Re: Bye-Bye to the >H Right Wing

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 10:08:52 MST

Amara Graps wrote:
> I'm a little surprised to feel a need to say these things on the
> extropians list. It's basic.
> Mike Lorrey:
> >While I am steadfastly opposed to the drug war, and support
> >legalized/medicalized drug use, I am also distinctly aware, through
> >extensive personal experience, that an individual addicted to drugs
> >is not a sane, mature, consenting citizen in control of themselves
> >(no matter whether the drug is alcohol, pot, coke, etc, even
> tobacco).
> [...]
> >In this respect, civil forfeiture functions (admittedly poorly) as a
> >means of treating those who act like children as children. I do not
> >deny that it could be improved, in the form of making such seizures
> >temporary, until the individual has gone through rehab and recovery,
> >rather than just a get rich quick scheme for policemen and police
> >departments.
> What you're advocating here is that any Means is OK, as long as
> *you* find the Ends *acceptable*.
> Drug-use is a victimless crime. The State has no business being
> involved with what one does with their own person and property as
> long as they don't physically harm the person or property of
> another.
> I do not find your Means acceptable. Once you tell the government
> that it's OK to throw someone in jail or take their property because
> of some behavior that is not harming anyone else, but that you find
> unacceptable, then what comes next? Firing them, evicting them,
> denying them credit, stripping away their civil rights, and the list
> goes on without end. If a person chooses to diminish their lives
> by using some drugs, then they have every right to do so.

They have every right to do so, ONLY if the only negative impact is upon
their lives alone. If there are dependents involved, who have their own
rights to be free of such irresponsibility, or even just creditors, who
have a right to expect their money to be treated responsibly, then the
individual engaging in such behavior is putting jeopardy on others, not
just themselves, and in a libertarian perspective, the interests of
others put in jeopardy are equally as important as that of the drug

Are you advocating that an addict has a greater right to get high and
drive their kids off a cliff than their kids have to continue living?

> All drug use carries a risk, and the risks are varied. As an adult,
> each makes his/her own decision as to whether to expose themself to
> that drug, and one measures the potential good/harm against their
> own personal form of measure. "Inform yourself, then choose". The
> best way to remove the largest dangers regarding drug use is
> education .. not throwing that person into jail !!
> Drug use is just one of a long list of victimless crimes, that the
> State has no business sticking their stinking noses into. I wonder
> if anyone here finds any similarities in the rhetoric between the
> 'War on Drugs' and the 'War on Terrorism' ?

Note that I did not once advocate throwing drug users in jail, did I?
Nor did I say that an individual shouldn't be free to drug themselves as
they see fit, or even suicide. I am fully in support of the individuals
right to choose such activities, SO LONG as those activities do not harm

HOWEVER: From my experience in working with drug addicts, and my
understanding of the physiology of addiction, it is my opinion that a
person who becomes addicted to a drug is no longer fully in posession
their ability to freely make choices or decisions. At some point, it is
no longer the person making the decisions, the drug is (or rather, how
the drug has warped their minds physiologically and psychologically).
Drug addicts commit acts that they know are wrong, that they claim they
don't want to do, but are compelled to do so in order to get high again.

Such individuals are no longer freely acting adult citizens.
Furthermore, their acts in pursuit of the next high generally involve
causing harm or damage or death to other people and their property:
children and spouses, business associates, creditors, neighbors, etc..

For this reason, the claims that drug use is a 'victimless crime' is not
as black and white, slam dunk as many legalization proponents would like
to claim. Having been in the trenches of dealing with addicts, the
damage they do ALWAYS extends beyond themselves as individuals, as is to
be expected when an individual abdicates responsibility for themselves
to an inanimate substance.

Nor did I say that civil forfeiture worked particularly well at what its
intended purpose is. It actually works rather badly, doing more to
enrich police departments and their officers than helping the real
victims of drug addiction.

Nor do I consider all drug users to be addicts, which you seem to be

Now, I expect to see a rather hostile and unthinking, inconsiderate
condemnation from others here, such as Curt Adams, et al regarding my
comments. Before shooting from the hip with comments that reflect a lack
of actual comprehension about what I actually wrote here, I suggest
those whose ire is raised to read my comments again.

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