Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Freedom to Use Drugs

There is no doubt that drugs are bad but our freedom should be limited to the end that we do not destroy each other. Our freedom is violated by the fact that drugs our legal.  People who want to use drugs will.  No number of laws will stop those people from using drugs and making what I would consider to be a bad choice.

The greatest issue I have with laws legalizing drugs is that they actually support the criminal element of the market.  Lives are destroyed buy drugs but more lives are destroyed by subjecting consumers to criminal retailers.  Capital markets and legalization are the answer to solving this issue.

The obvious example is prohibition.  I am going to skip the usual arguments and skip to discussing the product.  During prohibition it was not safe to drink alcohol.  Today there is still a tiny market for moonshine but it really isn't a big issue any more.  Most people prefer to get booze in grocery stores where the product is regulated and safe to drink.   There will always be a criminal element in society but most member of society like to know what they are getting and lead a safe life.  I would include drug users in this category.

I am not saying you should be able to just go down to the grocery store and pick up some heroin.  I recognize that these are very bad drugs.  There would be significant problems if people could use hard recreational drugs in the home.  Where drugs are used should be regulated and there should be safety requirements to follow for businesses distributing drugs.  This would make overdosing less likely and keep abusive behavior away from the rest of society.

I would go as far as requiring a license for the usage of drugs but still providing the right of privacy to the license holder.  This way license holder's may be required to meet specific conditions to use drugs.  For instance the issuing office may require the license holder to use birth control or birth control to be in the drug before it is distributed.  Control as a solution to drug abuse is a much better solution to prohibiting use.

Having said this it is important to acknowledge the more regulations between a consumer and he drug the more likely there will be a black market for the drug.  The key is finding the right balance of regulation and freedom.  Absolute restrictions lead to innocent people getting harmed  Where controlled distribution would lead to a safer society and safer products.