OK, let’s stir the pot a little more.
I recently joined the Libertarian Party. Not just changed my favorite team – I went all in. I filled out forms and became a dues-paying member. I bought a baseball cap and 2 T-shirts. I got a pack of propaganda that includes a few bumper stickers. Too bad I can’t drive or I’d put them all over my vehicle.
Too many people view this party as the home of the lunatic fringe. The number one reason people believe this is because of the official party stance on drugs.
“Drugs.” Simply saying the word brings up many different images, definitions and opinions. The USA, for the most part, has a standing policy that almost all of them are illegal. The main exceptions are alcohol and prescription medications as regulated by physicians. The “war on drugs” campaign led by Nancy Reagan in the 1980s took the issue to another level.
If you look at the big picture, the laws and moral applications to all things that can be classified as “drugs” is wildly inconsistent. Alcohol and tobacco are drugs. Many prescription medications are every bit as addictive. We are affected by the sensational accounts we see and hear of people losing their lives around use of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine as well as forged prescription. We have been conditioned to believe these substances are worse than others.
What are the moral implications? Well, we tried to outlaw alcohol. What we got was people who consumed it anyway, and a black market for the booze that we eventually came to know as the Mafia. Extreme religious groups want to return to the prohibition days (it’s worth noting, they also want to eliminate just about anything that might possibly be construed as fun, but that’s another sermon for another day).
I have come to the conclusion that morality simply cannot be legislated. What one person thinks is evil and immoral, another person has no problem with. I don’t think government should be in the business of telling the citizens what they can and cannot consume. Prohibition in the 20s and all the other assorted substances consumed today has had absolutely zero effect on the use. You can stand on your moral pedestal and lecture the rest of the world on what is right and wrong, and you’re likely to get stuff thrown at you.
So what is the solution? Drop the “illegal” label on all of it. Regulate it as you do alcohol and tobacco. Utilize the tax revenue to fill budget gaps. Use it to increase education on substance abuse and addiction. And send the message to the people, “If you wish to destroy yourself, your life and your family by making (insert substance here) your god, you are free to do so. Just stay off the road.”