The consumer psychology part of me is amused by this billboard. I thought it was quite clever (Even though I think marketing in any way shape or form falls on the evil side of the ethical spectrum)
The libertarian in me however, grimaces and starts to shift uncomfortably.
Like most libertarians I see the vigor and enthusiasm (and indeed public funds) used in the pursuit of victimless crimes as completely insane. If someone wants take drugs or engage in prostitution… or really do anything that involves one or more consenting adult(s)…that is fine by me. As long as it doesn’t affect me.
Reporting your drug dealer competition… while not quite in the realm of 1984… it maybe belongs on the same shelf. Not so long a go we could report suspected Jews to authorities in Europe… in Tanzania you can (currently) report gays directly to the Govenor of Dar es salaam. Is that really the company you want to keep? ‘Wait… that’s not the same as criminal drug-dealers!’
Maybe. Maybe not.
I suppose it depends on whether you think prohibition works and whether you believe that the government should regulate and (perhaps more importantly) decide what is deemed healthy and acceptable… or indeed moral behavior (in the case of getting your thing wet) and depriving you of your liberty for years even though no-one else was injured or impaired in any way during the commision of the ‘crime’. If you resist their sanction you may up being deprived of your life.
So wait… you think people should be allowed to just shoot themselves up with heroin?
Yes. I do. I think you should be allowed to go to a speciality store that will sell you heroin (with some sort of guarantee that what you are getting is indeed heroin). You can sign that you accept the responsibility that what you’re doing to yourself has been deemed by medical professionals to be dangerous and that it may result in death. (I also feel that the government/tax payer is under no obligation, should you have an adverse reaction to said heroin, to resuscitate you at great expense and then house you post event). You should also agree that your actions will not endanger anyone else, eg. leaving your needles on the sidewalk (or anywhere else) and not operating any type of vehicle/machinery thereafter. If you do these things you should likely be prosecuted. Just like drunk driving.
I think most people (these days) can see their way past the soft drugs, Marijuana and Magic Mushrooms. But cocaine? Heroin? Morphine? And won’t the free availability of drugs create more drug addicts?
Maybe. Maybe not. (there is lots of evidence to suggest it won’t)
I think it’s more important that freedom of choice and personal responsibility supersedes any desire on your part to decide what someone else can do with their lives. Bad choices have consequences and you can’t mollycoddle a species just because you feel they can’t take ownership of their lives.