Thursday, September 13, 2007

Libertarians On Drugs

This essay Freedom Fetishists by Kay Hymowitz is making the rounds in libertarian and conservative circles.

Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy has some things to say about Kay Hymowitz, Libertarianism, and Lifestyle Excesses:

To reiterate a simple but oft-misunderstood point: that which should be legal is not coextensive with that which is desirable or right. Libertarians believe that racist and communist speech should be legal; that does not mean that libertarianism implies support for such speech. The same is true of excessive drug use, cheating on your spouse, and so on. "People ought to be free to do whatever the hell they want, mostly, so long as they aren't hurting anyone else" is not "the libertarian vision of personal morality." It is the libertarian vision of the limits we should place on the power of government.
Well the "excessive drug use" bit caught my attention. What exactly is up with that?

How can drug use still be called destructive when people who chronically take drugs do so because of medical need?

Addiction Is A Genetic Disease


PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

People who think drugs are a "lifestyle" issue have bought into the "conservative" view of the subject. Of course it is why after 90 years of trying we have made so little progress. We are lost in "choice" when we should be focused on "need".

If we don't want people to take drugs to solve their problems then we have to make sure their problems are solved some other way. Of course that just multiplies government intervention. Better than jailing people for their needs and jailing their suppliers for serving those needs.

So of course the question comes up what portion of the chronic drug users population is need based on need and how much is recreation.

Actually we don't know if those who need are a few, many, most, or all.

No comprehensive studies have ever been done on the subject. The closest we come is Dr. Lonnie Shavelson's book/study mentioned in the above "Heroin" link.

He found that 70% of the women chronically using heroin were sexually abused when children. So for women using heroin we can say the number is at least 70%.

My take on the subject: no one will do the study because our whole drug war will be seen to be based on a wrong premise. You might as well say insulin use is a life style choice.

Ever notice how hard the courts fight the medical necessity defense? There is a reason for that. It would open the floodgates if allowed.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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