Libertarians and the War on Drugs

Libertarians and the War on Drugs

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Libertarians frequently endure accosting from hardliners about their stance on the war on drugs. Popular misconception fortifies the notion that because Libertarians are against the war on drugs, that they must be indifferent to drug abuse.

This isn't necessarily true. 

Taking a stance against the war on drugs merely calls into question the methodology and use of force the government enacts against otherwise law-abiding citizens who are in violation of questionable drug legislation.

This stance doesn't predetermine an individual's personal perception of drugs or drug abuse in general.

In other words, there are a growing number of people who do not use 'illicit drugs' who are in favor of decriminalization or outright legalization.

As someone who has lost friends to heroin and opioid addiction, drug abuse isn't something I feel should be swept under the rug or taken too lightly, even though ultimately it is the choice of the individual. It's a serious problem that affects millions of people and families around the world. There should be alternative, peaceful ways to combat the problem. The drug war (in its current form) isn't the right response.

Where there is a demand for a product, a market will find a way to provide. This is why the drug cartels are so lucrative. Even if all of the drug cartels were thwarted and eradicated today, there would be new cartels that would replace them overnight. There is empirical, undeniable evidence to support this; the demand will always be met somehow. 

The war on harmful drugs (heroin, cocaine, opioids) should be redesigned and completely rethought. It's a "war" that the Government really shouldn't have anything to do with. It should be fought with education, free market alternatives,  & creative solutions, and with understanding as to why the products are in such high demand to begin with.

It shouldn't be fought with DEA agents busting down your door in the middle of the night or being thrown in jail for being in possession of a small amount (or any amount) of narcotics.   

The 'harmful drug' epidemic cannot be combated with force. It simply is not a war that can be won with guns. It cannot be won through dismantling someone's liberty and utilizing aggression to strip away their freedom to make a personal choice.

Some Libertarians contest that it shouldn't be fought at all; that people should have the right to make their own decision as to what they do with their bodies and that's the end of the discussion. I agree with them that they should have that right, but I also personally believe that people should be well informed, have options and alternatives and make decisions they feel are of sound-mind. 

The dialogue and discussion should remain open. 

Nobody has all the answers, and there will likely be a struggle for years to come to reduce the powerful grip opioid drugs has on the people. But we know the "drug war" is not the answer; it's failed and will continue to fail at tremendous cost-- to our budget and to our liberty.

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