In December I had a great discussion with my friend Mary Grabar about marijuana legalization, the role of government, and the counterculture. The debate, collected and republished at FrontPage, can be read here and here.
One of NRB’s friends, Donald Douglas who blogs at American Power, took note of the debate at the time and cautiously took Mary’s side. Now Donald was kind enough to alert me to a post he’s written today about heroin dealers in California.
Donald’s point: if marijuana legalization is allowed (and it practically is in California — all you need is a doctor’s note) then heroin legalization will follow.
Donald doesn’t really support this argument very well; it’s more a hunch or a fear of his than something he can credibly defend. (Slippy slopes tend to be this way.) But this is blogging, not an academic thesis, so I’m not going to hold that against him too much.
But, here’s an answer to the idea of across-the-board decriminalization: So what if heroin, crack, LSD, crystal meth, and every life-destroying addictive chemical under the sun were legalized and regulated ala alcohol and tobacco?
Conservatives who argue that we need to continue spending billions of dollars every year in the fight against human nature are forgetting a simple point that they’re always so good at pointing out when leftists trot out their socialist entitlement schemes: when the government forces its way into the picture to try and fix a problem chances are the end result will be the creation of three new, worse problems. Government just is very ineffective at actually solving problems. That is the problem as some guy once said.
I think that the unintended consequences of drugs being illegal are worse than the steep price of prohibition we’re currently paying. Consider: Politics is usually a matter of a lousy option vs a terrible option. It’s not my argument that across-the-board drug decriminalization is in any way a good thing. The prospect of someone going to Wal-Mart and buying a ball of black tar heroin is not a pleasant idea. But it’s a far better solution compared to what we have now: people going to violent criminals to buy products that are far more dangerous than they have to be with the profits often going to fund Islamofascists.
Decriminalization will result in: safer drugs for addicts (fewer overdoses,) defunded terrorists and criminal gangs, no money wasted on on locking up addicts, more tax revenue flowing in from new products, fewer people committing crimes to pay for their habits (since drugs will be cheaper,) and better treatment for those suffering with drug addiction. There will be drawbacks and Donald is welcome to point them out. But at the end of the day when we put all the crappy consequences of each policy choice on the scale I’m confident the decriminalization will side will win out. That will suck less than what we have now.
Donald is invited to respond here at NewsReal Blog if he feels inclined.