"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Drug War Facts

One of the sites that I have saved in my "favorites" is Drug War Facts. Here are a few of the facts that everyone should know.

A U.S. Department of Justice report, dated April of 1998, indicated that "for more than 40% of convicted murderers being held in either jail or State prison, alcohol use was a factor in the crime." Paragraph 16, of the Drug War Facts regarding crime. Also read paragraph 1 and see the chart about the rise and fall of murder in the U.S. It is directly related to prohibition--of alcohol, in the 1920's, and of other drugs, from the 1970's to the present.

In another Drug War Facts report, on alcohol (from the same U.S.D.J. report as above), it stated that "[o]n an average day in 1996, an estimated 5.3 million convicted offenders were under the supervision of criminal justice authorities. Nearly 40% of these offenders, about 2 million, had been using alcohol at the time of the offense for which they were convicted. That is at paragraph 3, but also see paragraph 4.

Finally, from Drug War Facts, in a report about annual causes of deaths, the chart shows that the three leading causes of premature death in the U.S. are: Tobacco at 435,000, Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity at 365,000, and Alcohol at 85,000. The figure given for All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect is 17,000.

I have a bit of a problem with the above figures. It is not clear, but I believe that I am right when I say, that the figure for alcohol should be increased by at least 8,000, as the number of verifiable homicides committed by people who had been drinking when they committed their crime is 40%. (Just check the links I gave you and you can see that this is true.) Therefore, the figure for alcohol should be, at the very least, 93,000. (But a CATO report from 1989, Policy Analysis 121, Thinking about Drug Legalization, by James Ostrowski [May 25, 1989], puts the deaths from alcohol per year at 200,000. Click on the link and go to Table 4 and sub paragraph b.)

Then there is the fact that the figure for all drug use includes deaths not caused by the mere use of the drugs, but by the effects of trying to prevent their manufacture, sales, and use: murders, as well as, HIV and hepatitis infections mainly. So the 17,000 could be several thousands less were those drugs to be re-legalized.

In any case, it is extremely clear that the two legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are several times more harmful than the presently illegal ones when it comes to just premature deaths per year. The combined figure for alcohol and tobacco, in deaths per year, is 435,000 plus 93,000 (my adjusted figure for alcohol), or 528,000 versus 17,000 (but probably less). This means that alcohol and tobacco use are 31 times more harmful than the presently illegal drugs.

If the purpose of government is to be our parent and religious/personal moral standards leader (which it most definitely is not) and to protect us from our own bad choices (bad being a subjective word), then why doesn't Big Daddy Government ban the two most harmful drugs--more harmful by far--instead of spending billions and billions of your tax dollars on the much, much less harmful drugs?

But more, if you and I, as adults, have right to use and even abuse two such harmful drugs as alcohol and tobacco (just so long as we do not violate the rights of others in so using or abusing), then why don't we have an equal right to use or abuse the other, less harmful drugs (again, just so long as we do not violate the rights of others)? The so-called war on drugs is not about drugs, it is about the violation of the rights of otherwise honest adults to chose how to live their lives, whether for better or worse, without the illegitimate interference of a quasi-religious government trying to force us to be moral by the standards of some of the people. That is tantamount to the government saying to me and you that we must go to a particular church, even though we don't practice that faith.

And you thought that we were a nation of personal freedom and true liberty.

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