Southern Man

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The War On Drugs

For new readers, Southern Man will again list the three pillars of his political/social belief system:>br />
  • You are responsible for your actions.
  • Your rights end where mine begin.
  • What consenting adults do in private is no one's business but theirs.
In other words, Southern Man is an individualist / anti-nanny-statist and votes for candidates that promise to reduce the broad scope and overreaching authority of the State. That doesn't mean he's an anarchist; he simply wants the State to be smaller, less expensive, and less intrusive. It also means that you have a lot of freedom to do things that Southern Man would not approve. And he might elect to engage in activity that does not meet with your approval. This is the price of freedom.

However, when we do things that don't meet the approval of the State, they send us to prison. What, pray tell, are these un-approved actions that result in incarceration?

Hat tip to Al Fin.

Now that is frightening stuff. Over half the prison population of the US is drug-related. And Southern Man would imagine that a fair portion of the rest (particularly burglary and homicide) are also obliquely connected to the drug trade.

Imagine a world in which Southern Man's views hold sway. Personal drug use would not be illegal. Drug sales between individuals would not be illegal. The manufacture of drugs would be a zoning issue at worst. Most of the risk in manufacturing and selling drugs would vanish, and prices would drop. Without large profits crime cartels would become less interested in drugs and individuals would commit fewer personal property crimes to obtain the money they need for drugs. We would need fewer police officers and those officers wouldn't need military-grade equipment, thus reducing the cost of law enforcement. And in Southern Man's world "sex crimes," which are contracts between consenting adults, wouldn't be crimes at all. Wow - we could stay home, do cheap drugs, and get laid. In Southern Man's view this would be a Good Thing.

Unfortunately, the State sees things a bit differently. The much-discussed War On Drugs is really a jobs program for increasingly militarized police forces. Drugs are the boogie-man that drive the size and scope of modern police departments. But Southern Man would be perfectly happy to see all those drug cops working on property crime cases instead, as he still has a number of unsolved ones on the books.


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