Drug Laws and Underworld Funding

   Our laws ban the legal sale of many drugs that are desired by parts of our society. These laws make business in these drugs necessarily an operation of the underworld. The shortage of supply makes the prices high and the profits enormous. The buyers must come up with large amounts of money, which in many cases is raised by stealing.
   The goal of the drug laws is worthwhile - decrease the use of drugs that harm people. However, we must consider - are the drug laws achieving their goal? Before that, let's discuss, for a moment, the role of government in our society.
   What is the role of government? The answer the founding fathers gave still rings true - to give us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We must add to decide how to resolve clashes when my rights conflict with your rights. That government that governs least, governs best. A government should not have scope over all human activities.
   If a government says something is legal, that doesn't mean it desirable, just that it is not illegal. Non-governmental agencies are the ones that should be trying to sway public opinion to change their behavior. Government should not be

legislating morality or ethics, except as one individual affects another.
   Our drug laws are a disaster. Didn't we learn anything from the fiasco of Prohibition? Enormous profits from bootleg liquor funded the growth of the criminal underworld and eroded the respect for the law by ordinary citizens.
   Now we are making criminals of people with a weakness for chemicals, whether it's caused by genetics or lack of character strength. If those people take drugs just for themselves, it should not be illegal. Nonprofit organizations can explain why it's a bad choice. The punishment for a bad choice, like drug use, that only hurts oneself should be the deleterious effects of the drug use, not an extra penalty imposed by the government's legislation.
   As a powerful ad from the post-Sept. 11 crisis says buying drugs funds terrorist operations. It's a consequence of the current drug laws the the amounts are so high. Supply is kept artificial low and demand is high. This leads to huge profits. Because it's illegal, competitive suppliers can't work to bring down the monopolistic profits. Reputable companies can't provide the drug, therefore the underworld must be involved and they are handsomely rewarded.

Copyright 2005