Why I was wrong about drugs

Note, in this post, I was referring to recreational drugs. Hard drugs are obviously a whole different ball game.

This isn’t exactly topical, but I’ve been doing a little thinking recently. Up to a couple weeks ago, I’ve said that I don’t support legalisation of drugs because I don’t feel that there’s enough of a mandate to do it. By mandate, I mean not enough people support the idea. That was my view.

A couple weeks ago though, I realised that this view didn’t follow my traditional libertarian views. By “traditional libertarian”, I mean not the rubbish that people say it libertarianism now. Real libertarianism (or what I’ve termed traditional libertarianism – what libertarianism used to be about) is purely about saying you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t harm others in doing so. None of this “smaller Government” stuff. That’s called anarchism. I have no issue with someone being a libertarian anarchist, but don’t dub it something it’s not.

Anyway, what I believe is that everyone should be allowed to do anything as long as they don’t harm others. I thought about how this fits with my view on drugs. I realised that either I take a very strict line with this, and say that because some people’s drug use causes harm to others it should be illegal, or I take a more soft approach, saying that because most people’s drug use will only cause harm to themselves it should be legal.

Now let’s look at that first idea in a little more depth. Because one person’s use of something harms people, it should be banned. What would that mean? Well, surely knives should be illegal, because some people think stabbing people is okay. Cars should be illegal too, because you could drive into another person and harm them. Definitely planes should be banned – look at how much harm 9/11 caused. Alcohol also should be banned too.

Yes, that is completely insane. This is why I changed my opinion on the matter. I don’t think knives, cars, planes and alcohol should be banned. I think people abuse the privilege of being able to use things that could harm others should have them taken off them (like we take drivers’ licenses taken from people). So yes, you should be allowed to use drugs, but if you end up harming people because of this, or are identified as someone likely to harm people because of this, you should not be allowed to.

 

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About Daniel Farrell

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Posted on May 2, 2013, in New Zealand Politics, World Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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