A Victory for the Drug Law Defenders
Earlier this month, an extremely dangerous, persistent drug criminal was read the riot act in a British court and threatened with a prison sentence for any further offence. This heinous villain, this monstrous mobster, this threat to the very fabric of our society, was none other than 68 year old grandmother of two, Patricia Tabram from Humshaugh, Northumberland, who, with beastliness of forethought, grew and imbibed cannabis to relieve depression from the death of her teenaged son years before, and acute physical pain from two car crashes in which she had been injured. A Northumbria police spokesman said:
“We take drug abuse very seriously and are keen to use all tools at our disposal to eliminate drug dealing and use in the community.”
Well, I for one feel safer knowing that this criminal is being monitored and will reside behind bars if her evil cannabis consumption doesn’t cease immediately. All of those people who defend the drug laws of Britain can all give themselves a hearty pat on the back in light of this great success.
I can’t keep up the sarcasm any longer.
This news story is nothing short of an outrage. If ever one needed an example of why ‘victimless crimes’ are nothing but a fantasy, look no further. If there is no victim, there is no crime. If nobody has been harmed, there is no crime, and there is certainly no criminal! No drug is related to more crime and violence than alcohol, and yet as the millions intoxicate every weekend, we will not allow an old lady the freedom to use a mild drug, in the privacy of her own home, for medicinal purposes? And in the year 2007!
I am completely against drug prohibition. I see no reason to outlaw all drugs except for alcohol and nicotine (and caffeine, for that matter). I believe that people should have the right to do anything in the privacy of their own homes, and in certain specially licensed premises, provided that it does not harm anyone else. Of course I realise that drugs can be harmful to the person who imbibes them, but once aware of the risks, every person should have the freedom to take that risk if they so choose.
As far as the law goes, I don’t think a lot of people base their decision either to take drugs, or not to, on the law. Granted, if you legalised drugs you’d get a few people experimenting, but on the whole I think the people who want to take drugs do, and the ones who don’t, don’t.
All the drugs laws do is channel millions of pounds worth of tax payers money into a ‘war’ that was lost a long time ago, while simultaneously allowing organised crime to fund itself with millions of pounds worth of money, made from selling drugs.
So, where can we trace prohibition to? Why the need to stop people enjoying themselves and harming nobody else? It stems mainly from religion. As Sam Harris says in The End of Faith (published 2004):
It is no accident that people of faith often want to curtail the private freedoms of others. This impulse has less to do with the history of religion and more to do with its logic, because the very idea of privacy is incompatible with the existence of God. If God sees and knows all things, and remains so provincial a creature as to be scandalized by certain sexual behaviours or states of the brain, then what people do in the privacy of their own homes, though it may not have the slightest implication for their behaviour in public, will still be a matter of public concern for people of faith. (p159)
Harris has got it spot on here. If people were less concerned with making a fictional god happy on irrational grounds, and more concerned with making human beings happy, as they should be, we could cut through the nonsense of prohibition in record time. The sooner people, particularly religious liberals and moderates, realise the rewards of humanism, the sooner we may reach a position of sanity, where tired old ladies will be free to go about their business of drinking a hot chocolate with something extra, without fear of being sent to prison to live with real criminals, whose crimes did have victims.
Author’s note: for a very compelling and entertaining statement of the anti-prohibition argument, I recommend High Society by Ben Elton.