Friday, February 17, 2012

Christians and drug prohibition

I grew up reflexively accepting the War on Drugs (one of many such open-ended crusades our ever-growing government is still engaged in).  But in recent years I've been making up for that unquestioning consent.

Don't get me wrong: I have no desire to become a drug user.  But I'm also tired of being used to support initiation of force against people who, in the vast majority of cases, have physically harmed nobody but themselves.  Yes, there are social consequences associated with drug use -- devastation of families, for one.  It is easy to fall into the mindset that "there ought to be a law..."

But there are also consequences for accepting a growing number of "no-knock" raids that seem increasingly to catch innocent bystanders in the crossfire, and which undermine the sanctity of one's private personal space with violent intrusion by the State.

This entry on the blog eloquently captures the evolution of my own thinking on the subject:  (excerpt) is not right for me (or others) to claim ownership over your body by making laws telling you what you can and cannot do with it. I cannot initiate force against you. I may, Lord willing, use my personal influence to urge you to behave differently, but I shall not lift a hand against you. The argument that these substances are illegal because they can do you personal harm is, quite frankly, completely ludicrous. People consensually agree to do dangerous things with physical substances all the time — such as football, boxing, or riding in cars. The argument that these substances might “influence” you to do harm to others is barely more sane. If you cause harm to someone else “under the influence” then you can be prosecuted as a criminal, but there is no legal principle under the sun that states you can be prosecuted before doing anything wrong
Please note: this applies to government.  There is no reason to think removing government sanction implies that employers could not continue to prohibit the use of certain substances by their employees.  If those substances can reasonably be expected to impair employees' ability and/or safety, it is well within the prerogative of property rights to specify in the employment contract that foregoing said substances is a condition of employment.  This is an issue addressed by the concept of freedom of association.

Freedom is maximized when the individual is permitted to choose the manner in which they spend the finite time we all have on this Earth -- the people with whom we spend it, and the activities we engage in with it.  To the extent such choices do not cause harm to others, the government has no grounds for involvement.


Anonymous said...

You are full of chit. Your self-righteous crap won't give the addict in recovery a good job, housing, or hope in the future.
Don't tell me "to each his own," when 99.5% of you hypocrites use a person's past against them so you can keep them in a government mandated system for the "better of good," of society.

It is hypocrites like you that reverse the "positive growth," of a six to 10 year sobriety everyday without regard for those small steps it took to get there.

It is hypocrites like you that throw away their lives by locking them in cold cages because they are considered the "big bad - ten foot criminals," your co-workers must be protected from.

It is hypocrites like you that use the addict for your own gain or walk out of church and drive to the nearest corner, and commit adultry.

It is hypocrites like you that do not understand, that hard work is the answer to keeping the busy mind of an addict clean...

Jemison Thorsby said...

What an articulate argument! Let's try a little reading comprehension review, shall we?

"It is hypocrites like you that throw away their lives by locking them in cold cages because they are considered the "big bad - ten foot criminals," your co-workers must be protected from."

In case you missed it, the entire point of the post was to discuss whether government sanction (...jail...) is appropriate in cases on non-violent drug use where the only person harmed is the person using the substance.

As for the rest of your screed, since you know absolutely nothing about me (a point reinforced by appearing to aim such charges at me), this paragraph is the only extent to which I will address them.

Reasoned discussion is welcome on this blog. Try engaging in some next time you drop by...

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