Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Decriminalisation of drugs isn’t enough. We need legalisation.

8 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. De-crim the entire process not just the using end. Legalisation will in practice equal regulation. Something that fucks up most other industries. The only laws that need apply are the decent few against force and fraud eg–selling chalk dust as Heroin/cocaine etc.

  2. You also have to legitimise the sources: does that mean supporting the Taleban, Mexican drug cartels and other murderous middlemen? Legal growing would require certification and a monstrous bureaucracy. Weed from polytunnels is probably feasible. ( With a sideline in honeyproduction from bee highves.)

  3. Indeed. “Decriminalisation” is the worst of all worlds.

    LJH: when you legalise, normal companies become producers. Hence, Americans now buy their beer from Budweiser rather than Al Capone. It is true that there would probably be a monstrous bureaucracy, because that is true of most industries today. There is a monstrous bureaucracy over our food, media, etc etc. In a libertarian perspective, there is no need for any such bureaucracy or certification, but we don’t live in a libertarian society.

    Nonetheless, the only sane policy is the end of Prohibitionism and thus full re-legalisation of all recreational substances. Anyone who argues for anything different from that is a twat.

  4. Just as a general point, the drugs laws were one of the things that started me on the road to being the some sorta libertarian I am today. I never had much of a personal vested interest in their legalisation; I dabbled a bit in my salad days but was always mostly a beer monster, and haven’t smoked or toked anything in donkeys years. But from an early age, it has always baffled me why the drugs laws were so immovable, and trying to understand why has been part of trying to understand how our society works.

    There are cases where laws are solidly fixed in place due to an effective and strong consensus. Most everybody considers paedophilia repugnant, so it is quite explicable why laws against that are solid and indeed intensifying. But drugs? Most of us take some at some time, and there is widespread disagreement with prohibition to varying degrees, and it is quite acceptable in public to express disapproval of them. Some numbers of politicians themselves have openly admitted to violating those laws, while the popularity of celebrities etc is largely immune to revelations that they are or have been recreational drug takers. Yet, at the political level, there is never even the slightest plausibility that they will be repealed or even relaxed. So I’ve always been fascinated by what maintains that stranglehold.

    It’s certainly true that whenever some discussion of liberalisation comes up, a loud chorus of usual suspects will object. But many of those voices are conservatives- who are these days naturally marginalised- and if there were a will to ignore them, they would be ignored, just as the widespread resistance to the legalisation and social acceptance of gays (for instance) have been ignored.

    For what it is worth, I think a significant part of the answer is the unacceptability to the Establishment of rolling back the scope of the State. In the EU, there is the “acquis communitaire”, a cast iron principle that once the EU takes a power from the member states, it never hands it back. Well I think in our polity there is a similar principle that we might call the “acquis governmentaire”; once the State has taken a power from the citizens it never (or hardly ever) hands it back to them. Government must always grow in scope– the behavioural realm over which it has power- and never reduce in scope. It may change the way it exercises its power over some area of life, but (almost) never withdraws.

    Repealing the drugs laws- even though they are widely ignored, widely criticised, and an absolutely insane waste of effort, time and money- would be an unacceptably great violation of the acquis governmentaire. That is what makes repeal unthinkable, and that will be the case until there is a genuine societal shift towards some kind of libertarian paradigm to replace the current authoritarian managerialist one.

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    @Ian
    I’d be all for the legalisation of drugs….but. I don’t want the brakes on the car repaired by a guy’s been toking on righteous weed. And, at the moment, it’s only illegality keeps it from happening.
    However. Possibly legalisation would solve the problem.
    Trouble with illegality is there’s never been the chance to develop the sort of drug etiquette there is surrounding alcohol. Broadly speaking we all know when & how much it’s acceptable to drink & under what circumstances. Noticeably imbibing outside the consensus will generally provoke some form of censure.
    Illegality’s given drugs much more of a binary reaction. One side’s the “shock horror DRUGS!!!” Other’s the “ripped, lucky guy!” Legalisation might give a chance to sort out the whens, wheres, whats & how muches & actually address some of the problems drugs cause.

  6. B(N)IS, I don’t accept that. Those who want to take drugs do so already and normally do so in ways compatible with work and the rest of their lives. Those who don’t are probably the same type of people who go to lunch, get plastered, then stagger back onto a trading floor and invest everything in subprime mortgages.

    Illegality doesn’t stop people smoking weed. Never did when I were a lad anyway. It doesn’t even discourage anyone. It just acts as a Russian Roulette Law where every now and again one of the thousands of transgressors gets caught and pointlessly dragged through the injustice system.

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “Those who want to take drugs do so already and normally do so in ways compatible with work and the rest of their lives.”

    Actually the higher functioning drug user seems to be more myth that fact. Although I am sure everyone has a pet anecdote. Those who want to take drugs do so, but they rarely do so in ways compatible with work.

    “Illegality doesn’t stop people smoking weed. Never did when I were a lad anyway. It doesn’t even discourage anyone.”

    Sorry but that is not true. It does not stop everyone from smoking but we largely gave up genuine enforcement of those laws when the Rolling Stones got busted. But that it stops some people smoking is undeniable. As Portugal has found out now their number of young users has doubled:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2815084/Portugal-decriminalised-drugs-Results-Use-teens-doubled-decade-nearly-fifth-15-16-year-olds-using-drugs.html

    “It just acts as a Russian Roulette Law where every now and again one of the thousands of transgressors gets caught and pointlessly dragged through the injustice system.”

    That is not a reason for scrapping the laws but for actually enforcing them.

  8. bloke (not) in spain

    @SMfS
    “That is not a reason for scrapping the laws but for actually enforcing them.”
    If drug laws were enforced you’d be putting a sizable proportion of the population including a disproportionately large section of the administrative & legislative classes behind bars. They’re administered in a way provides bond traders with charlie denies estate denizens crack. With the same spirit will bring you minimum alcohol pricing, before long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *