Sam Leith on Drugs

There\’s echoes here, phrases that I seem to have used in the past:

At the same time, there are strong moral arguments for their legalisation. Our whole social and economic set-up is based on the idea of the right to private property, and at the very base of that – at the very plughole of our legal system and the fountainhead of our freedoms, in the form of habeas corpus – is the ownership of your own body, and the right to do with it as you damn well choose.

But then of course it\’s not echoes of me, it\’s what anyone who was even aware of Mill would say about the subject. The argument that if we alone legalised drugs we\’d become the crack-den of Europe has merit though, something I hadn\’t thought about.

One very large problem about this though is that we\’re signed up to a UN treaty that insists we cannot legalise drugs.

8 comments on “Sam Leith on Drugs

  1. Well we should just withdraw from the treaty. The US finds no problem in repudiating treaties, so why not us?

  2. Before we legalise drugs, it may be a good idea to restore the concept of individual responsibility in our criminal justice, welfare and healthcare systems.

  3. No argument here, Ed. That’s the whole point: the more you localise power on the individual, the greater responsibility they have to take for their behaviour and its outcomes.

  4. Philip, sadly we do not currently require those who misuse legal drugs (particularly alcohol) to take responsibility for their behaviour, as a visit to many city centres late tonight would demonstrate. Not to mention the huge excuse industry that exists for all manner of criminal activity.

  5. “Philip, sadly we do not currently require those who misuse legal drugs (particularly alcohol) to take responsibility for their behaviour, as a visit to many city centres late tonight would demonstrate”

    Yes, it’s true – the police don’t have a massive city centre presence on weekend nights, and never arrest or issue fixed penalties to anyone for being drunk and disorderly.

  6. Yes, it’s true – the police don’t have a massive city centre presence on weekend nights, and never arrest or issue fixed penalties to anyone for being drunk and disorderly.

    So why is there trouble every weekend in many places? If the trouble is caused by repeat offenders, we obviously didn’t punish them enough the first time. If it is always new people causing trouble, deterrence hasn’t worked.

  7. I drink to your debate! Legalise the whole shooting match. Its the only non hypocritical way forward with personal responsibity the bedrock! I say this advisedly as my family runs a Rehab!!

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