The War on Drugs: be careful what you for

No Man's Land

There is an inexorable drive towards decriminalization and ultimately normalisation of what are now proscribed mind or consciousness altering substances. The arguments have several strands. First, there is the issue of consistency. Alcohol and Tobacco are harmful addictive substances but quite legal. Why should these be the exception? Second, there is the issue of personal liberty. Why should the state limit the states of consciousness that an individual can attain via mind altering substances? Is this not an infringement of civil liberty? Finally, there is the matter of criminalization and crime. Much crime is drug related and by decriminalizing such drugs one eliminates a lot of crime.

Taking the points in reverse order the matter of crime is the most seductive. However, it is philosophically unsound. Applying the same principle to, say, burglary one could reduce crime by making burglary legal. Not a very sound crime reduction…

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