The So-Called War on Drugs

Page Two
The War on Drugs, Page One

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People have a natural and inalienable right to use whatever drugs they wish, for whatever reason, provided that this is done in a way that does not harm others or place them in danger. No legislation can nullify this natural right. Laws prohibiting the responsible use of drugs are bad laws because they criminalize what every responsible person has a natural right to do.

"... man has certain inalienable rights which do not derive from government at all. Under this theory not only the Sovereign Conqueror, but the Sovereign People, are restricted in their power and authority by man's natural rights, or by the divine rights of the individual man. And those certain inalienable and divine rights cannot be abrogated by the vote of a majority any more than they can by the decree of a conqueror. The idea that the vote of a people, no matter how nearly unanimous, makes or creates or determines what is right or just, becomes as absurd and unacceptable as the idea that right and justice are simply whatever a king says they are."  — Robert Welch, The Key Word is "Inalienable" in Republics and Democracies

If someone wishes to run the risk of an early death by smoking cigarettes for decades, they have a right to do so (provided they don't stink the place out and pollute the air that others have to breathe, and don't expect anyone to pay for their medical treatement when they are dying of lung cancer, heart disease, etc.). If someone wishes to contact hyperdimensional realities for a few hours with the assistance of psilocybin mushrooms, they have a right to do so (provided they don't try to drive at the same time). If someone wants to smoke hashish and listen to music in their own home, they have a right to do so (provided the music is not so loud as to disturb the neighbors). Society and government have no right to prohibit such choices. The sole justification for the interference by society in the actions of an individual is for the prevention of harm to others (see John Stuart Mill's Essay On Liberty), and when it comes to using drugs, the user is the one who knows best for himself or herself, not others who wish to impose their own moralistic ideas of what is right or wrong.

"It is your right to do anything as long as you do not purposely hurt someone else and you are willing to accept the consequences."  — Dick Sutphen, The Basic Human Rights [link expired]

That every human being has the right to be mentally free and independent.  That every human being has the right to feel, see, hear, sense, imagine, believe or experience anything at all, in any way, at any time.  That every human being has the right to behave in any way that does not harm others or break fair and just laws.  That no human being shall be subjected without consent to incarceration, restraint, punishment or psychological or medical intervention in an attempt to control, repress or alter the individual's thoughts, feelings or experiences.

The real problem with drugs is that they are illegal. This provides an environment where the provision of drugs to those who want or need them involves severe risk and consequently high prices for buyers (some of whom must resort to violent crime to pay for their habit). A situation of enormous potential profit has attracted organized crime (both within government — e.g. the CIA — and without) and resulted in the widespread corruption of public officials. (Furthermore, the illegality of drug usage prevents the dissemination of information concerning safe ways to use drugs.)

The "War on Drugs" exists primarily to support — financially and otherwise — the maintenance of the criminal status of the possession of (some) drugs so that those (including legislators, and many others on the government payroll, plus Pentagon contractors) who profit big — directly or indirectly — from the supply of prohibited drugs can continue to do so, at the expense of everyone else.

In order for the pernicious effects of the "War on Drugs" to continue it is sufficient that basically decent people do nothing to oppose it. By doing nothing, they allow those who profit from the "War on Drugs" to get away with destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and destroying the civil liberties of whole nations, a crime of such enormity as has not been seen since jack-booted thugs in official positions ruled Germany.

Below are links to numerous web sites which have information concerning the use and effects of psychoactive drugs and concerning the consequences to society of the criminalization of drug usage. All links were working as of the start of 2006, but many pages have subsequently disappeared or been replaced by something else. If a link does not work then you can probably recover the page by using The Wayback Machine.

Links on this page were added from 2004 onward. For similar links added prior to 2004 see:

Prohibition: The So-Called War on Drugs, Page Three

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Prohibition: The So-Called War on Drugs
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