To the People

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Someone Pays These People to Write?

Another unbelievable piece, this time from Mac Johnson, is up at Human Events Online critiquing libertarians and their view on drug policy. It's a close contest, but Mac has pulled slightly ahead of John Hawkins in the stupidity race that Human Events is currently sponsoring.

He repeats the paternalistic lie that there are no casual drug users, that anyone using "illegal" drugs must be an addict. This in turn forms his reasoning for continuing prohibition.
The reason I find this logic strange for libertarians is that it just plain ignores the fact that addictive drugs remove both the basic prerequisites for a Smith-style freedom-based efficiency: choice and reason. A drug addict has no choice and is the very definition of unreasonable.
It's tough to get into this too much, in this limited space...But how many ways can you refute this statement? To begin with, it's faulty reasoning. He begins with his "fact" and works from there. Well, Mac, if your fact isn't a fact, but instead an oversimplified and ignorant generalization, then the rest of your argument is toast before you even reach it. First, what drugs are addictive? How addictive are they? More so than tobacco, or legal opiates? Does the market handle these drugs effectively? If so, why wouldn't it do the same with less addictive drugs, or even more addictive drugs? Is it the addiction that causes people to act irrationally, or the effects of the drug? Last question -- Why not think about this stuff BEFORE you write an article?
Yet according to those that have spoken most loudly from a libertarian perspective on this issue, the problem of drug addiction today is entirely artificial.
I don't know who, or what group in particular he is referring to. But I would hardly call that the "libertarian" or anti status-quo position. What we are constantly saying is that prohibition, or perhaps more accurately the brutal way we fight this War on Drugs, makes everything worse. Including the problems of addiction. I don't read or hear too many serious folks on our side claiming that substance abuse (better term than addiction, people are always equipped to use their free will) is an artificial creation. I'll make the brave stand of stating here that addicts would still be on our streets and in our communities if prohibition was overturned.

I'll make one more point before Baylen pushes this to the article section. Not once does he mention psychedelics, or any soft drugs. Of course crack and heroin are thrown around liberally, but he manages to write about drug policy without mentioning the #1 enemy of our current policy...marijuana. How do you that and stay intellectually honest in your argument seems impossible to me. Be he does it and makes statements like this in the process.
We are to believe that when crack is openly marketed by Phillip Morris and Anheuser Busch that we will get less crack use? Or that when ecstasy comes with a proper dosage label and a guarantee of pharmaceutical purity it will be less appealing to prospective users.
Whatever dude, at least I know I'm not the crazy one in this debate. Read the full piece here.

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