Against Prohibition

Our friends at the Reason Foundation have produced a film that I hope will spur protest at the U.S. government’s endless, fruitless, merciless war on people who wish to use drugs. The producer, Paul Feine, is a former student and colleague of mine. I have just had email from him saying, “The film will be available on DVD at Amazon next week. (We’re working with Paris-based Java Films to distribute the film globally, and it’ll be available on Netflix and such in a few months.)”

Prohibition both violates individuals’ rights to ingest what they choose and causes mayhem.

Of course no one has a right to endanger others by driving drunk or doing anything else dangerous while under the influence of a judgment-impairing drug. But everyone has a right to use drugs in any manner that does not infringe the rights of others.

Of course drugs are dangerous, and drug dependency is a scourge. But prohibition does not alleviate these problems. It adds to them a host of problems more serious still: corrupted police departments, erosion of civil liberties, hundreds of thousands of non-violent people in jail, poisoning of race relations, militarization of law enforcement, 60,000 dead in our neighbor Mexico, and gang warfare on our inner city streets.

Here’s the trailer for the film: The Towson University Classical Liberals, for whom I’m faculty advisor, plan to get it and show it on campus soon. I’ll let you know what we think of it.

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