Monday, January 24, 2011

VIDEO: Ann Coulter vs. John Stossel on Drug Prohibition

Why should we criminalize drugs?

Because of the nature of freedom.

What makes humanity free?

Because of its ability to reason.

The less able you are to reason, the less able you are to exercise liberty.

And the nature of addiction is such that it enslaves you.

Drug laws are not and should not be the only response to addiction.

But our laws should reflect our projet de société to borrow a Quebec term-- our societal vision.

If our societal vision is to create individual freedom, then we must ban those things that are a hindrance to that freedom.

Addiction deprives people of their ability to think clearly, and it does not only affect themselves as individuals, but also the people around them and their community. It affects their families. It leads to crime. Even when you're not high at the moment, it reinforces irrational thinking because of how you think when you are high.

Now some people might say that this does not apply to marijuana because it is not addictive. Bull. There are plenty of people who use marijuana who cannot control their usage. Any drug that affects your mood can be addictive. When something like shopping is addictive, it's bad, but it doesn't kill brain cells and it doesn't completely deprive you of your ability to reason.

Getting high deprives you of your ability to reason.

And so, if we allowed the population to deprive themselves of their freedom, we would, in effect, enslave ourselves. We would no longer be free. This occurred during the days of China's Opium War. Opium was so widespread that China became a grossly dysfunctional society.

It is true that by itself, prohibition does nothing. If you don't discourage drug use from a moral and health perspective, people will take it up simply on the premise that it feels good. However, prohibition is one tool among many to get people to stop.

The notion that people should be allowed to do what they want unless it directly harms someone else is ludricous. What is ludicrous is legalizing drugs in a society where drugs are rampantly available, and then not expecting there to be more drug use. Prohibition may make some things glamourous, but legalization takes away important deterrents to drug use.

If we want our societies to be truly free and truly functional, you can't have rampant drug use. It's as simple as that. That's why for its own self-preservation, a government has every right and even a duty to prohibit the free use and traffic of narcotics.