At 10/29/12 12:04 AM, UltraHammer wrote:
Libertarians make the case that the prohibition of drugs causes extra crime, and then people get killed as a result of that crime. Therefore, we should legalize drugs.
That's not really the libertarian argument. The libertarian argument is that you have an absolute right to your own mind and body, as well as the right to alter your mind and body as you see fit. What you have there is more of a pragmatic argument.
Well, one could also argue, by that logic, that we should legalize theft. Because think of all the people who die in the crossfire of the crime around stealing. Therefore, it can be argued legalizing drugs just because some people will break the law is a bad principle; as it opens up the can of worms for all the other sorts of crimes on the spectrum.
But, on the other hand, stealing (and most other crimes) is an act that directly infringes on someone else's human rights, whereas you, by yourself, taking drugs, hurts no one but yourself. Therefore, we shouldn't be able to ban drugs any more than we should be able to ban soda, beer, hats, cheese and dildos.
What's the point of positing an argument and then refuting it in the very next paragraph? You clearly understand that using a drug is not the same as directly harming another human being through stealing from them, so why bring it up in the first place?
HOWEVER, from what I understand, the more hardcore drugs corrupt most any mind into a state of recklessness, stupidity, selfishness and violence. In other words, it automatically puts someone into a criminalistic or disrupter-of-the-peace-like state of mind.
There are very few drugs that "automatically" causes someone to commit harm to others. Much of the violence related to the illicit drug trade comes from the very simple fact that a black market is inherently more violent and dangerous than a legitimate market. Disputes generally cannot be settled in peaceful ways, you can't call the police or take someone to court if an amount of your merchandise is stolen, you'll have to take to violence to get it back.
Prices are also artificially high because of prohibition driving up the costs of doing business, so it is very easy to rack up a significant amount of debt trying to support your drug addiction in the case of harder drugs. Many are then forced to take up prostitution or theft as a way of paying for the drugs. This is not because drugs simply MAKE you act irrationally and violently.
I've also had it explained to me by a former junkie that Marijuana is a 'gateway drug' because it 'gives you a high that you enjoy, but you get used to the high quickly, and will want to pursue other, better highs.' That's what he told me, any way.
He needs to check the statistical evidence, because the vast majority of people who try marijuana will never go on to do any harder stuff. If there IS some sort of "gateway effect" to marijuana, it is BECAUSE it is an illegal substance. The kind of criminal enterprise that are going to be involved in the sale of marijuana are much more likely to be dealing with other, harder illicit substances as well, and they will have a financial incentive to get their customers hooked on whichever drug brings in the most profit for them. The idea that people grow tired of marijuana and begin craving harder stuff as if by magic is nothing but complete nonsense.
BUT, don't beer and--you know--being an asshole to begin with do the same thing? Or do drugs have this effect more strongly than alcohol to a significant distinction? Where is this line drawn?
Alcohol surely has it's downsides (far more numerous than marijuana, by the way), but one thing that we have when it comes to alcohol is the benefit of hindsight. Prohibition of alcohol on a large scale was attempted once before, and it failed spectacularly. It didn't bring crime down- instead, it ushered in the era of the bootlegging gangster, of Al Capone and many others. Murder rates rose dramatically, as well as deaths resulting from poorly made bathtub liquor. Millions of dollars were wasted trying to enforce prohibition (small change compared to today's billion dollar enterprise) and public pressure to end prohibition got so bad that after only 13 years, the ban was lifted.
What the health, reality? Why do the problems in life have to be complicated?
The drug issue has been made more complicated than it needs to be. When you look at the facts of the matter it becomes quite easy to see what needs to be done.