12 May 2015

Substances and sites get banned, why?

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The case for eliminating the criminalization of drug use isn't about being pro-drug, a Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) post argues.

Going beyond the stereotypes of the libertarian arguing that marijuana is a miracle cure and the conservative pundit striking back about the libertarian being "stoned", Joe Szymanski lends the opinion that drug users should seek rehab and that drug use is not a virtue. However, making such use a criminal offense is still absurd.

The reasoning given follows a strikingly similar path to the ethics of morphological freedom at the heart of the techno-liberation philosophy transhumanism, as well as the mainstream pro-choice position that a woman should be allowed to make the final decisions about her own body.

In his conclusion, Szymanski presents this same argument succinctly, and will bring a smile to any transhumanist reader: "The only authority that holds the right to regulate what someone decides to put or not put into their body is that very person; no other person or institution has that privilege."

While drugs can indeed be harmful, alcohol can be far more harmful and yet isn't illegal, and responsible adults are consistently given the right to be responsible for their own health in almost every domain except drugs. Szymanski, an antistatist, argues that the reason the state makes an exception for alcohol and medical drugs, refusing to outlaw them, is that they serve special interests of the wealthy whereas illegal drugs do not.
Indeed, the rationale of making something (including new and "disruptive" technologies) illegal due to adverse health or environmental effects tends to be oddly restricted only to possessions that endanger the elite's hold on power and wealth, and perhaps empower other entities that are no less arbitrary such as drug cartels or perceived criminal individuals like Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.

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