being committed in connection to drugs. We have laws concerning theft, regardless of whether or not it was motivated to finance drug use. We have laws to address violence, whether or not you are under the influence. It is not an excuse to say a person lost composure and violated the law because of drugs. There are laws addressing the violence perpetrated by black market dealers, which is only fueled and financed by the War on Drugs.
With the sheer volume and weight that must exist to supply our population there has to be complicit members in the entities we expect to be fighting the issue. I don’t blame them. If I was in charge of a criminal enterprise I would very much try and put players into the right spots. The problem is this. If we spend our resources tracking down all drugs users, then we will not be able to focus on the few criminals who do violate the law. We waste resources fighting the sick organs in order to relieve the symptoms created by the virus. The solution being practiced is to remove the organs in what we hope is a preemptive against being sick.
With our jails and prisons overcrowded we have to ask ourselves what our priorities are going to be. It would be nice to think that we could prevent all serious crimes from happening but that would be impossible. Especially since we spend money on nonviolent offenders by housing and feeding them instead of allowing them to work. Time and resources not being dedicated to rehabilitation. Time and resources not directed to our growing child trafficking problems. Leading us to a system in which criminal cases are fought for victory and not justice.
This whole situation creates hopeless environments that only breed more sophisticated levels of criminal and less functioning members of society. Is there a new way we can address punishment for the safety of society? For our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and children that face addiction and the real chance of being stuck in our legal system.