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IPFS News Link • Philosophy: Libertarianism

Libertarians and not just Pot . . .

•, By eric

But many do not understand why.

It is not fundamentally that some drugs have been arbitrarily criminalized – though that by itself raises fair questions about the rationality (and the legitimacy) of criminalizing some – but not other – drugs. How odd it is, when you stop to think about it, that a cop who "busts" someone for having in his possession a bag of pot – that is, places his victim in manacles and removes him to a jail cell – can lawfully have a case of beer in the trunk of his squad car and be free to go home and drink it in peace, without worrying about a gang of armed men storming his home to  . . . "bust" him.

But that hypocrisy is not the main reason libertarians object to the so-called "war" on some – but not other – drugs. Including the legal ones that are actually pushed on people, such as the drugs concocted by billion-dollar pharmaceutical cartels. Who are also able to legally advertise their drugs on TV, where children routinely see it.

Never mind that.

The main reason libertarians oppose this business of arresting and caging people for possessing or using or even selling drugs – to people who freely choose to buy them – is because libertarians disagree with those who believe that there can be a crime without a victim; i.e., a person who was directly and provably harmed as a result of the actions of someone else.

It is why libertarians oppose the criminalization of many other actions that entail no harm to anyone else, such as the majority of traffic laws. No one else is necessarily harmed merely by your driving faster than the arbitrarily decreed speed limit. It is of course possible you may harm someone. But you might also harm someone by driving at – or below – the speed limit. It happens regularly. Just as people who are forced to buy insurance – on the assertion that if everyone weren't forced to buy it, there would uninsured drivers out there – are routinely damaged by drivers who didn't buy insurance.

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