"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/)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why I Can’t Own a Liquor Store

Supposedly, recreational drugs other than alcohol and tobacco are so bad, dangerous, addictive, and such society wreckers that the government has to protect adults from their use and abuse. Even though you may be an honest, self-supporting, hard-working adult, you are not competent to decide if you want to use certain chemical substances because they are so dangerous that you won’t be able to control yourself and will become: (A) addicted, (B) a murderer, (C) brain dead, (D) a thief , (E) all of the above.

Sounds like a good reason to ban certain drugs, right?. There is just one little problem with the government’s scenario. The true narcotic drug, alcohol, is addictive. Hard core alcoholics (drug addicts) are brain dead, more or less. Alcohol use is related to over 40% of all murders, among other crimes. The use of alcohol is responsible for five times more deaths than all the illegal drugs. Tobacco is responsible for 25 times more deaths.

If you go to Drug War Facts at http://www.drugwarfacts.org and click on the simulated book cover in the upper left corner, that will take you to a page where you can find facts about drugs, including alcohol and tobacco. Then , “click” on “Causes of Death in the United States”.
Illegal drugs cause about 17,000 deaths per year. Aspirin and other such drugs cause about 7,600. Prescription drug use (in hospitals) cause 32,000, maybe as many as 106,000. Marijuana use causes no deaths. However, alcohol use causes 85,000 such deaths and tobacco 435,000.

Then, if you go back and “click” on “Alcohol” you can find that nearly 40% of all convicted prisoners were using alcohol at the time of committing their crime (paragraph 3). About 60% of jail inmates had been drinking regularly in the year previous to their crimes (paragraph 4). For more than 40% of convicted murderers alcohol played a part in the murders they committed (paragraph 6). Finally, under “Crime”, at paragraph 15, we find that, overall, the mere use of alcohol causes more violent crimes than all the illegal drugs.

So this is why I can’t own a liquor store, or any store that sells alcohol or tobacco. If the government’s rationale for banning the presently illegal drugs is correct—that they are addictive, dangerous, deadly, and cause crime and therefore must be prohibited—then wouldn’t that rationale hold true for the drugs alcohol and tobacco also? If it is wrong to sell any of the presently illegal drugs then it must be more wrong to sell alcohol and tobacco because of the far greater harm those two drugs cause to individuals and society.

We don’t arrest people for drinking. They are arrested only if their behavior violates or threatens to violate the rights of others. Why don’t we apply that same standard to all the “recreational” drugs? Don’t we, as adults, have the right to the use (or abuse) of our bodies as we want, just so long as we don’t violate the rights of others? Isn’t that what the concept of inalienable rights is all about?

Besides, re-legalizing drugs would put violent drug cartels and street gangs out of business, and severely restrict the money flow to global terrorists. Such a policy would also make it much more difficult for minors to buy those drugs. Then and only then could I own a liquor store . . . that is, if I had been so foolish as to have believed the government’s irrational, hypocritical, and rights-violating propaganda to begin with.

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