Dumbass or Victim of the State?

in news •  6 months ago

I saw this story pop up on my social media feed amidst sneers from the crowd calling Douglas Peter Kelly a "dumbass" for approaching the cops about his tainted methamphetamine and attempting to press charges against his drug dealer. While I would agree that this wasn't the brightest thing for someone to do, what then is his recourse for being poisoned by his drug dealer?

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This highlights one of the manifold reasons why prohibition is such a ridiculous failure and immoral. Not only are we infantilizing adults in our society by prohibiting them from consuming certain substances into their own bodies, we're creating a black market type of situation in which there is no recourse for consumers like Mr. Kelly if they are poisoned or otherwise defrauded by sellers. He can't sue the drug dealer or press charges against him without the risk of being thrown in a rape cage by those same authorities who are tasked with protecting and serving him in such situations. It would seem that vigilantism would be the only way Mr. Kelly could extract some sort of justice from this perpetrator.

What's most egregious about the war on drugs is that the reasons we've been fed for why prohibition is necessary are the exact problems being created by prohibiting them. At the risk of being redundant, I'd like to point out that I in no way advocate the use of recreational drugs, nor am I a user of any. I think most people can agree that there are certain risks associated with consuming drugs like methamphetamine even if it is pure and untainted. What many don't understand however is that by making these drugs illegal to freely consume we in effect make them more dangerous to the public, not less. No standards of weights and measures can be reliably applied, no legal recourse is provided for shady dealing and in fact many people die as a result of poorly prepared narcotics due to these restrictions.

These black markets also open the floodgates for organized crime, drug cartels and street gangs to fund themselves. Without prohibited substances and activities, criminal gangs would have very little left with which to fund their criminal enterprises. They would have to resort to directly stealing their money from people, which is a lot more difficult than being what is effectively a retail operation with all of the would-be competitors removed by the cops. We all but ensure that gangs of thugs will continue to flourish in our prohibition era.

Adding insult to injury, efforts to prohibit such substances have been a dismal and expensive failure at actually keeping them out of the hands of... well anybody for that matter. Prisoners in maximum security prisons even get them! If you wants them, you has them. In fact, the war on drugs is one of the most expensive things that any state has ever done, and it has the opposite of the desired effect! What this means is that my children and my grandchildren are likely going to be paying for this mistake even if we drop this silly charade today. Generations of people will be taxed and burdened with the expenses of this quixotic exercise in futility.

It's time we inject a little bit of adulting back into our legal system and do away with any kind of law prohibiting an activity that is engaged in voluntarily by consenting adults. Such prohibitions are insulting to humanity at the minimum, but they are in practice dangerous to the people in our society and prohibitively expensive. Legalizing all drugs for recreational use doesn't mean we advocate using them, it just means that we respect our fellow adult human beings enough to allow them to make their own decisions about their own bodies without them having to worry whether it will get them thrown in prison. I for one have an optimistic view of humanity, and I think that every human being deserves enough respect to be given the chance to make their own adult decisions. Let's try freedom. Anything less is unacceptable and immoral.

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