Interesting Prohibition Post at Hogewash!

Sneak over there and read it.  His premise is that basically drug or alcohol prohibition are progressive policies.  I agree that such was the case originally but that conservatives have also adopted them as we saw with our best modern president, Ronald Reagan and his edition of the war on drugs.  I like to think that if he knew where it would end he would reconsider some of the policies he supported.

But below is the post I made in support of the proposition that most or all drugs should be legalized.  I think it comes from an angle that most people do not consider.  If anyone reads it let me know what you think.


The point I continually make that is often overlooked is simply this, when you have laws that require policemen to hassle people who are hurting no one then you get policemen who like to hassle people who are hurting no one… or at least you get ones who are willing to do so even if they don’t enjoy it. The profession self-selects for the very characteristics which would in a more rational world be disqualifying. And this goes for all of the positions up and down the justice system.

I think history has shown that it is a much greater and more deadly problem to have a powerful state permeating society than to have powerful intoxicants easily available. And it certainly is hypocritical to outlaw those intoxicants when one considers that power is the greatest intoxicant of all.

I don’t indulge in anything harder than Dr Pepper myself (and Lord knows they are coming for it too — but they can pry the last bottle out of my pasty, grey hand when they do). I haven’t tried anything but a sip of alcohol I snuck from a parent’s wine glass on my 16th birthday. But I would never think I had the right to decide what others indulge in. That would be madness. It isn’t that all substances are harmless, far from it. But it is that allowing the government to make decisions for people is far, far more harmful because of the precedents it sets, the people it attracts and the society it creates than allowing a few people to create habits they can’t kick. If you look at the most rampant civil rights abuses from spying, to asset forfeiture, to the militarization of the police force, they all had their start in the drug wars.

About the only exception I would make would be for drugs like antibiotics where widespread and promiscuous use leads to them becoming ineffective. I think there you could make a case that there should be some limitations and there may be a legitimate role for government to play if the drug manufacturers themselves couldn’t get enough safeguards in place to assure their profit stream by not allowing their drugs to become useless. They have a strong incentive to make sure their products remain effective. But any other sort of drug should be free game with appropriate warnings attached.

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