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After 40 years of trying to stop illegal drugs, spending billions of dollars in the process, if we stopped the war on drugs, wouldn't drugs be everywhere and the number of drug addicts skyrocket?

asked Jan 26 '11 at 21:05

Prometheus1's gravatar image

Prometheus1 ♦
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edited Jan 27 '11 at 07:37

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦
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I think that according to objectivist objectives(sounds weird) free market capitalism is the foundation of a free society. So perhaps all drugs should be legalized. Freedom of choice should permit freedom of addiction.

(Jan 26 '11 at 21:32) Junky Junky's gravatar image

Hahah thats kinda funny, cuz my username is "junky"

(Jan 26 '11 at 22:21) Junky Junky's gravatar image

Should there be a war on overeating? Or on Xtreme Sports? If danger to one's life is your point.

(Jan 27 '11 at 01:36) dreadrocksean dreadrocksean's gravatar image
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Yes, the government's war on drugs should be stopped - absolutely. It is one of hundreds and hundreds of assaults on our freedoms by a self righteous, mothering and harassing government that is simply out of control.

This is an issue of applying the principle of individual rights, and the concern that if drugs were legalized they might "be everywhere" and "addicts skyrocket" is entirely irrelevant on that principle. Either one upholds the principle of individual rights, the corollary principle of property rights, and the notion that one's body is one's own, or we open a door to allowing any type of restriction or abuse of those principles with no standard other than the current push-me-pull-you, left vs right, arguments that attempt to predict and evaluate consequences and then use them as a standard of morality. How prevalent will drugs be if we legalize them? How many addicts will it create? Morality cannot be objective if we are allowed to bend, compromise and make exceptions to principles in accordance with some utilitarian measure of the pros and cons of each instance of the principle - even if it were possible make such evaluations with any degree of accuracy, which it is not. Objectivity is lost and you end up with mob rule subjectivism.

I would argue that politicians and pundits who defend the war on drugs while accepting legalized alcohol or even food that is bad for us, such as sugary sweets or deep fried potato chips and french fries, are pragmatists who have abandoned principles. Just as we defend someones right to vile speech, or to preach about God or make pornographic pictures, because we believe in the principle of free speech, so must we defend a person's right to consume any food, drink or drug, because we believe in the principle of property rights. We can't defend freedom while picking and choosing the freedoms we allow.

It is valid to consider what would happen after legalizing drugs, but not to factor such an evaluation into the debate over whether free individuals should be free to use them. I could make very good arguments why belief in God, elevating faith over reason and going to Church is bad for society, but I can't use those arguments to advocate for a war on faith based religion.

answered Jan 27 '11 at 00:08

la_phil's gravatar image

la_phil ♦
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Are some drugs sufficiently dangerous that some law is needed? dreadrocksean mentioned extreme sports - if you take someone base-jumping, and don't say "you could die," you might be held liable. If you offer someone heroin casually, it should at least come with a warning label.

I agree with everything you said, but I think a complete answer needs to address a couple of the messy details. Restrictions for minors would be another point. There's an immediate risk to life and brain function when talking about some drugs.

(Mar 01 '11 at 15:20) Mike Hinchey Mike%20Hinchey's gravatar image

If you ingest something and don't know what it is or where it came from or how it might affect you, or can reasonably make the assumption, then you are taking a risk that is your poor choice. You don't need labels, you need common sense and to be proactive about your choices.

(Feb 08 '12 at 17:38) Marnee Dearman ♦ Marnee%20Dearman's gravatar image

Yes, any restriction of adults able to make decisions for themselves is a violation of their rights (to use their life--mind, body, property and wealth) as they best see fit. The details you are concerned about would look at whether people are "adults" or "able to make decisions for themselves." If doing something incapacitates you, well then you aren't able to do it anymore are you? But you made the choice to get yourself in that situation. Hopefully you learned an important lesson about the consequences of your actions, and will live to learn from it. Once you begin to threaten or violate the rights of anyone else to pursue their own self interests, the state is proper to step in or others whose rights might be violated have the right to defend themselves.

answered Mar 05 '11 at 09:59

QEDbyBrett's gravatar image

QEDbyBrett ♦
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Asked: Jan 26 '11 at 21:05

Seen: 3,146 times

Last updated: Feb 08 '12 at 17:38