Hey, Let’s Reduce Heroin Overdoses by Legalizing Heroin


For a magazine that styles itself Reason, it’s surprisingly unreasonable.

Nick Gillespie of Reason attacks Truth Revolt’s Ben Shapiro for writing that “Philip Seymour Hoffman[‘s] self-inflicted death is yet another hallmark of the broken leftist culture that dominates Hollywood, enabling rather than preventing the loss of some of its greatest talents. Libertarianism becomes libertinism without a cultural force pushing back against the penchant for sin; Hollywood has no such cultural force.”

It’s a point that’s rather hard to argue with. Freedom opens up the arena for individual character to define how people will use it. Freedom alone is a blank slate that allows people to impose order on their own lives.

Gillespie not only argues against it, but makes a thoroughly ridiculous argument. “Shapiro’s implication that libertarianism is the root cause of Hoffman’s overdose isn’t simply churlish and uninformed by anything resembling knowledge of Hoffman’s life, thoughts, or circumstances of death (though it is that). It is plainly nonsensical.”

That’s not what Shaprio is saying, but Reason has its theme, which is what libertarianism is being unfairly blamed for the death of a Hollywood actor and it has the solution…

“If Shapiro thought about it for a minute rather than calling up his outrage macro in Word, he might ask what sort of drug policy might lead to better outcomes. Generally speaking, people have enough trouble admitting substance-abuse problems without also having to admit that they are criminals too. Maybe legalizing or decriminalizing drugs would lead to an environment in which abuse would be minimized along with the ill effects of the black markets spawned by prohibition.”

Sure, we’ll cut down on overdoses by legalizing heroin. The needle park solution always works.


Do Hollywood celebrities abuse drugs because drug laws make them feel like criminals? Would they use less drugs if using drugs was more legally and socially acceptable?

Would Philip Seymour Hoffman have avoided overdosing on heroin if he could have bought it at the local drug store?

Since the addictive mechanism combined with tolerance, which is the effect that causes escalating drug use to achieve the same results, and the emotional cycle of self-medicating, is what causes the escalation of drug use, it’s hard to see how making an addictive drug that chemically diminishes free will is the solution to preventing drug abuse.

It’s like fighting slavery by legalizing slavery. Hoffman wasn’t abusing heroin because it was illegal. He was abusing heroin because it was available.

  • tickletik

    Heroin will always be available, and if it wasn’t this he would have been ruining his life some other way. As for needle parks, it’s a simple issue. Just don’t allow people to shoot up outdoors, problem solved.

    As for PSH, yes he was a great talent, and he will be missed, but it was his talent and life to waste, not ours.

    The only legitimate argument I can see opposing legalization, is that I know the whores in industry will go out use every trick in the book to hook people on this poison. While the people are simply too stupid (bless their idiot hearts) to understand that some advertising has to be banned.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The levels of availability vary a lot between an illegal item that can be bought illegally and a legal item that can be bought legally.

    • A Z

      People will drive and operate machinery at work will high. It happens now and it it will happens somewhat more if it is legal before it is all sorted out

      Self driving cars will make the former a moot point. Company drug testing before employment and after accidents will weed other people out over time

      Problem with automated cars is that some people hack everything. But we have concrete walls for that.

      • Honk

        Drug tests, dummy! Why do you need to stop people at home from from taking drug to get a safe workplace! This does not compute.

        • A Z

          We have drug tests now at work. Once a worker fails one and becomes unemployed now society has a different type of problem.

          BTW did I call you dummy?

          • truebearing

            You should have.

          • A Z

            You are right. I was in a hurry and did not understand the full import of what he had to say.

            I know people (my neighbor), who were hurt on the job, and the person, who hurt them, probably took the drugs at home. So honk has an invalid point and then turns around and starts name calling. Typical!

            My second statement, while true and an important issue, was a tangent. It has not been a good day.

  • Veracious_one

    drugs like heroin are destroying civilization…

    • Ralph

      I told my kids that drugs would make them feel good. I told them that if the saw classmates getting high that the classmates were enjoying it and feeling good.
      I also told them that the more drugs they took, it would shut down their bodies production of the same or similar chemicals and that they would start on a roller coaster of high and lows. They lose the ability to produce the chemical would atrophy if they took too much and the body would and a consequent time of regulating the “natural” drug levels in the body” I told them that if the roller coaster ride got out of hand, they would die.
      No lies. a scientific explanation if perhaps poorly paraphrased.
      if someone challenged them and said Look I am high and liking it, my kids could ask “What about later”. There is always the subsequent let down and after a while new high are harder to get. You need more drugs.
      I think with legalisation, kids will have a hard time chasing those subsequent highs. More will die.

    • truebearing

      Libertarians always get confused when it comes to issues of morality. They fail to understand that maximum freedom requires maximum self-discipline and moral restraint or a society will soon be submerged in a drunken, drug-filled free-for-all by those so inclined. Once people become addicted and need progressively more drugs to satisy their habits, they have to resort to crime to get their fix. They don’t have the time nor the wherewithal to work, and even if they did, few could afford their increasingly expensive habits, so crime is the only choice. The crime then requires more laws, restrictions, and police. The more crime, the more police, the more government, and the more taxes to pay for law and order.

      If the citizens don’t have adequate moral self control, the state will apply external moral control. The key to the Libertarian utopia is moral rectitude, not unlimited liberty, but they don’t get it.

      • Flicker

        Right. People say that drug users don’t HAVE to commit crime to get their fixes. I knew a woman who tricked virtually with her baby in her ARMS to get her crack. And crack was cheap. How would legal crack have helped her, or her baby?

        And forget free government drugs, do we really want a government to fund a population of hard-core addicts? The difficulties of life were what ultimately pushed her toward rehab.

      • Clay

        I think you are missing the point that the reason Heroin use causes crime is because since it is illegal, it is very expensive. Not because it is scarce or hard to produce, but just because it is expensive. If it were legal, and cheap, the worst the addicts could do is to harm themselves. They only steal because they have to.

        • truebearing

          No, you are missing the point. Heroin has never been more pure or cheaper. The problem is that addiction is a progressive disease — similar to Progressivism only the addict is hooked on drugs instead of power — which means addicts need increasingly more drugs to stay high all of the time. How can they make money when they are in a state of heroin induced stupor?

          Your ridiculous argument that legalization will produce cheaper heroin has been destroyed by what happened in Colorado with legalized pot. It is 400% MORE expensive than illegal pot. Are you stupid enough to believe our government isn’t going to tax the h*ll out of legal drugs?

          Then there is the mental, spiritual, physical deterioration caused by heroin use. Children get abandoned, or worse, prostituted for more drugs. Health care costs skyrocket. All kinds of brain damage results from the drugs and the poor nutrition inevitable with heroin addiction.

          Don’t tell me about heroin addiction and how making it easier to get would solve all of the problems. I have a step-son who lived on the streets of New York for years as a junkie. He is in jail right now, attending AA, NA, and seeing psychiatrists and psychologists, priests, and anyone else who can help him get clean. He has no teeth. His liver is shot. His body is that of someone in the sixties. He is unhirable. He is suffering from PTSD and will inevitably end up on the bloated ranks of Disability. He’s only 35 years old. He would tell you to your face that you don’t know what you are babbling about.

  • info warrior

    Obviously prohibition hasn’t worked..

    • A Z

      Obviously, the prohibitions against taking another person’s life, raping a person or stealing aren’t working, so let’s give up.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        No, we need to *regulate* how people murder and rape others.

        • tickletik

          You’ve just made the case that ingesting an unapproved substance into your own body is the same thing as stabbing someone in the heart or raping a woman.

          Once we accept that, we are effectively property of the state. And that’s exactly why I oppose it by supporting legalization.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            My actual point was that “regulation” is not a panacea.

            “Once we accept that, we are effectively property of the state. And that’s exactly why I oppose it by supporting legalization.”

            You live in a society that has rule of law based nominally on a constitution. If the laws are wrong there are ways to change them and to defend your constitutional rights. If you think the government has overstepped it’s authority by regulating and outlawing poisonous substances, then sue them or lobby congress. Or both.

          • tickletik

            Alternatively we can simply refuse to pass unconstitutional laws and repeal laws that have overstepped their bounds.

            Ie legalization.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Got a time machine, do you?

          • tickletik

            Check the edit.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            The problem with the freedom argument is that someone who destroys his ability to behave responsibly opts out of citizenship. He eventually becomes the ward of the state through his inability to control his own behavior.

            Social breakdown leads to government tyranny. The best defense against government tyranny is individual responsibility.

          • tickletik

            We are already in the middle of a social breakdown. And we are already well on our way to a tyranny, and the men who were primarily responsible for setting us on these paths are the same ones that started the war on drugs. (Johnson).

          • tickletik

            By the way, I’m not taking any of this lightly. If I come across as if I am totally certain about the side I’m arguing, you should know I’m not so certain I’m right.

      • tickletik

        No, its worse than that, the legislation against using various drugs is also being abused against the public.

        For that matter, I’m also not OK with rape laws that presume a mans guilt without any concrete evidence.

        • A Z

          I agree. Listening to Glenn Beck and the drug war does seem to be used against us.

          But I am also scared of the government being okay with heroin.

          It is like cigarettes. The government is against cigarettes but darn if they don’t want the revenue.

          I would be scared to think that state government package stores (some states may still have those) would expand to include cocaine, heroine and marijuana.

          If revenue was down what would they actually teach kids in school?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It hasn’t worked as opposed to what? How is legalizing heroin going to reduce heroin use?

      • Honk

        Use and abuse are two different concepts. Many overdoses are due to poor drug quality, or variable. Legal drug could have regulatory requirements on quality. And it is not like it is hard to get drugs today.

        • Jerry

          What about the atrophying of the bodies ability to produce natural endomorphins. That is a real problem.

          • Honk

            For the user. It is no skin off of my nose.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          So you’re saying that there is a safe use of heroin that would not be considered abuse?

          • Honk

            Um, yes. It is POSSIBLE to be a responsible druggy. But more specifically, I am saying that ODs are less likely to happen if quality is reliable.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            What’s your problem with methadone treatment?

          • tickletik

            It should not be government funded.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Um, yes. It is POSSIBLE to be a responsible druggy. But more specifically, I am saying that ODs are less likely to happen if quality is reliable.”

            In theory. How are you going to control that in both regulated and unregulated markets? Creating a regulated market niche does not “auto-magically” kill the unregulated black markets. It might even increase the user base in the black markets by creating the expensive regulated drugs as a gateway, and then as the users crave higher doses they fall in to black market dependence.

            You think you’ve thought this through but you don’t understand what you’re talking about.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            It’s possible to be a responsible heroin addict?

          • Honk

            Oh please. I’m not saying it is common, but it is possible. But you STILL have dodged my question about ODs. Do you have an answer, or are you conceding the point? No more diversions!

          • Daniel Greenfield

            A responsible addict is a contradiction in terms.

          • tickletik

            Yes it is. But isn’t that besides the point? Who cares if they are responsible or not? Shouldn’t the issue be on whether it can be legalized without destroying society?

          • Daniel Greenfield

            The two are interconnected.

          • tickletik

            Maybe letting people fail hard is the only way to get society as a whole to learn.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            If we had some sort of pure libertarian system, or at least the system we had a century ago, they might be object lessons. Instead they’re just fodder for the welfare and police state to sustain its existence.

          • WhiteHunter

            Okay, I’m sure you realize you asked for this question, my friend, though perhaps unintentionally: Would you willingly undergo surgery by a doctor whom you knew to be a “responsible druggy,” or willingly fly in a plane piloted or built by, and guided by air traffic controllers who were, “responsible druggies”?

            I won’t ask about using software designed by “responsible druggies,” since based on our experience with most of it, we probably already are. And rock music…well, the answer to that is self evident.

            But consider this: Even (or especially) the biggest Colombian drug cartels have–and enforce with an immediate death penalty–a zero tolerance policy for their employees (they really do). Why might that be? Who would know better than the narcotics kingpins themselves whether using their products endangers the entire enterprise?

            These are serious questions, not sarcasm. Please share your thoughts.

          • tickletik

            Question: how would you deal with the above, only substituting “alcoholic” for “druggie”?

            Not being sarcastic either, I am dead serious.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          That’s why there are programs for addicts to take safe alternatives.

          “Legal drug could have regulatory requirements on quality.”

          In most places it is legal to use alternatives to street heroin. You apparently aren’t happy with those choices. If the goal is to compete with the experiential effects of street drugs without the danger, you’re out of luck.

          “And it is not like it is hard to get drugs today.”

          It’s not hard to drive a car off of a cliff either.

          • Honk

            I am responding to both of your posts in one place. Please do likewise. If you think of something else to say after you post, please use the edit button. Thanks.

            Why does it matter that it is regulated to the user. And there is no reason to think the black market will still thrive if you don’t slap a huge tax on the drug. Heck, in NYC more cigarettes are illegal than legal, thanks to taxes. Don’t do that and you are fine. It cost a bundle to hire lookouts, enforcers, etc.

            These “alternatives” are probably not psychoactive, are they? because studies show that addiction is less of a problem for most druggies than an unwillingness to stop getting the high.

            And what does the difficultly of driving off of a cliff have to do with the price of wheat in Jeddah, let alone drug policy?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Why does it matter that it is regulated to the user. And there is no reason to think the black market will still thrive if you don’t slap a huge tax on the drug. Heck, in NYC more cigarettes are illegal than legal, thanks to taxes.”

            You are asking for the government to regulate something that is now outlawed. That increases costs. Someone has to pay for that.

            “Don’t do that and you are fine. It cost a bundle to hire lookouts, enforcers, etc.”

            I don’t think you realize how many factors you are overlooking or assumptions you are making.

            “These “alternatives” are probably not psychoactive, are they? because studies show that addiction is less of a problem for most druggies than an unwillingness to stop getting the high.”

            Bingo. But if you’re going to “chase the high” you can’t self-moderate either. Both “responsible” and irresponsible users face that fact. Eventually the window between mortal dose and “therapeutic” (in terms of getting the feelings the user is searching for) crashes and you die. So there is no way you can “get high” indefinitely and certainly not without medical assistance. Do a little research and see what guys like Keith Richards go through. You think that’s accessible if we simply regulate doses for people?

            No, what you don’t realize is that in this case freedom means the freedom to kill oneself. We’re better off just severely punishing related crimes and letting the merely self-destructive addicts die off. The death rates will warn the smarter people and that’s a reasonable hands-off approach. Unfortunately the next best answer is very close to the present status quo.

            “And what does the difficultly of driving off of a cliff have to do with the price of wheat in Jeddah, let alone drug policy?”

            You seem to be arguing that something accessible is something we shouldn’t try to prevent on the basis that it doesn’t harm others. I might have misunderstood your point about access.

          • Honk

            I am asking them to regulate it to a minimal degree. Still cheaper than a zillion enforcers and smugglers. And why should I care if people want to be idiots? As they say, you have a right to swing your fist, it just can’t hit someone.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I am asking them to regulate it to a minimal degree. Still cheaper than a zillion enforcers and smugglers.”

            You have to explain how your policy will reduce those costs.

            “And why should I care if people want to be idiots? As they say, you have a right to swing your fist, it just can’t hit someone.”

            We’re not outlawing idiocy. Just pointing out various human factors.

            Maybe start a privately funded program where addicts can bring their drugs and have them analyzed without adding to the risk of arrest. Study the results. That will quantify one aspect of the program you suggest. Then you can see what steps you recommend after you prove your money was well-spent.

            Let me just say that it seems like you think it’s the libertarian thing to do, to decriminalize and instead regulate addictive recreational drugs when in fact it would simply grow the state’s influence and control over everyone. And it’s not even clear you’ll get statistically superior financial or health outcomes.

            Maybe if we had merely regulated all drugs and never outlawed any we’d be in a better position now. But all of these effects are here and you can’t simply reboot society. The reactions would be horrific even if after several generations some kind of new equilibrium is reached. The transition plan would be the most difficult part of your policy suggestion.

          • Honk

            So, your argument is, “Nice idea, but it is to hard.” Mine is that it is not to hard that we should abandon justice. And I guess that is the end that. Nice talking with you. Bye.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Too hard? How about delusional?

            “Mine is that it is not to hard that we should abandon justice.”

            Words are always easy.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Addition: why would the black market still exist if an untaxed, legal alternative existed?”

            Because people often want products that authorities are unwilling to approve, and or unable to source. And taxes are not the only way regulations increase prices. Regulations require…actions…which cost money…which increases costs.

          • Flicker

            Did the libertarian just tell you to edit your posts rather than post new ones? Rules, rules.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            I know, hah?


          • Flicker

            I’m beginning to think (and my friends are successful great guys, and libertarians) that libertarianism is just two a few steps above anarchists.

          • tickletik

            You just effectively gave an argument to ban cars.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            No, their use should be regulated.

          • tickletik

            Are you arguing on a State level of regulation or a Federal one?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Most should be state level.

            What’s your point?

          • tickletik

            My point is be specific. You are too vague. “Regulate” how? What penalties? What laws? What lines do you draw? Who is doing the regulating? Who is checking up on them? Who is being a held accountable for the consequences of the decisions you are so quick to hand over to nameless others and what are the consequences of failure? What is your mechanism for correcting flawed regulations? How do you propose to even determine if the regulations made are even any good or if they aren’t leading to far worse problems?

            This, this right here, is exactly why conservatives resist passing new laws. It sounds great on paper, and then we get into implementation time and the entire thing goes balls up.

            Under the current system if you make the incredibly bad move of letting** a police officer at a routine traffic stop check your car and he finds a controlled substance left there by the random idiot you lent your car to last night, YOU WILL BE GOING TO JAIL. And the consequences for just an arrest alone can follow you for life*. People and companies have the right to find out if you’ve been arrested and in many places have the right to fire you just for that, not even for a conviction.

            I am not so blasé about this issue. I am not OK with just saying “sue the government if you don’t like it”. That’s not real life. In real life people get crushed.

            By the same token, I am not so quick to just say “legalize everything”. Real people will suffer, real communities will be hurt.

            The problem I have with you is that you are acting so quick and glib about this issue, and it is not a light issue. It is something that is wrecking us, and God only knows if there are any good decisions here.

            *- it can also help get you girls if you play it up right.
            **- obviously you don’t physically resist anything an officer or armed gov agent tries. But you verbally protest that you do not accede to their search.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            You’re drifting way off the points and just delivering sermons.

            You want to legalize and or regulate some use of heroin you need to put together a comprehensive proposal and persuade the right people that it makes sense.

            This nation has much bigger problems as far as I’m concerned and I’m not going to debate you endlessly on car regulations. It started out as a sarcastic example.

          • tickletik

            Bye bye! Good luck solving the nations problems!

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Unless of course we listen to you and follow everything you say.

          • tickletik

            As usual what you are saying is vague, confusing, and mostly meaningless.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            I some times find it difficult to keep up with maniacal minds. Most of the time I just lose interest.

            From: Women Who Don’t Reproduce Hurt Society
            tickletik • a day ago
            Alternatively you could simply shame the women into doing what they are supposed to do, take back your rights and privileges as men, and beat to death the faggots and sociopaths that are emasculating you. (Reverse order) But that would mean a real brotherhood where all men look out for one another.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Car ownership doesn’t affect free will.

          • tickletik

            No, you’re right, it doesn’t.

            But if we are going to go in this direction, then we are going to have to ban a great deal of advertising.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Advertising influences. It doesn’t destroy freedom of will.



            “A dope fiend is a man in total need of dope. Beyond a certain frequency need knows absolutely no limit or control. In the words of total need: “Wouldn’t you?” Yes
            you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do anything to satisfy total need. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, and not in a position to act in any other way. Dope
            fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite. Assuming a self- righteous position is nothing to the purpose unless your purpose be to keep the junk virus in operation.”

        • objectivefactsmatter

          All that would happen is a new regulated alternative would be offered to “rich” people that were too scared to try street drugs. The addicts of today for the most part would still use the cheaper street version.

          “And it is not like it is hard to get drugs today.”

          The appeal of heroin is almost entirely due to its availability without regulation. There are lots of regulated alternatives that are far superior to unregulated heroin in every way, except for the actual “regulated” part.

          You can’t legislate away black market drugs. You’re dreaming.

          • Flicker

            If I smoked, I would smoke cheap knock-off Camels from the Philippines.

        • tickletik

          I’m perfectly Ok with people destroying themselves due to abuse. My issue is with a corrupt society using legalization to shove it down the throats of the vulnerable.

      • Glenn Partridge

        As opposed to decriminalization. Twelve years ago Portugal decriminalized the possession of small ammounts of drugs, pot, heroin, cocaine, etc.


        Over the legal limit you will be charged with dealing but small ammounts about ten days supply it’s treated as a misdemeanor much the same as a parking violation and you are encouraged to get treatment.

        ‘This Is Working': Portugal, 12 Years after Decriminalizing Drugs

    • Rob Hobart

      At the half-a$$ed level we’re doing it, no.
      We need to be publicly executing drug dealers.

  • Drakken

    Make it so dangerous for the drug abuser to use drugs that the smart ones will survive and quit and the not so smart ones let nature take its course.

  • Guerrero_viejo

    Repeal the Controlled Substance Act of 1939. It’s that simple. Much like most things the Government does it took a good thing (repealing Prohibition) and made it by magnitudes worse.

    • Honk


    • Rob Hobart

      Alcohol is a very different matter from heroin.

      • Guerrero_viejo

        Nope. They’re both highly addictive drugs that have physical withdrawal problems. ODs can kill you. They’re both “downers”.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          The use to addiction to serious physical effects ratio isn’t anywhere the same.

  • UCSPanther

    Oxycontin has been “legal” for years and people die from OD’ing on it all the time.

    • A Z

      I fear that if drugs were legal, more children would have access. That is more kids than now.

      • Flicker

        If drugs were legal, more children would be saying, “It must be okay. If it weren’t, it would be illegal like transfats, smoking cigarettes inside buildings, and riding bicycles without a helmet!”

      • Guerrero_viejo

        I live in a “border town”. I have a friend that is head of security for the school district. The district is composed of 1 Pre-K,1 Elementary,1 Middle school and 1 High School in a community of less than 10,000.
        The community has so many cocaine busts that anything under 2 kilos doesn’t make the news. (Local distribution)
        Drug dealers start in Middle school (although occasionally you find one in Elementary)
        The high school has a short bus that carries students back and forth to a drug rehab center every day.
        They ran a drug dog through the high school parking and had to fire 3 teachers.
        This same school district has 2 students with a perfect 4.0. One to Harvard and one to MIT with a “full ride” scholarship.

        Point being. Quit being a “nanny state” liberal.

        • A Z

          Nice story. I’ll keep it mind.

          Charles Hugh Smith has a blog he calls “of two minds”


          The blog name is sound advice. It came to mind when reading your post. Not sure where I fall between social conservatism and libertarianism.

          Personally, I feel China’s ordeal with opium in the 19th century is instructive. It informs my thinking on the subject.

          If you had read my posts further up on the list, you would see that one of my concerns is road safety.

          You also did not see where I used the the words “I fear” instead of “We must”

          While reading your post, I had the thought if we legalized all drugs in so many years we would have a revolution. My belief is that a significant number of people take drugs because they cannot “self actualize”.

          What if they get all the drugs they want and they still are unhappy? REVOLUTION

          • Guerrero_viejo

            Interesting blog. Mexicans have a much more basic form called “La Mordida” (The bite).
            The policia are not paid by the city but by the home owners and shop keepers in their district.
            They are not hired but appointed. Add to the mix the Federales. (Mexican Army,service is mandatory for all Mexicans).
            Mix in a 5 billion a year underground industry and you have Mexico today.
            The cartels (except Los Zetas) have declared the US neutral ground but how long will that last?
            Barry is good with “la mordida” viola the “Dream EO” that sent thousands of cartel soldiers to take over distribution.

          • A Z

            You DISQUS user activity activity is private (My Dusqus activity is likewise private). So I don’t know exactly, where you are coming from philosophically, but looked forward to what you post on other articles in different subjects.

            As to Barry: 3 years 11 months and change.

            If we are whole enough in a few decades we will have a proper accounting of actions in the history books.

            I hope it sticks in his craw.

    • Flicker

      It’s legal, but it’s heavily restricted.

  • Link Bread

    No one who has seen a loved one addicted to heroin would argue for its legalization. It is a terrible, awful drug. I will admit that is is very difficult to shut down the flow into our country and our communities, but it’s important to keep working to keep it out.

  • Flicker

    I’ve been asking in these forums for a few years now, what the difference is between libertarianism and libertinism. And my friends are libertarians. This short article is the best I’ve read to date. And now my question is at least rudimentally answered. Without a strong culture to foster moral behavior (the Judeo-Christian culture that spawned English common law and the Constitution) libertarianism is only half the picture, and a woefully insufficient half.

    I know what conservativism is: follow the traditional cultural and political ways that have worked so far. And libertinism is: Let hedonism ring! Libertarianism seems to be: Leave me alone! which is right enough in itself. But libertarians like Stossel and Rand Paul seem to be blind to the knowledge that many, if left to their own choices, make choices far worse than they would have guessed; suicide being the greatest example: suicide is not merely illegal because of some perceived value to human life that some foist on others, it is also illegal because it can be abused to kill in the way a kitchen knife can, or offering uncut legal heroin to a despised friend can.

    Modern liberalism + libertarianism = libertinism.
    Libertarianism + cultural morality = conservativism.

  • v

    It is assumed that if drugs are legalized that they will be better controlled and therefore people will not be using them. The amount of drugs found in Hoffman’s possession only tells us that despite the law, they are unfortunately available and in large quatities and people like Hoffman had no problems getting, paying for and using them. Hoffman was an educated person and knew fully the disastrous effects of drug use. But in his “milieu”, Hollywood, drugs are not the problem, as usual people are. We have a decaying society with misplaced priorities and moral values. It is a personal responsibility issue which no longer exists in our society. The idea that society facilitated Hoffman’s death from the use of drugs, as some have suggested is ludicrous and ignorant. Had the drugs been legal, had Hoffman not used them or abused them ? Those who use drugs have issues other than the drugs, they are personality issues, whether the use is for being “cool” or for “belonging” or “peer pressure”, particularly for people like Hoffman who knew better, but may have been on a suicide mission. In any event, whether drugs are legalized or not, they continue to be in use and wreak havoc on people’s lives. I refuse to believe that despite of all the medical announcements, and the advertizing campaigns with respect to drug use and self destruction, people can still claim ignorance or just plain disregard their disastrous effects.

    • blert

      Hoffman and Belushi, et. al. show that humanity needs safer anti-anxiety drugs.
      More than you might want to believe, the reason that Hollywood has ALWAYS been a primary scene of drug abuse/ alcohol abuse is because of performance anxiety.
      This is compounded by the impact of random luck: one can come from no-where to stardom — and then disappear down the rabbit hole.
      Not surprisingly, Hollywood is ideologically addicted to the nanny-state. Those reaching the heights of financial success via Hollywood think that the rest of society just has wealth showered down upon them.
      They suffer from epicentric thinking: the notion that what’s happened near and around them is generally true everywhere.
      Hollywood talent lives in an economic bubble so profound that they can’t wrap their minds around the ordinary Joe.

      • rogerinflorida

        blert and v;
        Perhaps it is simpler than that, perhaps addicts use drugs because they enjoy the sensations produced and don’t care that their drug usage may mean an earlier death than otherwise. We are all going to die anyway so why not have a good time while it lasts. I don’t believe that many young people are that hung up on their own demise, when addicts are sober they may well realize that they are complete eff ups but so what, the high is worth it.

  • Flicker

    It is my observation that you can pretty well know a person’s view, and how he will act, and vote, based on 5 fundmental things, or where his beliefs fall in the spectrum between the two.

    1- God created the universe, or it came into existence as a random event.
    2- Man is created in the image of God and fallen, or is an animal and basically good.
    3- Truth is absolute, or there is no absolute truth.
    4- The ultimate world is heaven under God’s reign, or the ultimate world is a utopia mankind will create.
    5- There is life after death and God will dispense ultimate justice, or there is nothing after death and no perfect justice.

    I wonder how libertarians view these.

  • Sheik Yerbouti

    We will never legislate addiction away with laws. Addiction is a part of the human condition. The laws are just a way for the government to cash in on the problem. They don’t seem to be interested in actually solving any mental issues in the US.

    • Rob Hobart

      A moral society is a society which enforces its collective values through laws.
      Also, mental health is a separate issue.

      • Sheik Yerbouti

        I’ve always considered addiction to be a mental health issue. Physical dependence is not the same thing as addiction.

  • blert

    Iran and Afghanistan have — de facto — wide open opiate use — usually heroin.

    The results are in: it’s Hell on Earth.

    A staggeringly high percentage of all social ills are directly due to addictions.

    While pot and booze are socially tolerable — (away from driving and power tools) — the opiates and uppers are completely ruinous — usually in no time at all.

    Slave economics always has its appeal to the exploiters.

    It’s hard to miss that the bulk of current opiate production occurs in Afghanistan.

    The muslims there consider themselves as waging jihad on the infidels — by generating social trauma planet wide. To do so, they’re willing to accept astounding solcial trauma right at home.


    In a world of atomic weapons, lies have been strategically re-deployed to parallyze the proles.

    At the top of the list would be the Libertarian construct. I’ve never bumped into ANY Libertarian who knows the early history of the party; who knows that its founder’s primary goal was the elimination of the American national defense.

    Barry, himself, then could be termed his philisophical son. He’s already got half of the navy in port, and most of the army sitting on its kiester.

    Barry’s not stupid: he’s just a true believer. Eric Hoffer has him pegged.

  • blert

    Has anyone noticed that a higher power is orchestrating the truth of debate?

    Such is the perils of disqus

  • lagalall

    yes it should be legal taxed and age registrictions put on it. there is more of a chance that your 13 yr old kid can go out and easily get heroin, meth coke etc..
    then he could find a pack of cigarettes or bottle of booze. There will never be a stop to these drugs coming into the country it’s time to rethink and go a totally different route and well past time. If it were legal the options for treatment would be increased along with the ability to get help and not feel like a criminal for doing so. And yes if the drugs were made cheaper and legally produced and regulated it would save a lot of tax spent on incarceration of drug offenders and revenue from the taxes from sales. Crime rates would go down and i believe addiction rates would go down as well in time . its common sense I do not need the government telling me what I can and cannot put into my own body plain and simple Drugs are bad so i choose not to do them but if your choice is to do them that is your choice not mine . If you choose to do drugs and commit a crime to finance your drug use then yes you should be locked up and punished.

  • Sara Hubrich

    How many deaths per year does alcohol cause? How many murders per year are committed over this “drug war”? Has this war on drugs turned our inner cities into crime riddled habitats? What effect has the War had on minorities?

    I’m quite certain that all the deaths as exemplified above outweigh the snarky and intellectually dishonest arguments this article makes.