There are many Americans against the legalization of marijuana and other drugs. Heroin had a big spotlight in the news recently after the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
I understand why people want drugs illegal. People say its about “what’s best for society.” Sounds noble, but there’s a big fact that’s apparently not realized: Making drugs illegal does little to control the supply or the consumption. The war on drugs is pointless, and it costs us a ton of money.
There’s also a bigger issue at hand here, and that’s the issue of liberty. Liberty often gets snuffed out in the name of “what’s best for society.” If we look at every issue with that mentality, it becomes very easy to tear down the idea of liberty altogether. Conservatives will laugh at the notion of liberals trying to ban large sodas or supersized fries. What conservatives don’t realize is they support that same philosophy, just with a different product – drugs.
It’s the same reasoning. It’s limiting liberty and personal choice in the name of public health or public good. It’s allowing the government a say in what we consume or how we consume it. Give them a few more years and our freedom-stomping bureaucracy will find a way to ban anything unhealthy altogether for the sake of “the greater good.”
This debate over liberty has carried over into many other issues, such as gun control, gay marriage, national security, health care, civil rights, free markets, etc. Now the question remains: What are the limits of liberty? In my opinion, there should be only two reasons to limit the liberty of personal choice:
• Your actions cannot physically harm another human against their will.
• Your actions cannot take things from another human from which they have ownership.
When liberty becomes too much of a debate, there are few limits as to how much can be taken away. I’ll sum up my thoughts with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”