Crikey philosopher Charles Richardson writes:
the story I did earlier this week on the plight of Nguyen Tuong Van
might get some reaction, but it actually took a throwaway line the
following day about drug dealing being a victimless crime to smoke out a prohibitionist.
Stu Glazebrook, writing in Wednesday’s Crikey, tells us that people who
ruin their lives and those around them through drug addiction are
“victims” of those who sell them the drugs.
This is a common
argument, but it’s worth noticing how odd it is. In other contexts,
those on the right are strongly in favour of personal responsibility.
If I were to drive drunk and run over a few pedestrians, and then try
to blame the bar or liquor store that sold me the alcohol,
conservatives would be (rightly) outraged. Same goes for fanciful
lawsuits by tobacco consumers who claim never to have realised that
smoking was bad for them.
Agreed, buying from a heroin dealer is
a riskier business than going to the local bar or tobacconist. But
that’s the fault of the prohibition, not the drugs. Prohibition takes
away any sort of quality control or safety regulation, as well as
inflating the cost by several orders of magnitude. When you criminalise
drugs, only criminals will deal in them.
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