Printed in the Daily Camera, April 18:
Would you argue against government’s banning a book by citing the positive outcomes of free speech? Of course not. This concedes that free speech takes a back seat to whatever authorities consider to be “good for society.” Free speech derives from our individual rights: our freedom to take action and pursue our goals through the voluntary and peaceful cooperation of others.
Drug prohibition is unjust because it violates these rights. Don’t be distracted by arguments about prison overcrowding and marijuana’s medicinal benefits. These are important issues, but do not concede your rights. Pregnancy aside, you have the right to ingest, inhale, or inject whatever you want.
Legitimate law enforcement is a response to aggression — like restraining a violent drunk from further pummeling someone. We properly celebrate civilians who do so. But we should condemn civilians who forcibly interfere with someone’s selling, buying, or smoking politically-incorrect plant. Such interference is not a response to aggression; it is aggression. Sensibly, civilians who favor drug prohibition do not partake in such aggression themselves; they delegate it to government employees.
Yes, some people will ruin their lives by abusing drugs, whether they are banned or not. If this concerns you, consider supporting drug rehab charities instead of destructive prohibitions that violate our rights.
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For a great video on marijuana legalization by Drew Carey, and one with John Stossel on ABC News, and other resources (20/20), see here.
A pro-pot student group is holding a three-day symposium in Boulder starting this weekend, leading up to the annual 4/20 campus “smoke out” session on Monday. The talks and event are aimed at the decriminalization of marijuana, which many people think is a drug that should remain illegal. What do you think?