In a collaboration with Reason magazine, Drew Carey has released a video defending the free availability of marijuana for medical purposes. Click here to see it.
Money quote: "Smell that smell. That's the smell of freedom."
Jake, what's the libertarian position on other drugs like heroine? Some of these CNS drugs have such a powerful effect that I'm not sure how I feel about them politically.
I think there is a diversity of opinion, Tim. There are certainly hard-liners who believe that all drugs should be legal regardless of consequences. I am not personally of that opinion.
Basically I argue that a person should be able to do what they want provided they can give consent and that they can CONTINUE to do so while they are doing it. You wouldn't give someone PCP right? Because they would go psycho and probably hurt themselves or you. My objection to legalization of strongly physiologically addicting drugs like heroine is that they by their nature rob individuals of their power to give consent.
Also you can make an argument that becoming a hard drug-user by its nature harms others -- family, friends, etc. -- but libertarians tend to view that as a slippery slope argument.
Anyway, I am a moderate about this. I think that drugs like psilobycin and marijuana should be legal because they are as addictive and as dangerous as cigarettes or alcohol. I don't think that heroine should be legal. If that makes me a bad libertarian, then I guess I am a bad libertarian.
I tend to agree with you, but I can't get my head around the practical implications of a "moderate" libertarian drug policy. Essentially, do we want lawmakers to review all drugs--case by case--as in molecule by molecule?
Not only that, how do we objectively define the "power to give consent?"
Good God. Another Drug Abuse 'expert' on SciBlogs...
Okay, Jake. Please explain in as precise a language as you can manage exactly how you come to the determination of how "addicting" different drugs are. To give you a lead-in, you may want to locate the conditional probability of becoming addicted (per DSM criteria) given that one has sampled a given drug. Please explain what a "hard drug" is and how to differentiate it from all other recreational substances. How do you know that people on PCP go "all psycho", in what proportions and how does this compare to people going "all psycho" on something as prosaic as alcohol. Explore the prevalences while you are at it. And before you launch into that silly "physiologically addicting" trope go ahead and give us the head's up on whether you are a closet dualist like MarkH or not...