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Unread 02-01-2010, 08:47 PM   #1
Davy
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Libertarian views on drugs

Y'all help me out. Where do Libertarians stand on drugs, not just pot but all drugs? Similar laws as alcohol?
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Unread 02-01-2010, 09:37 PM   #2
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It's getting harder to generalize about libertarians these days, but I'll offer my perspective.

Libertarians are opposed to what they would consider the prosecution of "victimless" crimes. People own their own bodies, and should be free to use their bodies as they please. Some people will choose to engage in risky behavior. It might be jumping out of planes, riding overpowered motorcycles, consuming alcohol, or using what are considered illicit drugs.

Libertarians also believe that everyone should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. It should not be illegal to get stoned out of your mind in the privacy of your own home, but if you cause harm to another person out of reckless or negligent behavior, you should be held accountable to make right any wrongs you have committed against another.

Many folks have trouble imagining a society in which no drugs were illegal. They expect it would be a more intense version of the chaos currently "caused" by drugs. But, much of the chaos we witness is actually the result of the illegality of drugs. Decriminalizing drugs would likely lead to fewer residential crack houses and meth labs (Meth might disappear altogether as it would likely be crowded out of the market by more affordable cocaine).

I can identify at least 3 reasons why crime would be reduced:

1. Drugs would be more affordable, and require users to steal less.

2. Conflicting drug dealers would have legal recourse to settle their differences instead of shooting it out in the streets.

3. Police would have more time (and more prison space) to deal with other crimes.

That's what I have off the top of my head.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 09:51 PM   #3
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good thinkin dan
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Unread 02-01-2010, 09:52 PM   #4
cx
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I'm lazy, so I'll cut and paste from the PM I sent Davy in response to this same question earlier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Generally think that no such products should be criminalized, Davy. What you wanna put in your body is your business. Including alcohol.

Comes to the matter of minors and any of those drugs or other hazardous materials, there are other considerations, of course, but that has to do with parental responsibilities and those not of the age of consent.

The general concept is simple: Individual liberty, personal responsibility, freedom from government interference, in all matters, at all times.

I think the part most of our current society have problems with is the personal responsibility. They want a Daddy State to take care of all their problems. I don't.

That is, of course, my opinion. Can't lump all Libertarians in one pile, same as with any other group. But that would express the small-L libertarian philosophy, if not quite the thinking of all big-L Libertarians.
That was right before I tole him he should axe Dan (ddmoit) the same question and compare/contrast answers.

Dan's was better.

Mine was shorter.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 10:42 PM   #5
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Pretty much what Dan and CX already said.

Alcohol, known to be very addictive, was made illegal for a few years. People still wanted to drink, and did. And an entire industry (organized crime) blossomed to fill the demand. I don't know the stats, but I imagine if you're inclined to blame the drug instead of the person, alcohol has been responsible for more family breakups, traffic deaths, and health problems than any other drug. And I believe it's still legal.

Just this past Saturday night (actually around 4 a.m. Sunday, oldest daughter and her hubby were on their way home from a gig with their band when she very narrowly missed a head-on with someone coming right at her going the wrong way on the interstate. He or she'd been at it for a while, 'cause when she called the law to report it, they told her they were already aware of it. He missed her by about 2 car lengths.

My point is that whatever that idiot was doing was already illegal, whether it was alcohol or something else, but it didn't stop it (and the law enforcement folks didn't either), and I came close to every parent's worst nightmare.

Like Dan said, holding people responsible for the results of their actions makes a lot more sense to me.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 11:15 PM   #6
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I'm all for self responsibility but legalizing a drug that can be addictive after using it once is scary. No second chances, you're screwed after one use. Thanks for the input.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 01:40 AM   #7
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there's nobody out there who is really considering trying heroin or crack, but won't because its illegal... law doesn't matter to anyone who's willing to do that kind of damage to their body - in 99% of the cases, they use it to deal with personal issues, and could care less about the legality
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Unread 02-02-2010, 06:18 AM   #8
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I suppose there may be some folks that will get hooked on a drug after one use but that is not typical, at least from the limited amount of research I've done on the issue.

Regardless - if you are an adult and choose to take a drug then you take full personal responsibility for the risk of addiction.

I can agree with a lot of Libertarian positions, the one I have the most trouble with is their stance on a nation's borders. On the one hand they want unrestricted movement of people across borders and on the other hand they support "control over the entry of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property."

Libertarian Party platform - http://www.lp.org/platform
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Unread 02-02-2010, 07:13 AM   #9
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Joe: toward the bottom of cx's post he mentions small-l libertarians.

People who declare themselves part of the Libertarian party don't necessarily have libertarian values.

From what I understand, the main principle of a true libertarian is that it's wrong to initiate the use of force against anyone else. Anyone who's really consistent in using this principle is libertarian, but not necessarily a Libertarian.

Just like lots of folks claiming to be "conservative Republicans" aren't necessarily conservative.

Make sense?
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Unread 02-02-2010, 07:37 AM   #10
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Yup, I get the distinction.

I am squarely in the small-l libertarian and small-c conservative camps.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 07:56 AM   #11
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Im thinking of children. I can see a few kids getting access to something and trying it just like some do these days with alcohol. I can see a bunch of kids messed up on drugs if it's easily available. I've never abused drugs so I can't say but I have heard of some drugs being addictive after the first time.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 08:24 AM   #12
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The people that need to be thinking of the children are the children's parents.

Personal responsibility for adults includes the responsibility to teach, nurture and protect their offspring.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 08:38 AM   #13
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You're absolutely correct, Joe. But, how many parents are? After one slip up, a kid could be messed up for life. Kids are going to make mistakes and want to try drugs. Some drugs aren't forgiving. I agree with a lot of the Libertarian ways, I just don't know if legalizing all drugs is the answer.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 08:52 AM   #14
jgleason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
But, how many parents are?
Even with good parenting kids will do stupid things. I know, I've got 3 kids. They've all heard the no drugs, no drinking lecture from home as well as various in school programs (DARE, etc.). My youngest recently had a friend that gave him some pot, they got caught. We thought we had done everything right but apparently not. Now we've got him on a short leash and are working to keep him on the right path.

So, I see your point and admit that legalizing all drugs could make it even easier for kids to get things they shouldn't. I still think I'd prefer the personal responsibility road rather than the heavy hand of government stepping in and using a bludgeon to protect us from our own follies.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 09:29 AM   #15
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Yea... Joe, kids do stupid things - hell adults do stupid things.. Parents are the key here, not the Government.. and it don't take a Village either...
and Davy, we don't need to legalize ALL drugs - just to good ones..
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