End the War On People Who Choose to Use Prohibited Drugs

by Don Boudreaux on December 14, 2011

in Civil Society, Hubris and humility, Legal Issues, Reality Is Not Optional, Video

Sparked by Cato’s recent conference on ending the global war on drugs people who peacefully use substances that are prohibited by the state, Reason.tv put together this video that’s well worth the eight-plus minutes it takes to watch.  The Wall Street Journal‘s Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald, and others speak out against the horrors of a ‘war’ that only people under the mind-warping spell of powerful hallucinogenic notions can continue to support.

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{ 84 comments }

Greg Webb December 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

“the horrors of a ‘war’ that only people under the mind-warping spell of powerful hallucinogenic notions can continue to support.”

The mind-warping spell of powerful hallucinogenic notions causes many to call for “wars” on many things including drugs, the productive, the wealthy, individual liberty, etc. The goal of those subject to these powerful hallucinogenic notions is to impose their will on other people in order to satisfy their insecurities about other people freely making their own choices.

goatweed December 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I won’t have to pay for those who misuse drugs?

Don Boudreaux December 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Hopefully not. But even if you did – through taxes – that cost must be compared with the monetary costs you pay now to fund the waging of the “drug” war, as well as the non-monetary costs you – and others – incur by living in a society marred by the additional violence, battering of liberties, battering of property rights (e.g., civil asset forfeiture), and plain and simple immorality of busybodies ordering peaceful people about that are the results of the “drug” war.

GiT December 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Should anyone pay for those who use drugs? Or should addicts be fully culpable – economically, morally, and legally – for their actions?

PrometheeFeu December 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I think that depending on the specifics, it may be appropriate to help addicts. But that can be done without coercion through private charity.

GiT December 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

And if someone is a legal dependent of an addict who is now being held fully culpable for their actions, can ‘private charity’ care for their dependent by coercively removing a child from an incompetent parent’s custody, or do they have to have permission?

brotio December 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm

…can ‘private charity’ care for their dependent by coercively removing a child from an incompetent parent’s custody, or do they have to have permission?

I think Sam answered this question on another thread:

Libertarians think the government should be run within very limited parameters, to act as an expression of everyone’s right to defend themselves against aggression and otherwise leave them alone to act as they will as long as they don’t violate the equal rights of others. – Sam Grove, December 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

GiT December 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm

That doesn’t answer anything, brotio. Children are not treated as having equal rights as others, and are generally not permitted to resist what they would deem as aggressive acts by their parents or guardians.

Why not?

brotio December 15, 2011 at 12:21 am

I think Sam’s comment answers you very well. But, to your question, “can ‘private charity’ care for their dependent by coercively removing a child from an incompetent parent’s custody“, I would answer, emphatically, “No!” And neither should the State.

Do you really want the State determining whether a parent is competent?

Gil December 15, 2011 at 12:49 am

GIT, It would be argued that Libertarians see children as bona fide adults and can leave their parents for competent guardians without the parents’ permission and that it’s coercion for anyone to force the children to stay with their parents.

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

Brotio

“Do you really want the state determining whether or not a parent is competent?”

In most cases no. But wouldn’t you agree that there are some cases of extreme child abuse, or neglect, where the state should step in? Is there no level of neglect that should cause the state to intervene?

Methinks1776 December 15, 2011 at 8:56 am

Unfortunately, Greg G, someone must do something about child abuse because the child can do nothing himself and another citizen is not empowered to.

I say “unfortunately” because I’m personally familiar with a couple of cases (it’s a long story) where the state has stepped in and the incompetence of the state was breathtaking – social workers who cared only about getting the case off their desk, judges pushing their own agenda without listening to the evidence, and guardians ad litem (paid by the state to represent the interests of the minor child) who never bothered to even contact their ward, much less show up in court. Digging around, I discovered this is “normal”.

Child protective services (I think that’s what the department was called) did not overstep its bounds – the parents were dangerously violent (not substance abusers, incidentally). However, once in the hands of the incompetent, uncaring state, it was difficult to figure out where the child was better off – a tent pitched in public park or in the paws of the state. Quite shocking – at the time.

IMO, it is the proper role of the state to protect the insane and minor children since they are powerless to do so themselves. But, I have no reason to believe it will do so competently. I just haven’t figured out an alternative to the state.

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

I’m with you on this one Methinks. Feels weird.

brotio December 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Greg G,

The choice of words in GiT’s question is what I was questioning. There is huge gap between incompetent and abusive. Abuse is a crime, and fits in with Sam’s description, to act as an expression of everyone’s right to defend themselves against aggression.

GiT December 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Brotio – Not really, but I also don’t want parents unilaterally deciding what is best for their children, and physical abuse is a particular variety of incompetence.

brotio December 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

No. Abuse is a particular variety of crime. Yasafi deciding to home-school his children would be a particularly egregious form of incompetence, but it shouldn’t be a criminal offense (not even for someone as stupid as he). I don’t want the State deciding who is a competent parent, even knowing that Yasafi is free to procreate (EWWW!).

GiT December 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Most crime’s are varieties of incompetence. I’m not sure why you’re trying to narrow the definition of incompetence down.

In any case, abuse is only always a crime if you define all abuse as a crime. The question is still what counts as abuse, i.e., what violence counts as a crime. Is a spanking a crime? What if it leaves a bruise? What if it’s done often? Where’s the limit? What defines the boundaries between disciplinary parenting and abuse?

brotio December 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Right now, the government forces me to pay for its war against drugs, and also forces me to pay for the treatment for those who use drugs in spite of the government’s war and prohibition.

The answer to your second question is, “Yes”.

Your first question is incomplete. It should be, “Should anyone be compelled to pay for those who use drugs?” The answer to that question is, “No”. However, if I choose to offer charity to those who are trying to wean themselves from drug addiction http://www.step13.org/ that is none of your (or the government’s) business.

Invisible Backhand December 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Nah, drug addicts tend towards suicidal ideation. Make sure there are plenty of guns handy. Problem solved and I say keep the traffic in the dark people, the coloreds. They’re animals anyway. Let them lose their souls.

Tommy December 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Backhand continues to show his sociopathic nature. Lovely picture.

kyle8 December 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Don replied well, but I just wanted to reiterate because I see this silly argument often trotted out, usually by right wingers like Ann Coulter.

First of all many of the people who use drugs or abuse alcohol are already on public assistance. Secondly, even if legalizing drugs swelled their ranks by, let us say 20%, (highly doubtful, but let’s use it as an argument). You would still be getting off much more cheaply than the huge costs of drug interdiction, over loading the judicial system, and feeding the prison industrial complex.

MWG December 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

This.

Invisible Backhand December 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

According to this site:

http://actionamerica.org/drugs/wodclock.shtml

It’s about $ 4 billion a year, or about a 1/4 NASA. That’s not counting the ruined lives, (which conservatives never care about) or the about 5 million felons who can’t vote (which conservatives do care about).

vikingvista December 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

You think you pay so much less for those who misuse votes? What is this bigotry of yours against users of intoxicants, relative to users of political power?

BTW, what makes you think a drug user has the wherewithal to make you pay for anything? Why don’t you leave drug user alone, and instead go after the ones who really offend you–those who really *do* make you do things?

vidyohs December 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm

This topic, like immigration, goes back to a fundamental. The fundamental that as long as people have the expectation that they will be taken care of if they screw up, then they are free to live a life of risk with no consequence.

Take government out of the picture, strike drug laws from the books, strike immigration laws from the books and make it clear to everyone that if you don’t care of yourself, you die.

In short order drug usage won’t be a problem because the problem druggies are likely to kill themselves. And, in short order immigration won’t be a problem because only those who will work and take care of themselves will come here.

Then if punishment is necessary, punish people for what they do to others, not for what they do to themselves.

GiT December 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

And your response goes back to a fundamental.

When fellow human beings are ‘voluntarily’ killing themselves through their addictions, other humans will wish they could do something to help them.

But wait, no, that would be coercive. No paternalism allowed. Indeed, the only moral thing to do is, as vidyohs says, to just ‘let the druggies kill themselves.’

kyle8 December 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm

You use sarcasm but you fail to see how foolish you sound. Let’s turn your sarcasm around a bit? I am sure it won’t work as well as trying to save people from themselves right? Let’s just treat everyone like a child and tell them what to eat, what to drink, who to screw, and tell them what sort of language is permissible.

Then we can have a nice,orderly progressive society, what could possibly go wrong?

GiT December 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Yet again, the insipid trolls of Cafe Hayek call me a fool while completely embarrassing themselves.

Why don’t you rub your meager braincells together for a second kyle, and think about your analogy.

You know what human beings we treat like children? Children. And why do we treat them like children? Because it’s legitimate to coerce children. And why is that legitimate? It’s not because parents own their children, and it’s not because there is some natural status of a child defined by how long you’ve been alive, which determines what your rights are.

And yet, somehow, the fact that parents exert control over their children, legitimately, does not imply that all of society must be run like a gulag.

It would be nice if you didn’t immediately go sliding down the slippery slope with your inane appeal to the consequences of a belief every time your feeble belief system was challenged.

Sam Grove December 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

And yet, somehow, the fact that parents exert control over their children, legitimately, does not imply that all of society must be run like a gulag.

You are not being coherent.
That children are treated as dependents does not imply that adults should be treated as though they are children, yet that is exactly what drug prohibition implies.

The only one here who said anything about a gulag is you. I think that constitutes a straw man argument.

GiT December 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Follow the argument, Sam.

Me: When people are harming themselves, there is an impulse to help them, but this is deemed to be wrong.

Kyle – if you let a third party control addicts, then third parties will tell everyone what to eat, drink, screw, and think, just like we treat children.

Me – As you have just admitted, we let third parties control children, and yet that does not require running things ‘like a gulag.’ By ‘like a gulag,’ I meant to abbreviate Kyle’s reference to regulation of everything people do.

To spell out the step in reasoning, if allowing paternalism does not result in tyranny in every case, then that something is paternalistic does not mean that it is, by necessity, tyrannical or otherwise illegitimate.

Urban Dictionary December 14, 2011 at 11:02 pm

thesaurus for git:
idiot, twat, bastard, annoying, asshole, jerk, fool, moron, prat arsehole, gay, jit, loser, prick, redneck, twit, bitch, chav

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=git

GiT December 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Wait, my handle spells an insult?

Gosh, I had no idea, I’m shocked.

Or not.

Obama, the Jackasses' Best December 14, 2011 at 11:52 pm

No, it’s not your handle that spells an insult. It is you who are the insult.

Sam Grove December 15, 2011 at 12:44 am

You do realize that the Gulag was where “suspect” people were sent to work, usually until death, right?

Not the same as regulation of people’s behavior.

GiT December 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm

You do realize that kyle, typical of the other trolls who frequent this site, was as usual caricaturing my position by unwarranted exaggeration and implying that I advocate some sort of totalitarian state, where people are ordered what to do in every respect, akin to a forced labor camp e.g. a gulag, yes?

Sam Grove December 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm

other humans will wish they could do something to help them.

Then they may do something of their own volition.

GiT December 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm

But not if it is deemed to be ‘coercive’ by you.

I could not, for example, take my friend’s heroin and flush it down the toilet, or stop my relative from taking a drink.

Unless of course my relative was my child and they were 14. Then I could do whatever I wanted with their property.

Of course my 14 year old child may be manifestly more capable of taking care of himself than my heroin addict friend, but what does that matter. You’ve already arbitrary decided what the boundaries of legitimate and illegitimate coercion are for me and I don’t get to have any say in what they are because you know best.

brotio December 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I could not, for example, take my friend’s heroin and flush it down the toilet, or stop my relative from taking a drink.

You certainly could. But, if after they’ve sobered up, and they’re still upset about it, they’d have legal recourse regarding your willful destruction of their property. (That recourse already exists for alcohol.)

brotio December 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

You also seem to have this notion that, because you care whether your friend is an alky, or an addict, that I should care whether your friend is an alky, or an addict, and that if I’d rather not help your friend kick his addictions, then the government should force me to help your friend kick his addictions.

GiT December 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm

If you’re going to admit the retroactive, post-hoc justification of coercion, then you’ve admitted paternalism. And if you’ve admitted paternalism, you have to admit a standard of justification for paternalism.

The right for third parties to intervene in the freedom of others is everyone’s concern.

F. Chodorov December 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm

“I should, of course, like to see society organized so that the individual would be free to carry on his “pursuit of happiness” as he sees fit and in accordance with his own capacities. That is because I assume that the individual is endowed at birth with the right to do so. I cannot deny that right to my fellow man without implying that I do not have that right for myself, and that I will not admit. I claim for myself the prerogative of getting drunk and sleeping off my condition in the gutter, provided, of course, I do not interfere with my neighbor’s right to go to the opera; that is my, and his, way of pursuing happiness. How can a third person know that getting drunk or going to the opera is not “good” for either of us? He, or society, or a majority may claim that we, my neighbor and I, have “wrong” values, and might try to tell us so, but the imposition of force to get us to change our values is unwarranted; such use of coercion stems from an assumption of omniscience, which is not a human quality. The best that society can do in the circumstances is to see that one’s way of pursuing happiness does not interfere with that of another’s — and then to leave us all alone.”

GiT December 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Except it is a complete farce to believe that you have the right of self-determination from birth. One could believe you have the right of self-determination from the moment one is deemed to have the capacity of self-determination from birth, but one cannot have a right to self-determination when one is not capable of self-determination. And when one is incapable of self-determination, one has their desires, preferences, and conceptions of happiness shaped by others, forcefully.

As a matter of fact (independent of questions of right), one factually gets a right to self-determination only after they have been socialized. And if one is not socialized to the standards of society (because they are deemed ‘insane’ or ‘mentally incompetent,’ or ‘violent,’ or, ‘dangerous,’ or, ‘a child’) then one, as a matter of fact, does not get to do as he sees fit in accordance with his own capacities.

vidyohs December 14, 2011 at 6:47 pm

@GiT
I don’t give a shit who you want to help or how much of your own money and effort you use to do it. Yea! Go for it you dumb fuck. What you are too stupid to see is that I will fight you to the death to keep you from using my efforts and my money to do it.

And, Kyle8 did a good job as well on telling you just how stupid you sound. And the reason you sound that way is because you are that way.

But, I’ll add to it by again pointing out to you, that those you save will only turn around and do it again, because they know you’ll save them again. So waste your life helping shitheads who won’t help themselves, just stay the hell out of the lives of those who are smarter than you.

GiT December 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Whatever, if you’re comfortable with your social darwinism, that’s fine.

vidyohs December 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Oh, trust me, I am absolutely comfortable with my social views. History tells me they are far superior to those you and your fellow travelers espouse.

GiT December 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Oh yes, I know how much you love your pathetic appeals to guilt by association.

Just don’t get too upset when people react negatively to your social darwinism and the fellow travelers it entails.

JS December 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Relax my friend. He’s for big government because he doesn’t contribute much to it. He’s a bottom halfer.

Nothing’s impossible if you don’t have to do it yourself.

Obama, the Best Jackass December 15, 2011 at 12:24 am

“He’s a bottom halfer.

No. He is one of the bottom ten.

Gil December 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Far from Libertarians being separate from the left and right – it is made up of left and right elements itself. Which there right-Libertarianism for Conservatives and left-Libertarianism for Liberals who both doubt the Government. A lot of right-Libertarians don’t like drugs and would do everything to privately censor if the Government wasn’t enforcing it but are really just plain against the Government first and foremost.

JS December 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

That’s not really an apt description of left-libertarian. They tend to be closer to anarchists, although to call themselves “left” is kind of an oxymoron because the modern political left is completely attached to statism. The right wing is broader in scope, whereas you find Hayek types, cultural conservatives for drug prohibition, and protectionists like Trump, Dobbs, and sadly, now even Romney.

The problem with the welfare state is that if we hand over our individual responsibility to the state, then they have the right to tell us how to live if they’re paying the bills for us. I am against it because I don’t like being controlled, but others like it who think they’ll gain in some ways, or simply because they’re hateful or envious of others, and have that sickening inclination to make up for their own insignificance by tearing down the happiness and liberty of others.

Jon Murphy December 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I have to admit, drug legalization is one area that makes me uncomfortable (we all have issues that test our faith, no?). I understand the arguments for legalization (as laid out by Prof. Boudreax and others), but I have a hard time getting behind it. When someone asks if I am in favor of legalization I answer with a definitive “I don’t know.”

Sam Grove December 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

We’re talking about the rights of free adult citizens.
Do you support those rights?

You don’t have to like what people say to support freedom of speech, do you?

Methinks1776 December 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

So, you understand the arguments but there’s a small part of you that just thinks the violence, the wasted treasure and expansion of the state is worth a largely symbolic jihad against vice?

Jon Murphy December 15, 2011 at 8:50 am

I wouldn’t put it quite that way, Methinks, but yes. I mean, in everything, there is something that makes us uncomfortable. Personally, I hate drugs. All the people I knew growing up and still know who do pot are losers. A guy I went to high school with OD-ed on meth. I’ve never done drugs and I never will.

The thing with vice is it is something we find distasteful. I think the natural inclination for that, regardless who we are, is it ban it.

For me, personally, this is on issue where I say “I’m 99% on board, but 1% of me is still hesitant.” That being said, I do not have the audacity to believe my personal beliefs should interfere with another’s right to choose.

Maybe the best way to say it is I am in favor of legalizing pot. The other stuff…I don’t know. It’s a personal battle.

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

Sounds like a slippery slope Jon. Start being half a libertarian and you could wind up being a Republican. Next thing you know, you are voting for Newt. He has some ‘transformational” ideas on how to reduce drug use. I think it was something about mass executions of drug dealers. That probably would reduce drug usage.

Jon Murphy December 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

Indeed, Greg. Which is why it’s an interesting moral quandary.

Maybe I should take my own advice: if we only believe in freedom for things we like and don’t for things we find distasteful, then we don’t really believe in freedom. We just like the idea of it.

Methinks1776 December 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

I’ve also never tried drugs and I see no reason to start. My best friend from high school ended up falling off a cliff some years later and died a decrepit, tattooed Heroin addict. Overdose.

Of course, meth and heroin were both illegal when your friend and mine partook of it liberally.

Pot is not that scary (and I know a lot of very productive people who still partake occasionally). I agree that harder stuff is. I understand the impulse to prohibit, but it’s irrational. The cost of stopping the minority of people who are willing to kill themselves with it is just too high. It puts too many innocent lives at risk and we don’t have the right, I think, to endanger innocents to pursue a Pyrrhic victory against the few who will stop at nothing to self-destruct.

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

I agree on the policy again here. This is really getting weird.

Jon Murphy December 15, 2011 at 9:33 am

Right? It’s not often I am the dissenter. :-P

Jon Murphy December 15, 2011 at 9:34 am

I guess it just goes to show: no one is completely different from another person. There will always be common ground.

Becky Hargrove December 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

The violence is here as well – I lived in a beautiful isolated area in Arkansas that was (nonetheless) constantly a battlezone for drugs; people would actually come up from Mexico and kill some of the locals, or the locals would kill them. My Dad still has vivid memories of Prohibition days in the East Texas of his youth, that also had a way of impacting life for all who lived there.

khodge December 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

My dad, from that part of the country, had memories of the old guys sitting around smoking pot. There is, at the very least, problems with the zero-tolerance demagoguery that is so common among politicians.

Gil December 15, 2011 at 12:56 am

There are plenty of places where people get drunk and become violent. Shame that alcohol being legal doesn’t change that.

JS December 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

If you didn’t have to support the addicts, you could say yes. For that matter, immigration wouldn’t be an issue if we didn’t have a welfare state.

JS December 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

That was a response to Jon Murphy.

Jon Murphy December 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

My gut reaction is to agree with you, JS. I’ve no problem with the legalization of pot. But where I really start to get uneasy is the hard stuff (heroin, LSD, crack-cocaine, etc). That stuff can really mess one person up.

Sam Grove December 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Part of what messes up their lives is the expense of prohibited substances.

Prohibition turns an addict into a desperate addict.

Jon Murphy December 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Very true, Sam, but the health risks are also pretty bad.

Methinks1776 December 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

what about the health risks of too much sugar? or too much food in general? How about alcohol?

Jwade December 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Actually there are very few health risks to long term use of opiates if the opiates are pure. With the possible exception of their effect on the digestive system. Because of the prohibition of most opiates, people have to get them from the street where they contain numerous dangerous adulterants. LSD is another drug the has no physiological health problems in the long term. Processed sugar and trans fats are far more dangerous than both. I think way to often the problems that drugs cause are mistakenly blamed on the drugs when in fact the problems stem solely from the drug war.

Sam Grove December 15, 2011 at 12:08 am

but the health risks are also pretty bad.

Prohibition increases the health risks.

The price of crack, for instance, can quickly drain an addicts bank account, and so the don’t even have money to buy a toothbrush, medicines, decent food to eat, or a place to live with a bathroom where they can attend to personal hygiene.

That’s not a reason to support prohibition, but to end it.

Sam Grove December 15, 2011 at 12:52 am

and so they don’t even have money …

Don Boudreaux December 14, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Yep. But why is it A’s business if B wishes to live in a way that really messes B up?

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 7:04 am

I agree with you on this issue about the drug war Don.

But even so, let’s remember that when B messes himself up, that will often cause externalities that affect A. That creates a legitimate interest in the issue for A.

Greg Webb December 15, 2011 at 8:12 am

People mess up all the time with no effects on anyone but themselves. A is not B’s keeper and the state has no legitimate power to force others to intervene.

Methinks1776 December 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

Oh please, Greg! There are always externalities imposed on others by your very existence. Poorly raised children foisted on society, ugly lawns, body odor, inconsiderate behaviour, inattentive driving – the list is endless. As long as you interact with human beings, you’re going to have to put up with some externalities.

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 9:25 am

Methinks

Yes, there are always externalities. Occasionally they rise to the level the state should do something about them. Usually they don’t. Deciding where to draw that line is often not easy. The choice is not always between good and bad. Sometimes it is between bad and worse.

I don’t believe drawing that line is as easy as simply invoking some metaphysical principle. It’s hard work. We will often get it wrong. I think that constitutional democracy is the most reliable method for making those decisions despite its’ many obvious faults.

If you think history supports a different opinion on that, I would be interested in which historical examples you think support that view.

Methinks1776 December 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

Drawing the line is much easier than you imagine.

If another’s behaviour endangers your life, then it should be prohibited. If it doesn’t, then the state should butt out. So, drinking alcohol is perfectly legal for adults, but it is not legal for them to endanger your life driving a car after they’ve been drinking. It’s pretty straightforward.

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

Pollution endangers other people’s lives but where to draw the line on it is not always an easy policy decision.

Methinks1776 December 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

What does pollution have to do with shoving cocaine up your nose?

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Methinks1776 December 15, 2011 at 9:12 am
Oh please, Greg! There are always externalities imposed on others by your very existence. Poorly raised children foisted on society, ugly lawns, body odor, inconsiderate behaviour, inattentive driving – the list is endless. As long as you interact with human beings, you’re going to have to put up with some externalities.

Greg G December 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Sorry, this is the more relevant comment. Like the other one too though.

Methinks1776 December 15, 2011 at 10:29 am
Drawing the line is much easier than you imagine.

If another’s behaviour endangers your life, then it should be prohibited. If it doesn’t, then the state should butt out. So, drinking alcohol is perfectly legal for adults, but it is not legal for them to endanger your life driving a car after they’ve been drinking. It’s pretty straightforward.

Bill Stepp December 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Near the end Mary O’Grady says that change is unlikely to come from
[the criminal entity @] Washington, but she overlooks the fact that tce@ Washington ended Prohibition because it wanted more tax revenue.

SaulOhio December 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

It only took 13 years for us to learn the lesson of Prohibition in the 20′s. Its been what? 40, 50 years now?

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