Questions of liberty 25

A case for debate

Milton Friedman – why drugs should be legalized

Posted under Commentary, Ethics, government, Law, liberty, Miscellaneous, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 21, 2012

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This post has 25 comments.

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  • TyS

    “For every complex problem,” H.L. Mencken once said, “there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.” crimes don’t exist if they are legal, after all, eh?

    There is no societal value to drug use.  If an issue cannot be solely argued on its positive merits to society (as opposed to “lesser of 2 evils”), it is not worth consideration.

    The very arguments used in favor of drug legalization are the same that could be used to legalize any other crime, as is the case in the Netherlands, which is currently trying to legalize child porn, and abolish age-of-consent laws – their primary argument being that “people will do it anyway.”

    It (pot) is not a form of “medication,” and 2/3rds of the medical society agree.

    Legalization and decriminalization in nations (Europe) and states (Alaska in the 1970s) has shown massive increases in use, not a decrease, as most advocates attempt to argue, proving the argument that demand would shrink upon legalization is bunk.

    According to the FBI, 73% of violent crime (and 27% of vehicular accidents) are committed by people high on non-alcoholic narcotics, but only 21% of the crimes were conducted in order to fund the criminal’s drug habit. Therefore, it is only rational to assume that violent crime, and crime in general will increase drastically as a result of drug legalization.

    “medical marijuana” costs more per ounce than black market marijuana – therefore, the argument that it would help eliminate black market profiteering is also bunk.

    The argument that it can be controlled and/or taxed has been obliterated by the out-of-control and comical “medical marijuana” programs in Arizona and California, which has been proven to have not provided any economical assistance to the State of California since its inception. And even if it were to plummet in value, that would only make it that much more available to society.

    Cartels will simply become legitimate corporations

    Pot is no healthier than cigarettes, and legalization of any drug will do nothing to prevent the associated spread of disease

    Alcohol does a great job proving that our society cannot handle drug legalization.

    Here is an alternate idea…”dispose” of the users— no demand, no users = win/win.

    Why can’t druggies just own up to the fact that they are emotionally and
    mentally weak, and just want to get high? Is it really so difficult to
    be honest with oneself?

    Grow a pair already.

    drugs are just an alternative to religions

    • Don L

      You are beyond absurd. 

      • TyS

        boy, you sure refuted me!

        • Don L

          Your statistics are false and your thinking irrational…there’s no use discussing with you.  And, I saw some email where you apparently believe in ‘EVIL”…as in spirits and demons?  LOL…like I said…you’re absurd!

        • Don L

          Sorry…I got the EVIL ascription wrong.

    • Drugs have no value to society… really?

      Why not tell all of the sufferers of psychiatric disorder that you’re taking away their lithium pills without any recourse for a TyS-approved alternative?

      How about confiscating every hard worker’s morning joe to enact some long-overdue prohibition on that menace called caffeine?

      Do you remember what happened when the 15th century Spanish conquistadors took away the coca leaves that the native Andeans chewed? That’s right, they became unproductive bums! Chewing the leaves helped provide them the energy they needed to work at such high altitudes.

      Are you seriously suggesting that companies like Anheuser-Busch are less moral about their alcohol sales than Al Capone? I’ll be damned if he ever told anybody to “drink responsibly”!

      Mindsets like yours are what chill us from saying that ibogaine is a better drug than crack cocaine because it can effectively treat an addiction to the latter. This is a despicable and unworthy position for anybody who claims to care about freedom.

      Any policy which restricts the consumption of drugs by free and responsible adults is a plank of socialist policy because it always aims at “improving society”. This is merely a specter for infantilizing adults, telling them that they are too stupid to learn for themselves that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, marijuana is one of the safest substances on the planet, and maybe it isn’t such a good idea to throw that white powder up your nose.

      Educate yourself about the possibilities. Process and understand the argument for legalization. The War on Drugs is evil.

    • Drugs have no value to society… really?

      Why not tell all of the sufferers of psychiatric disorder that you’re taking away their lithium pills without any recourse for a TyS-approved alternative?

      How about confiscating every hard worker’s morning joe to enact some long-overdue prohibition on that menace called caffeine?

      Do you remember what happened when the 15th century Spanish conquistadors took away the coca leaves that the native Andeans chewed? That’s right, they became unproductive bums! Chewing the leaves helped provide them the energy they needed to work at such high altitudes.

      Are you seriously suggesting that companies like Anheuser-Busch are less moral about their alcohol sales than Al Capone? I’ll be damned if he ever told anybody to “drink responsibly”!

      Mindsets like yours are what chill us from saying that ibogaine is a better drug than crack cocaine because it can effectively treat an addiction to the latter. This is a despicable and unworthy position for anybody who claims to care about freedom.

      Any policy which restricts the consumption of drugs by free and responsible adults is a plank of socialist policy because it always aims at “improving society”. This is merely a specter for infantilizing adults, telling them that they are too stupid to learn for themselves that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, marijuana is one of the safest substances on the planet, and maybe it isn’t such a good idea to throw that white powder up your nose.

      Educate yourself about the possibilities. Process and understand the argument for legalization. The War on Drugs is evil.

    • Drugs have no value to society… really?

      Why not tell all of the sufferers of psychiatric disorder that you’re taking away their lithium pills without any recourse for a TyS-approved alternative?

      How about confiscating every hard worker’s morning joe to enact some long-overdue prohibition on that menace called caffeine?

      Do you remember what happened when the 15th century Spanish conquistadors took away the coca leaves that the native Andeans chewed? That’s right, they became unproductive bums! Chewing the leaves helped provide them the energy they needed to work at such high altitudes.

      Are you seriously suggesting that companies like Anheuser-Busch are less moral about their alcohol sales than Al Capone? I’ll be damned if he ever told anybody to “drink responsibly”!

      Mindsets like yours are what chill us from saying that ibogaine is a better drug than crack cocaine because it can effectively treat an addiction to the latter. This is a despicable and unworthy position for anybody who claims to care about freedom.

      Any policy which restricts the consumption of drugs by free and responsible adults is a plank of socialist policy because it always aims at “improving society”. This is merely a specter for infantilizing adults, telling them that they are too stupid to learn for themselves that smoking cigarettes causes cancer, marijuana is one of the safest substances on the planet, and maybe it isn’t such a good idea to throw that white powder up your nose.

      Educate yourself about the possibilities. Process and understand the argument for legalization. The War on Drugs is evil.

      • TyS

        how absurd – there is no such thing as “evil”

  • Milton Friedman is right on target with this video!

    The Drug War is a horrible travesty of justice. In 2010 alone, Americans wasted $15 billion of their taxes in the name of limiting their own freedoms to take and sell drugs to violent Mexican cartels. Not only have these brutes cornered the first market EVER described as a billion-dollar industry (cannabis), but they make sure it is easier than ever for our children to find marijuana than alcohol or even cigarettes. Back at home, our police forces are armed nearly to the extent of soldiers just so they can prevent little Jimmy’s hard-working daddy from relaxing with a joint (probably ruining Jimmy’s life in the process).

    Get a clue, social conservatives! It’s not the drugs that are to blame for drug problems, it’s the idiots who do evil things under their influence! Under this logic, you have never achieved anything while under the influence of your morning coffee. We don’t need drug laws to bring these individual actors to swift justice because the bad behavior would be criminal EVEN IF THEY WERE SOBER! The fact that you want to use your social conservatism (more like conservative socialism) to limit the behavior of freedom you personally find irksome smacks of hypocrisy and immorality itself. None of you deserve office!

    With all of this being said, I must say that there is too diverse a catalog of psychoactive substances to say that all are good or all or bad. In fact, some drugs are awesome. If it weren’t for caffeine, the weaker among us would be a bunch of lethargic sleepyheads. Take away my alcohol and suddenly the night just got a lot more boring (although I consider it a poison). And do not under any circumstances bogart my joint; that’s my stress reliever and you do not want to see me PISSED! Mostly because you equate this Medicine of the Earth with poisons such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and other bad substances which my drug experiences (not the government) have told me NEVER to touch. I have this small thing called a BRAIN to make this decision for myself, thank you very much, and I will NOT feel encumbered about delivering this extremely important message. Stick it!

    In conclusion, I’ve attached a video showcasing one of the most profoundly despicable acts enabled by this evil War On Drugs:

    • Don L

      Very good Andrew M!
       
      Yes, I should have mentioned that Johnson was now a Libertarian party candidate.
       
      From the perspective of ANYONE BUT OBAMA…I would beseech you to not go for Johnson….he really has no chance…and endure which ever idiot does get the GOP nod. 

      Incidently, I couldn’t help picturing your cops out of control imagery as occuring because the council of social conservative values and morals discovered the guy didn’t believe in god…re-education camp for him and family.
       
      Also, thanks for your browser input on the other topic…I attached an image.  Although I can continue to type….It can’t be seen below the last line visible.   In fact I cannot see what I’m typing now.  I sometimes do type in and p[aste from notebook if I think my comment will be longer than normal.   Again, thanks.

  • Ralph

    Mind- altering chemicals have been used for centuries because some want to escape reality. The war on drugs has not and will not change that. The best we can do is keep criminals from controling these chemicals.

  • Anonymous

    To those of us whose experience with drug use is college students smoking weed or suburbanites snorting a line on weekends, it might seem that the best thing to do about drugs is take the criminality premium out of it.  But those populations have both the motivation and skill set to compartmentalize drug use in a corner of their lives, while keeping the rest of it productive.

    Visit a ghetto where people’s mental skills and life-motivation is a lot less, and you’ll observe plenty that are wasted on alcohol, as well as kids born crippled or getting poor quality parenting from the crack-using parents.  Legal drugs is a luxury only the advanced part of society could afford (like in Denmark).

    • Don L

      “Visit the ghetto”  ….hmmmm

      First, the ghetto is a product of socialism….the war on party nonsense.  The lefties, through their corrupted politicians, tear down homes, put up hoorendous barrack-like prison dwellings (which the poor tenents may never own) then when they have demoralized the tenants and have been totally trashed….the developers and do gooder lefties tear them down and build high end domiciles for sale. 

      The culture of dependency created by Black Leadership (what a misname that is) and the Dems…robbs people of self worth or any shred of hope….then their only escape gets them thrown in jail.

      No, don’t link ghetto to drugs…link ghetto to socialism from the statist and corrupt left to the altruistic god jerks.  Legalize drugs so the poor  (not monetary) poor folk in the ghetto can atleast escape withou having also to be made into convicts.

      • Don L

        War on POVERTY nonsense….what a misspell that was! LOL.

  • Don L

    In 2007  many schools in Maine, Maryland, New York, Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts and Utah banned dodgeball.

    Milton Friedman saw the fallacies in Keynesian economics and developed an economic school of thought, the Chicago School, he pronounced to be free market capitalism.  Yes, it threw out the bulk of Keynes’s nonsense.  Friedman, as he stated in the film, saw the necessity of free markets and the correctness of consumer sovereignty (similar to individual sovereigty promoted by our Founding fathers).

    Unfortunately, and incredulously, he still held that government intervention of the economy as to monetary policy by the FED was OK (quantity theory of money expansion – inflation and easy credit).  This negates any idea of free markets. Money is THE median of exchange and whereas the FED, not a market, fallaciously believes it can “play market” is insane!  If money and credit rates are not free market determination…Then no market is free.

    Back to the topic:

    He dropped out, but the former GOP pres candidate Gary Johnson presents a great argument for legalizing drugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwNz6mrEXoE

    Retired Superior Court Judge James P. Gray testifies in favor of a marijuana legalization bill in the California Assembly on October 28, 2009. Judge Gray is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:

    Those opposed…all they present is made up fears and crazed moral delusions.

    • I’m writing a bigger reply to this after the video loads, but I want to clarify that Gov. Johnson has only dropped out of the GOP race. He remains a Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, and I am very tempted to choose him over either the GOP nominee (whoever it is) or Obama.

      At any rate, I broadly agree with your position. Watch for my post here in a bit.

    • TyS

      you closing statement is completely contrary to the facts. the entire argument in favor of legalization is based on unproven hypotheticals

      • Don L

        Here’s another closing argument:  You’re a fool!

  • Liz

    I think he’s right.  Drugs are going to cause harm either way, but much less if they are legalized.  We should have learned this, like Friedman points out, from Prohibition.

    • TyS

      alcohol-associated societal problems have only grown worse since the end of prohibition, so that is a pretty poor argument

      • Don L

        Continuing:  You are a fool and you spew false data as well. 

      • George

        In reply to TyS : 

                     I want to make some points here and let’s both agree to be civil here please.     As a retired cop , I have made drug arrests because I had to as part of my job . However , I must admit wholeheartedly that this so-called   [ war on drugs ] is a farce. The targeted group has always been the poor.  The US government and military knows where the drug cartels , poppy fields , marijuana fields , etc. are  and if they really wanted to , they could have “carpet bombed “the fields  and destroyed 95% of the drugs in cultivation.  It’s a profit mechanism for the government to fuel their operations , jails , law enforcement , corrections staff , etc.  The poor in the black “enclave” ghettos  and the poor in the white trailer camp communities  are highly depressed as a result of their economic conditions and they turn to drugs as a means of “euphoric escape ”  out of their wretched condition.  As Liz pointed out re: Milton Friedman  —drugs are going to cause harm either way and we should have learned this from prohibition. Take the profit margin out and encourage  parents to educate their children. TyS, I have to respectully disagree with your assertion from decades of experience in the enforcement on this matter, education, schooling, seminars , training , and  conferences with professionals and users  and also continued studies on the subject. I’m only being honest.
                           Out of all  the DUI arrests I made , not one person was “high”  on marijuana ( aka, weed, aka -cannibas sativa L , aka-pot  ).   The “pot heads” would just smoke their weed and sleep away on a couch or drift away in la la land and leave people alone.   There is a “catch 22″ on this issue as Liz has pointed out .  I don’t want to see the society turn into a drug crazed society like Denmark where people everywhere are snorting cocaine , LSD , heroine , etc , which would be disastrous and by the same token I recognize it’s the profit from the illegal sale of dope that is causing the drug wars , violence & killings as a result of gang  & cartel rivalry. I’m NOT a Democrat or Republican , but a Libertarian.   My father died from smoking tobacco cigarretes and my father-in-law died fom alcoholism from over use of liquor  ( both are legal drugs that are taxed ).    I jokingly tell people that The Marlboro Man killed my father and Mr. Seagrams killed my father-in-law . In actuality none of them killed anyone , because they both knew what they were doing when they injested those substances into their bodies and so the responsibilty was upon them , not the companies that produced the product..  
                           Why should cigarrette packages have a label that reads– ”  Warning–the surgeon general has determined that cigarette smoking is harmful to your health ? “.   That’s a given and a no-brainer. Hellllooooo !!!!!   Duhhhhhh !!!!   Common sense would tell anyone that putting large amounts of poisonous substances in your body is NOT healthy, and then these people want to sue the tobacco companies and liquor companies when they abuse something of which  they know better . 
                            That would be like a man taking his pistol and committing suicide because he is severely depressed and then his wife sues  Smith & Wesson because they made the firearm.   Duhhhhhh !!!!  There is more drug usage because we have a more explosive population growth and parents have shirked  their responsibility in teaching their children about the dangers of drugs , it has been glorified in the movies and society , and the media and hypocrites don’t practice what the preach to others.   I once arrested a man for DUI because he was weaving ( actually zig-zagging all over the road and failed the field sobriety test ). Upon giving him the breathylizer test on the machine , it indicated he had no alcohol in his system.   A urine test revealed and he later confessed that he had taken an overdose of legal prescription medication.
                        I find it hypocritical that a person drinks alcohol which is a drug , smokes tobacco cigarretes which are drugs, drink coffee which is a stimulant drug , take over the counter and prescription drugs which have an effect upon our bodies and then rant about someone smoking a joint ( and if you’re wondering , I have NEVER done drugs and never intend to ).  I have always detested the idea and still do —just my personal viewpoint .    Even with all the drug laws we have , drugs are still pouring into our society across the borders , and the US government knows it and could stop it if they wished to.  Are you aware of  “fast and furious” ?                        About 90-95% of blacks in poorer communities  who have been arrested have been incarcerated for possesion, usage or sale of illegal drugs.  It has bogged down our system and overfilled our prison system when we need our jails available for dangerous criminals who harm and violate others.   Many whites are using powered cocaine ( not crack ) in the more affuent communities and thus they are out of site and out of mine and are NOT out in the open on the street corners to be easy targets by law enforcement.  I worked as a patrolman on the street , a plains clothes detective and I also did TAC TEAM surveillance. Take the profit motive out of it and you curb the violence and chaos. If you’re going to assert that this may encourage more drug usage, people are either NOT going to use them or they are based on their own ethical and moral convictions. Prohibition was a failure and when it was in efect.                     Moonshine runners still produced and sole illegal alcohol from home-made stills and it curbed nothing.  No , I’m NOT advocating the usage of drugs , but I am acknowledging that this fictitious [ war on drugs ] is the biggest con-job ever devised. I spent decades in such enforcement and I’m speaking from first hand experience and research. A law enforcement buddy of mine told me (allegedly ) that  when he was in the Army , he knows for a fact that US Army helicopter pilots were smuggling cannibas from Mexico on Army choppers and gov.  agents did indeed smuggle in heroine into the USA   I wasn’t there and can’t confirm anything but I have had multitudes of military and law enforcement officials confirm this to me.  So , I’ll let YOU decide what you want to believe or reject sir. The decision is yours. 

        • George

          Correction on above post. I meant to say  ” out of sight and out of mind ” , not “mine” regarding powered cocaine use by whites and I also meant to say a high percentage rate of black arrests have some connection to illegal drugs be it murder, theft, violence, etc . as reported by official research data. Much of the cocaine is coming out of Columbia and  much of the marijuana is coming out of Mexico ( both Hispanic ) , and much of the heroine ( specifically black tar heroine is coming out of Afghanistan  ( Middle Eastern ) which indicates that this transcends all ethnic lines and is NOT limited to any one ethnic group or class status.   Conservatives believe in taking personal responsibility which is something whiny liberals call– ” blaming the victim”.    Sometimes , some VICTIMS deserve to be blamed for being or acting STUPID and doing foolish things which they know better.   So TyS , I am respectfully in disagreement with your assertion and position. Just my two cents and POV.

        • George

          Ok folks ,  I want to apologize again — I said “powered ” instead of powdered. And I put a few words in the wrong place as well.  I won’t make any more statements of correction again as I don’t want to take up space regarding the typos. I have an aircard that keeps booting me off line if I spend more than a few minutes and not engage in constant activity . I’m going to change to another to avoid this problem because it’s embarrassing to me .  I know people know what I mean but it’s getting annoying to me and so I   will be changing soon to avoid this problem once and for all .     I’m switching to another company so I don’t have to keep making these errors.  Thanks for the understanding again.