The Libertarian Case for Drug Prohibition

first_imgThe Public Discourse 28 January 2018Family First Comment: An excellent article….. “Recreational drug use interferes with clear thinking. The very activity is centered around the consumption of an intoxicating substance that impairs one’s cognition. The whole point is to impair one’s ability to think clearly, which in turn impairs one’s ability to act freely. Thus, recreational drugs should be legally restricted because their use is incompatible with the vision of a freedom-respecting liberal state.”Many libertarians argue that we should legalize recreational drugs in the name of freedom and personal autonomy. Drug prohibition, they argue, infringes on personal freedom by denying individuals the liberty to do what they want with their own bodies.This is mistaken. In fact, it is drug legalization that infringes on freedom. Drug prohibition, not legalization, is the real pro-liberty position.Let me explain.The Foundations of FreedomAll should agree that one of the essential responsibilities of government is to protect and promote personal freedom. To that end, governments have an interest in restricting activities that impair, destroy, or otherwise undermine personal freedom.Now, freedom cannot flourish unless certain background conditions are met. Consider an analogy with markets. If a government wants to protect and promote markets, then it must safeguard the conditions that make a market economy possible. These conditions include the protection of life, exchange, contracts, and private property. Without these prerequisites in place, it would be all but impossible for markets to flourish.The same is true of freedom. If the government has a responsibility to protect and promote freedom, then it must also protect and promote the conditions that make it possible. On this point, one essential ingredient of personal freedom is rationality. Choices can only be free if they are made by a person whose cognitive faculties are functioning in the right way. Reason confers on our actions a certain order and intelligibility that make them explicable and coherent. It is what makes our actions ours, such that we are responsible for them. Our ability to act freely is diminished or destroyed if we are unable to deliberate and think coherently, or if we are subject to overwhelming coercive forces.In other words, freedom isn’t just the bare ability to do something; it is the ability to act under the influence of properly functioning cognitive faculties. This point is pivotal in making sense of the legal concepts of consent, coercion, and competence. Young children are unable to enter into legally binding contracts because their cognitive capacities are not fully developed. Likewise, insanity defenses are based on the understanding that cognitively disabled or insane persons cannot be held criminally liable for their actions. There cannot be freedom without rationality.Accordingly, since the government has a responsibility to protect personal freedom, it must also protect and promote a culture that is conducive to clear thinking and discourages impaired thinking. The government, therefore, has a responsibility to restrict activities that impair, destroy, or otherwise undermine clear thinking.Drug Prohibition: Myths and RealitiesSo far I’ve been defending drug restrictions. But the term “restriction” is vague. What kind of restrictions should the government adopt?Answer: the government should prohibit those substances that have no legitimate use aside from recreation. In addition to making them difficult to obtain, prohibition serves to drive up the cost of drugs, which in turn reduces demand by making it more expensive. It’s simply a matter of supply and demand: the more expensive you make something, the less willing people are to buy it. The added threat of legal punishment also serves to drive down demand. Conversely, if something is cheap, legal, and widely available, then people are more inclined to buy it.Drug legalization would make drugs both cheaper and more available, which in turn increases use. A 2015 study in the Journal of Health Economics found that medical marijuana laws increase marijuana use in both adults and adolescents. In adults aged 21 and older, the frequency of binge drinking also increased. Similarly, a 2017 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that “medical marijuana laws appear to have contributed to increased prevalence of illicit cannabis use and cannabis use disorders.” Increased availability is also associated with increased use of other drugs, including alcohol.Prohibition makes drugs more expensive and less available, which in turn reduces drug use. Alcohol prohibition, which many think ended in failure, actually reduced per capita alcohol consumption by about 30 to 50 percent. Cirrhosis death rates, admissions to state mental hospitals for alcohol psychosis, and arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct also declined dramatically. While is true that alcohol prohibition did ultimately fail, it failed for political reasons. In terms of reducing alcohol use, prohibition was a success. And given that excessive alcohol consumption impairs clear thinking (in addition to the $250 billion annual cost that it imposes on the nation), it is worth asking whether we should bring back some form of stringent alcohol regulation for reasons considered earlier.Of course, not all drugs are used recreationally. Alcohol can be consumed as a mild social lubricant without the intention to get drunk. But this is not true of marijuana, as the whole point of non-medical marijuana use is to get high (and, as we will see, most cases of so-called “medical” use are indistinguishable from recreational use). Nobody smokes a joint wanting to avoid the high. So too with heroin, cocaine, and other drugs. These drugs would be the target of prohibition, since their paradigmatic use is abuse, unlike alcohol.It is true that there will still be some who will go through the effort to illegally obtain drugs even if prohibition is enacted. Perfect compliance, however, isn’t the standard of success when it comes to lawmaking. Laws against murder, assault, and theft don’t stop all of these crimes, but nobody is proposing that we legalize these things.What about Medical Marijuana?My focus has been on recreational drug use, but it is worth briefly discussing so-called “medical” applications of drugs (specifically marijuana), since these are wedge issues that many pro-legalization advocates exploit to sneak in full recreational legalization.There is research showing that cannabis or cannabinoids can help with pain management, nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis spasticity. However, this same research has also found strong evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can negatively affect respiratory health, lead to the development of schizophrenia or other psychoses, and increase one’s risk of being in a motor vehicle crash. So the putative benefits of marijuana must be weighed against the negative health effects of marijuana use.Additionally, there isn’t really an essential need for medical marijuana, given that there are plenty of other medicines that can address the ailments that marijuana may help with. Thus, while I am open in principle to allowing certain kinds of medical marijuana (provided that it go through the same rigorous process by which other medicines are approved), it would appear to be unnecessary. And, given the health risks of marijuana, it would be ill-advised and reckless to legalize marijuana under the guise of medicine.Indeed, medical marijuana is ripe for abuse. In states with medical marijuana programs, the overwhelming majority of medical marijuana users are young male adults who claim “pain” as the reason for which they need marijuana. Only a tiny percentage use marijuana for other reasons. Pain, of course, is a very vague reason that is easy to fake, so it provides an avenue for recreational users to obtain marijuana under the false banner of medicine. It seems then that medical marijuana programs provide a smokescreen for recreational use that amounts to de facto legalization. So there is a case to be made for extending drug prohibition to so-called medical marijuana.READ MORE: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2018/01/20650/?utm_source=The+Witherspoon+Institute&utm_campaign=1d3e381a50-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_15ce6af37b-1d3e381a50-84094405Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Road in Hobe Sound

first_imgA plane belly-flopped onto the middle of Federal Highway in Hobe Sound with three souls on board Friday morning.Fortunatley, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s office, no one was hurt.Investigators said the plane had engine trouble and made a belly landing with no landing gear deployed.The scene is causing backups along Federal Highway and Bridge Road near Jonathan Dickinson State Park.last_img

No. 16 Syracuse’s offense fails to keep pace with No. 5 North Carolina in 20-11 loss

first_imgOnly five times in Syracuse’s program history has it allowed 20 goals. But it did on Saturday, and the Orange’s offense needed to turn out a herculean effort to stay in the game.But as has been the case in all of its conference games this season, SU’s offense provided nothing extraordinary.“We didn’t show up today and deliver our best game, our best performance,” SU head coach Gary Gait said.No. 16 Syracuse (8-7, 0-5 Atlantic Coast) couldn’t win enough draws to get a lot of offensive chances on Saturday and the chances the Orange had were often squandered. For the fourth game in a row, SU’s season-scoring average was lowered and it meant No. 5 North Carolina (10-3, 5-1) pulled away and won easily, 20-11, in the Carrier Dome.The problems started at the draw, as they so often have for SU this season. Emily Hawryschuk, an attack who began taking collegiate draws in games on March 29, took 27-of-33 draw attempts for the Orange. Between Hawryschuk and Julie Cross, who took the other six, the Orange won 10 of 33.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They were in our heads,” Gait said of UNC’s draws in the second half. “They had the chemistry flowing on the draw. They just dominated.”The lost draws forced SU to defend for long stretches at a time. But when SU won the draw or took possession after one of UNC’s 12 turnovers, it couldn’t capitalize. The Orange turned just 11 of its 27 shots into goals, dropping SU’s conference scoring average to 12.2 goals per game, compared to 16 per game out of conference.In a repeat of Duke’s defensive plan, the Tar Heels face-guarded Nicole Levy for much of the game’s 60 minutes. Postgame, Gait said, “I don’t know if that was an issue,” citing other problems as more major than whether or not Levy touched the ball. But Levy, even after a very cold stretch, ranks second on SU with 34 goals. And she touched the ball no more than a handful of times Saturday, as North Carolina successfully took SU’s sniper out of the equation.For a few moments early in the second half, SU’s offense looked like it’d have a shot to redeem itself. Hawryschuk scored less than two minutes into the frame to bring the Orange within two goals.But then, UNC won a draw and scored. The Tar Heels won the next draw and scored, again. And UNC won the next draw as well, following it up quickly with another goal. A two-goal lead exploded to five. The Orange never got closer than four goals from that point on.“Anytime you’re down like that, you’re gonna force it,” Gait said. “…Trying to catch up, get five goals at a time instead of one.”More Coverage:No. 16 Syracuse’s shortcomings exposed in 20-11 blowout loss to No. 5 North CarolinaGallery: No. 16 Syracuse crushed by No. 5 North Carolina, 20-11 Published on April 14, 2018 at 3:59 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 Saturday’s game was the first that the Orange had played on a full week’s preparation since SU’s fourth contest. There was plenty of time to prepare for the tight, man-to-man defense that the Tar Heels played. The preparation didn’t equate to goals. Instead, UNC looked to have taken advantage of its own week off.Syracuse’s Alie Jimerson played for the first time in more than two weeks after dealing with a lower leg injury. Normally an important distributor from behind the net for SU, the Tar Heels focused on shutting down cutting lanes when Jimerson caught in her favorite spot.Outside of Hawryschuk’s four goals, the Tar Heels looked well prepared. Faceguarding Levy worked. Syracuse’s left-handed attackers — Riley Donahue, Molly Carter and Sam Swart — had any openings to the left denied, again and again. Donahue and Carter would spin, back and forth, back and forth. But whenever they tried to break free left, their primary defender or help defense was in the way.Hawryschuk said the Orange tried to keep its mindset focused on one goal at a time to get a run going. The run never came for SU.“We just have to regroup and focus on the next game plan,” Hawryschuk said.The Orange won’t have a week off before its second-to-last game of the regular season. No. 2 Boston College hosts SU on Thursday. And the Eagles, prior to their Saturday game, had the second-best scoring offense in the nation.“We’ve got to find a way to flip the switch here,” Gait said. “… We’ll regroup and try to get an upset at Boston College.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Dominic Smith doesn’t want to be traded: ‘I only want to play for the Mets’

first_img“I don’t pay too much attention to stuff I can’t control,” Smith told reporters. “I know baseball is a business at the end of the day. It’s just how the game is. I love New York. I only want to play for the Mets. This is all I know. This is home for me and my family. I love it here and I’m just trying to establish myself and just get better every day.”Dominic Smith on trade rumors:”I don’t really pay attention to too much stuff I can’t control…I love New York, I only want to play for the Mets…this is home for me” pic.twitter.com/r5pHfpAezy— SNY (@SNYtv) July 18, 2019Smith is having a breakout season for New York as he’s slashing .294/.376/.536 with nine home runs and 18 RBIs in 81 games. The team has even started to play him in left field in order to get him more at-bats. Related News If you’re in a pinch, call @TheRealSmith22.#MustC https://t.co/HZI3CBTBqa pic.twitter.com/8kqNnYdTUR— New York Mets (@Mets) July 18, 2019The Mets are expected to be sellers before the July 31 trade deadline and they’re reportedly exploring moving Zack Wheeler, Jason Vargas and Todd Frazier, amongst others.New York, however, enters play Thursday on a four-game winning streak and is just five games out of the second wild-card spot with a 44-51 record. MLB trade rumors: What could Yankees, Astros, Padres offer for Noah Syndergaard? Noah Syndergaard addresses trade rumors, says he loves being with Mets Dominic Smith does not want to leave New York.The 24-year-old’s name has begun to surface in trade rumors because he’s behind star Pete Alonso at first base on the Mets’ depth chart. But, Smith said he hopes he isn’t moved. Mets manager Mickey Callaway praised Smith when he spoke with reporters after a 14-4 win over the Twins.“Offensively, we knew he was capable of this,” Callaway said, via Newsday. “You could see the sweet swing, the plate discipline, his ability to go the other way, his ability to pull the ball. I think his ability to move around and play multiple positions and do it pretty well is the surprising part and the thing that we’re kind of proud of right now.” GM Brodie Van Wagenen: Mets will take ‘underdog role’ as trade deadline approach changeslast_img read more

Public to get first view of athletes at annual Crusader Club Volleyball/Football Scrimmage

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow —  Wellington sports enthusiasts will have an opportunity to get a sneak preview of both the WHS volleyball and football teams Thursday evening. The Wellington Crusader volleyball team will be holding a Gatorade Scrimmage at 5 p.m. at the high school gymnasium and the WHS football, the Wellington Middle School team, and the youth football teams will be showcased in the Crusader Club Scrimmage.Here are a few things you will see:•Wellington has 70 football players out this year including 20 seniors (see newly released roster below). Individual pictures of all the football players can be found here.•Great manicured field thanks to new groundskeeper Steve Gill.•Other amenities such as the new banner on the press box and the new decked out Crusader Grill by Impact Bank.Here are a couple of things you will not see Thursday:•There is no fence inside the stadium separating the football players from the football fans. That is not a permanent thing. Wellington school officials are making the home stands ADA compatible. But in order to do this, they need to construct a sidewalk leading to the ADA football stands which means a new permanent fence has to wait until the sidewalk is constructed. There may be a makeshift fence. Nevertheless, just because there is no makeshift fence, that doesn’t give fans permission to roam the sidelines like back in the 1950s. Stay back!•The new Wellington scoreboard is not here yet nor are the 45-second clocks. The scoreboard is expected to be here for the second home game against Clearwater on Sept. 26, but won’t be here for the season opener against Augusta.The schedule for the scrimmage night is as follows:5 p.m. – Wellington Gatorade Volleyball Scrimmage – please bring a case of water or unused Gatorade bottles for the price of admission.6 p.m. – Gates open for the public at Sellers Park.6:15 – Middle School Scrimmage (7th North EZ / 8th South EZ)6:35 – Team Stretch6:50 – Cheer Performance (Youth getting ready)6:55 – Check Presentation (Youth getting ready)6:58 – After Prom Kick7:00 – 1st and 2nd North EZ / 3rd and 4th South EZ7:15 – 5th and 6th North EZ / High School Warm-Up South EZ7:30 – High School Scrimmage8:00 – DONE.In case of bad weather and poor field conditions we will conduct the scrimmage on the HS practice fields to protect the actual game field.•••••The official Wellington High School football roster is as follows: 9Logan JonesRB6’1188 12Lane BeardRB5’8155 9Jared OathoutOL6’0180 10Dylan GoodmanQB5’10165 12Jaden HinesRB5’7195 10Brad McBathTE6’0190 9Andrew JohnsonOL5’10250 12Brad WarnerWR6’0163 10Lane MorganTE6’1185 12Jace BrunsTE6’2170 11Wyatt WitmerOL5’9215 11Connor PhelpsWR6’1185 GradeNamePositionHeightWeight 11Remington GilkeyWR5’11150 11Nick HydeOL6’1215 11Monty BannisterRB5’10140 12Joey HaydonWR5’10170 9Trey CaryRB5’8135 9Matthew McCombOL5’9230 10Derek DriskellRB5’5130 12Austin DunnRB6’0210 12Austin PfalzgrafWR6’1165 9Andre FowlerOL6’1230 9Gabe SmithOL6’1215 9Ty WilsonTE5’7150 12Zach BodkinsTE6’0175 11Jason NorrisOL6’2260 9Aaron SchoemannRB6’0160 10Dylan FergusonRB5’11163 9Cade PhelpsQB6’1155 12Alejandro VargasOL6’0185 12Trevor NanceQB6’5210 12Skylar BrandOL5’11220 12Andrew PelkeyRB6’0170 12Joey LewallenOL5’10205 9Christian ClaytonTE6’1185 12Adam ConditTE6’1190center_img 12Ian KingWR5’7145 9AJ SnipesRB6’0140 10Seth SmithOL5’9160 10Carson LeGrandWR5’8145 9Malachi TidwellRB5’7118 10Michael BillingtonRB5’7162 11Jared ShieldsWR6’2165 9Ethan RedfordRB5’6140 Wellington High School football seniors will take the field Thursday night. They will open at home against Augusta next Friday.Follow us on Twitter. 12Colin ReichenbergerWR6’0160 11Josh AmosOL6’1270 9Kadin HeacockRB5’8135 12Brenton TroutmanTE6’0175 9Brayden MorganRB5’7145 11Bryce OldridgeWR5’8143 9Jaden AdamsOL5’7160 9Brandon OlesonOL5’8190 10Lukas SoriaOL5’9155 9Braiden BureshOL5’10215 11Jace LoweOL5’11240 9Joeseph ParsonTE6’2180 12Vince AstOL6’0175 10Levi PrestonOL6’0170 10Tristin WithamRB5’7145 9Jack WaltonTE6’2190 10David MatlockOL5’10173 12Drake SteinbachOL5’9185 10Chance WilsonOL5’5165 9Jack HeimerOL5’10180 10Connor BurnettOL6’2320 9Ian GroomOL5’11180 11Ryan OlsonOL5’7140 10Chris KopTE6’1193 12Trey CoulterOL6’1295 11Skyler StrubleTE5’11160 Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! 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