A Liberal Who Just Doesn’t Get It
I guess this is something liberals and libertarians are supposed to agree about, but I consistently find it bizarre that there are some people who seem to think it would be a good idea if you could just walk into your local convenience store and pick up some heroin or crack along with your Fritos and Diet Coke. At times, people taking this line seem to argue that drug prohibition couldn’t possibly be having any beneficial effects because, after all, you can still find heroin. Naturally enough, you don’t see anyone proposing that the “war on mugging” be ended simply because mugging-prohibition has failed to actually eliminate the proscribed activity.
The difference, Mr. Yglesias, is that mugging constitutes at least two violations on the rights of another individual — namely, assault and robbery. Ingesting currently illegal drugs, as unwise as such as decision might be, violates the rights of no person. Therefore, the analogy is completely inapplicable.
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