Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did Legalizing Drugs in Portugal Work?

By just about all measuring sticks, yes.

One of the most difficult Libertarian party tenets to overcome, the one where fear mongering rules, is the legalization of drugs.

There are dark and fearful forces behind the legalization of drugs. They never rely on facts because you see, they don't have any. I liken the great debate about drugs to prohibition. I don't care so much that alcohol is legal, that's not where the information is. Where the real information resides- is just what happened in America when alcohol was illegal? Just what was so bad- that it forced this country to over turn an amendment and make alcohol legal again?

What happened was capitulation. You simply cannot outlaw something that a significant number of people are going to do- law or no law. It's like trying to outlaw oral sex. Millions of people are going to engage in oral sex (and most of us, not enough) whether you outlaw it or not. You can't enforce those silly types of laws whether you desperately want to or not. The pilgrims of the world are simply not in charge.

In the United States, we account for 5% of the world's population. Yet our prison population exceeds 25% of the incarcerated people of the world. We love to throw people in jail. We have entire industries- the private prison industry thrives- because we simply love to punish people. And make no mistake about it, well over half of those souls committed crimes directly related to alcohol and drug abuse.

If you want to kill yourself, you can. People that want to smoke, drink, or use drugs will find a way. Even if that means finding a friendly doctor. I accept that. And I also accept that the war on drugs has been an epic failure. No different than the war on alcohol was. I will spare you the list of advantages of waving the white flag. The Portugal experiment will enumerate those for you.

Libertarians principles are about freedom and liberty. Your right to live your life anyway you choose- whether we like it or not is irrelevant. We accept that.

So take a look at what happened in Portugal. Did the world come to an end? You decide.


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