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View Poll Results: Should Louisiana Legalize Drugs?
Marijuana only, and only for adults. Still a felony to provide to minors. 26 48.15%
Marijuana only for adults, reduced penalties for access to minors. 5 9.26%
Legalize all drugs for consenting adults. 6 11.11%
No changes to current Louisiana drugs laws. 15 27.78%
Reduce penalty for first time marijuana users: no jail time. 2 3.70%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-15-2013, 03:50 PM
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Default Answering the Libertarian argument for drug legalization

Please forgive any offense because I am branching this discussion off of the Dr. Dobson discussion. It really is a new topic worthy of its own thread.

Originally Posted by AceArcher
Either way my opinion falls perfectly in line with theirs.. I will go so far as to say Thank goodness the do want to legalize. Understand something, I am a non user.. (well there was that one time in college sneaking out with a girl who enjoyed an occasional smoke) but i digress....

The war on drugs has done nothing but make hundreds of drug king billionaires, incite what amounts to basically open warfare south of our border, and provide fuel to hasten the stripping of own our citizens rights.

IMO its the proverbial 900lb gorilla in the room.... everyone knows that they are gonna have to recognize it sooner or later.... but no one wants to be the first to do so. Drugs will be legalized in our lifetime, there is simply to much science showing that it MUST be done.

Sadly, there is so much $$$$$$ wrapped up in continuing the "WAR" that it means millions more people are going to pay unnecessary penalties, fines, and prison terms before the nonsense will end. You simply cannot regulate what someone is going to do with there own body. You would think that we would have learned that lesson from prohibition.
Legitimate criticisms on how drug laws are enforced should be separated from the questions of whether drugs are illegal in the first place, which drugs are illegal and for who are they illegal. Suppose that laws against shoplifting were brutally enforced with blatant disregard for Constitutional rights, would this support a case to legalize shoplifting?

There are certainly a lot of problems with current drug laws and their enforcement. Among these: Most federal drug laws are an overreach of federal power far beyond congressional authority to regulate interstate commerce. In most cases, drug laws should be a purely state issue. Furthermore, laws allowing agencies to confiscate property before anyone is convicted of a crime perpetuate and encourage bad behavior on the part of government officials. Finally, the US Constitution is the supreme law if the land, and government employees who violate it should face stiffer penalties (as corrupt officials) than the alleged offenders who they are purportedly trying to catch.

My case that drugs should remain illegal is framed around three basic ideas:
1. Many recreational drugs do harm that goes far beyond the individual user and greatly increase the likelihood that the individual user will become an undue burden on his employer, his family, his insurers, his landlord, his creditors, other associations (school, sports, religious), and society as a whole. Making and enforcing effective laws against driving under the influence is a particular challenge.
2. Laws train the conscience of young people, and many teenagers approach adulthood with the notion that if an act is truly wrong or dangerous, then it is against the law. Once legalized, there will be many more users both because the conscience will more easily accept drug use, and because drugs are more widely available.
3. As a practical matter, substances that are legal for adults are much more easily acquired by minors. Laws against alcohol and nicotine use by minors are very rarely enforced, and I would hate for those providing marijuana to children to face no more penalty or effective enforcement than those providing cigarettes.

In a libertarian utopia where insurers, parents, sports teams, schools, employers, and other interested parties could contractually insist on drug testing, and there would remain criminal penalties for fraud or theft by deception for lying/cheating on drug tests, a society might still maintain sufficient safeguards. But legalizing recreational drugs in the current nanny state where many insurers, employers, traffic enforcement, and other parties which have interests in limiting exposure to drug users cannot fully protect their interests is a likely disaster.

I remember a high school principal once almost fired me (as a math teacher working in the school), because I overheard students in class talking about their weekend drug use, I told their parents, and I suggested their parents use widely available at home drug tests to monitor and bring correction to their children's behavior. I am confident I would have been fired had I not resigned first. 80% of the seniors at this high school were regular recreational drug users. The school resource officer, the principal, the school nurse, and most of the teachers either did not care, or had been manipulated into not acting by their desire for a paycheck. Effectively teaching math, physics, and chemistry was impossible.

Any path to drug legalization certainly needs to empower any and all associates of possible drug users (parents, schools, sports teams, employers, coaches, traffic enforcement, insurers, etc.) to implement effective drug testing programs (if they choose) as a condition of ongoing association. I would certainly want my daughter's prom date to pee in a cup before allowing my daughter to ride in his car! I would also want our military to retain the power to restrict drugs under the UCMJ.

I am curious if your view of libertarian ideals would grant all associates of possible drug users the rights to choose and limit their associations (if they wished) by insisting on drug testing as a condition of association. After all, what justification is there in limiting civil contracts not to permit drug testing under any relationship where one of the parties feels it may be necessary or desirable?
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