Pubdate: Thu, 24 Aug 2000
Source: Irish Examiner (Ireland)
Copyright: Examiner Publications Ltd, 2000
Section: Letters
Author: Chris Buors


One Hundred years of drug prohibition have not deterred our youth from engaging in their natural right to ingest whatever substance they damn well please, whether or not the nanny state approves.

The only way to control what a man may put in his body is to control what ideas a man may put in his head. To understand the difference between vice and crime it is necessary to search back to a time before medicalisation, criminalisation and demonisation was ever thought of. Here is what the well respected American jurist Lysander Spooner had to say in 1875 in his essay A Vindication of Moral Liberty.

“Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime is wanting. It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practises a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely and not from any malice toward others. Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognised by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and the corresponding and co equal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property. For a government to declare!
 a v
ice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth.”

The government should restore our natural right to drugs, a right owned by mankind since time began. The best way to put drug barons out of business is to open the market to the forces of the competitive marketplace. Not only would illicit drug dealers be a thing of the past, licit drug barons (pharmaceutical companies) would no longer be able to charge monopolistic prices that the ill in society must endure as an offshoot of the misguided and failed War on Drugs.

Chris Buors, 430 Winterton Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R2K 1K4
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