Drug Rights

Drug prohibition is a violation of the fundamental right of every individual to control his or her own body. Drug prohibition involves the use of force to jail people and to extract money from people to pay for it all. It is a moral principle, to libertarians and many others, that force is wrong except when used in defense.

What justifies this use of force? Against whom are drug users or dealers committing violence?

Some argue that the use of drugs is violence against "the community." But the community is the collection of all the individuals who comprise it. Your right to live in the type of community you desire does not permit you to force others to live in such a community.

Some argue that communities have the right to enforce any code of behavior they desire. The first flaw in this argument is that again, the community is an abstraction, and does not have desires. How do you express the desire of a community? Advocates of enforced morality vary in answers to this question, from majority-rule to the divine right of kings. Thinking people will certainly recognize that individuals have rights that no majority, however large, can morally infringe. Otherwise, the Nazi genocide of Jews and other tragedies littering human history are justifiable.

Are dealers committing violence against users? This argument maintains that drugs eliminate choice, presumably by addiction. Consider the implications of this argument: surely drug use should be legal, since drug use does not even involve choice, much less criminal intent. Growing or manufacturing drugs for personal use should be legal, since a person cannot coerce himself. And if a person is capable of choosing to grow, manufacture and use a drug, why is that person incapable of choosing to purchase the drug?