Just Stop and Think....With Your Own Intelligent Mind
by Marc J. Victor, Phoenix Criminal Attorney
I’m the last guy who ought to argue for the legalization of meth.1 As a practicing criminal defense attorney, I make a good income from defending people who are charged with drug crimes. If the drug war ended, I would lose a substantial portion of my income. Additionally, some would call me a health nut. I go to the gym six times a week and eat organic foods as often as possible. I wouldn’t change my healthy lifestyle if drugs were legal. I have three little kids. I don’t want them ever to become drug addicts. I want them to grow up in a safe world. Indeed, that’s exactly why I want the drug war to end.
When I was in law school, a wise law professor of mine taught me that if you are asking the wrong question, the answer doesn’t matter. In regards to meth, the question is not whether meth is dangerous and unhealthy. Over the years, I have represented countless meth users. I have seen the consequences of meth use up close. I am convinced meth use will likely ruin the user’s life. It is an extraordinarily dangerous addictive drug. Few drugs are more addictive or dangerous than meth.2 Many of those who oppose legalization of meth identify the horrors of meth use. I entirely agree with their assessment of meth’s dangers. Asking whether meth is dangerous or unhealthy or addictive is not the right question.
The relevant question is whether our society would be better served if meth was manufactured, distributed, bought and sold legally. The answer is yes. There are two related but separate reasons why ending the drug war is critical. First, a free society requires that the drug war end. I refer to this argument as the freedom argument. Second, the consequences of ending the drug war would yield economic and other benefits which would greatly benefit our society. I refer to this argument as the consequentialist argument.
Most readers will not be persuaded by the freedom argument. This fact is disturbing to me. In fact, many of the issues which plague our world will persist unless and until people come to respect the principles embodied in terms such as individual responsibility, self ownership and freedom. These concepts are what our country was founded upon and the very reason why America prospered. Now, they are given mere lip service if they are considered at all. If you shrug your shoulders and brush off the freedom argument, you should be ashamed of yourself. Whether you realize it or not, you are the problem.