DQ here. I’ll be dropping in while Bookworm is on vacation. Danny L. picked up on one of my earlier comments and suggested I make a topic out of my belief that we should legalize drugs. Good idea. I’d also legalize gambling, prostitution, and other “victimless” crimes. I take this stand on principle — what I do in the privacy of my own home, what I put in my body, what two consenting adults do in private (and whether money changes hands), whether I gamble my money away, etc., is none of the government’s (or anybody else’s) business.
But there are many practical advantages as well. The prison population would be cut in half, making prisons much more manageable. A whole drug underculture would be eliminated, since the profits would be drastically reduced and drugs would be available through legitimate sources. Police resources could be redirected to stopping real crimes. The government could tax drugs as it does cigarettes, and tax gambling in a way that would make the lottery revenues look like chump change. Addicts could seek treatment freely, without fear of arrest.
Best of all, people would be forced to take responsibility for their own actions. Rather than relying on the government telling them what they can and can’t do, people would have to make their own decisions. Many will make the wrong decisions, and they will learn from those mistakes. But all of us will grow up stronger from having to make our own decisions.
So, what do the Bookwormroom readers think? What would you legalize and why? What would you continue to prohibit people from doing and why? How far should government go in regulating our behavior? Why are conservatives not all libertarians on all social issues? I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.