Unlike practically every other college student in America, I have never taken any kind of drug. Besides the occasional antibiotic prescribed by a doctor, I have never taken any pills. I have never smoked marijuana. I have never done cocaine, heroin, crack, or anything harder. I have never even smoked tobacco or drank any alcohol. I have seen the lives of plenty of my friends and families turned tragic because of the effects of drugs.
And yet, I do not believe that a single drug should be illegal.
When I share my position with people, almost everyone is shocked. Even people that are wholeheartedly in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana balk at the idea of also legalizing drugs like heroin and cocaine. The idea seems ludicrous. "why," they often ask, "are you okay with people being able to buy things that harm their mind and body?"
Because these guys really care that people are harming their bodies and care about them enough to stop their harm. upload.wikimedia.org
The answer here is simple. I am in favor of legalizing drugs because I believe in freedom.
That is not to say that there are no other reasons to legalize drugs. Taxing drugs would clearly result in a massive revenue increase for the government. We already make $5.6 billion a year off of alcohol taxes and $15.5 billion off of tobacco taxes. States that have legalized recreational marijuana are already seeing increased revenue from their taxes on marijuana. Legalizing all drugs would clearly increase federal revenue in many different directions. In addition, regulating drugs would make them safer and would save lives since people will not have to worry about being arrested for going to the E.R. for drug-related health issues. Plus, legalizing drugs would help slow the unjust policing practices that cause minorities to be arrested at severely disproportionate rates compared to whites.
However, in my opinion, all of this is secondary to my overwhelming devotion to freedom. In a free society, the government should have no right to tell an individual what they do with their own body. If I am not infringing upon someone else's rights, then the government has no right to restrict my rights. It may seem like a grim premise, but a truly free society gives you the freedom to, ultimately, kill yourself.
This is not to advocate for suicide. Rather, this is a statement reflective of what the government should and should not legislate. If the only person that an action is harming is the actor, then the government has no right to legislate that action. You are not truly free unless you are free to choose choices that negatively affect your life. Otherwise, you merely have the illusion of freedom. The illusion of freedom is when the government allows you to make any choice as long as it is a choice that it deems "good for you." In regards to drugs in this country, we have the illusion of freedom in this country. The government dictates that we are free to make the choice of alcohol and tobacco, but we do not have the freedom to choose in regards to marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc. That is the very definition of the illusion of freedom, and its time we break that illusion and allow true freedom in this country.