• Opposing the U.S. Drug War Does Not Mean You Support Drug Abuse

February 05, 2019

Opposing the U.S. Drug War Does Not Mean You Support Drug Abuse

It's a common misconception that Libertarians are simply "Republicans with a bong".

Slander I tell ya, we're definitely not Republicans. 

It's also a misconception that people who vehemently support the decriminalization of 'drugs' must only be those who are "junkies", "potheads" and "drug-crazed hippies."

Again, nonsense. 

The final misconception is that people who oppose the U.S. War on Drugs are those who condone drug abuse. 

Once again, unsubstantiated. 

The rejection of the U.S. War on Drugs, for Libertarians, revolves around the methodology and use of government force involved. And it's not just Libertarians; many people oppose the Drug War for the same exact reason. 

Whether that use of force (incarcerating non-violent drug offenders, for example) is effective or not is irrelevant. 

The War on Drugs has proven to be a colossal waste of money, but were it actually effective in curtailing drug abuse in America, most Libertarians would still oppose it.

Why?

Again, use of force and stripping freedom away from peaceable drug users is the antithesis of Libertarianism.

So this must mean that Libertarians either don't care about drug abuse or support it, right?

While some people in the 'Libertarian camp' may be indifferent, it's important to note that indifference to drug abuse is not a prerequisite to rejecting the U.S. War on Drugs. 

I speak for myself when I say the following: The opioid epidemic, heroin, hard drugs like crack-cocaine, PCP etc. is an appalling scourge (Marijuana excluded). 

I've witnessed first hand, like many people have, the devastating effects drug abuse has had on individuals, families and neighborhoods. 

The level of detestation that I have for certain drugs and drug abuse is far too intense for me to condone or remain indifferent to it. 

However, regardless of my personal feelings towards certain drugs, I would never do either of the following:

  1. I would never vilify or attack an individual for having a drug addiction; whether it was self-inflicted or "prescribed by a doctor." (I've seen little old church ladies who never even drank a beer before in their life become addicted to prescribed pain killers.)
  2. I would never summon the use of force, especially from the government, to punish those who had a drug addiction. 

Is there a way to get people off of drugs? I don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that it's a criminal injustice to deploy government agents to incarcerate people as any sort of method to curtail drug addiction. 

This rejection of the War on Drugs is by no means a result of indifference to, or support for, drug addiction-- or the drugs themselves for that matter. 

It's important to dispel this myth on a social level. There's a stigma attached to disavowing the War on Drugs-- people think you're on drugs if you're against the drug war, and that may be unsettling for people who aren't drug users.

People have been surprised, after hearing my vehement and passionate opposition to the U.S. War on Drugs, that I don't use any drugs myself. (except for the occasional cup of coffee.)

I was apprehensive, at first, to vocalize my opposition to the U.S. War on Drugs, admittedly out of fear of how people would view me on a social level--but that stigma needs to vanish and people have to stand up for what is right. 

There's nothing wrong with being against the War on Drugs. In fact, it's my belief that you're a good, ethical person if you oppose it. 

Opposing the War on Drugs does not mean you support drug abuse. 




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