Complete drug decriminalization/legalization is a topic I have already posted about but want to revisit because it is one of the more counter-intuitive and controversial conversations. I am of the opinion that all drugs should be legal; if you, me or your cousin wants heroin, we should be able to go to the drug store and buy it. That we should be able to does not mean that we should, and it is the heinous nature of drug abuse that makes legalization so counter-intuitive for the majority of us. I want to be clear that by advocating for drug decriminalization, I am in no way condoning drug use.
"Legalize all drugs? You must be crazy!" you are saying. "Drug use will skyrocket and the streets will be consumed by twitched out addicts desperately searching for another fix." Well, as you might expect, I have found a few videos that prove the opposite, with clear empirical evidence.
Drugs of all varieties were decriminalized in the country of Portugal eight years ago, and the results have been pretty definitive.
In this first one by the BBC news (hmm... sounds legitimate), I think one of the most crucial points is that since drug legalization, the number of people being treated for heroin addiction has risen. When there is absolutely no fear of jail, I think drug addicts are more likely to seek treatment because their condition is seen as a medical issue, not a criminal offense.
In this fantastic interview from Reason.tv with Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, Greenwald raises several key points and provides viewers with a libertarian argument for natural rights. His assessment of Portugal's severe drug problem in the nineties is particularly revealing; the more the Portuguese government criminalized drugs, the more usage increased.
It will be interesting to see if the California ballot measure regarding the complete decriminalization of marijuana will pass this fall. If it does, I think we will start to see many more states fall in line: Increased tax revenues and less "crime" in California - the criminal justice system and prisons are a huge money suck! - would bring about a kind of market response as people pushed for similar results in their own states. Individual states have the right to nullify overreaching federal law.( Nullification of bad laws is a subject I will explore in future posts.)
For the throngs of readers who have been desperately seeking a new post, I apologize for the delay. The two of you can get back to reading.