2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY #410
As most of our readers know, the purpose of this series is to promote thinking and discussions about the serious topics of our day. So here we go again: Most people agree that it should be the purpose of the legal system to reduce things like abortions, harmful drug use and prostitution. Or, for those who continue, to make those activities less harmful. So, based upon my involvement and observations in the Justice System for more than 50 years, I am going to share some thoughts about how we can better pursue those goals. It starts with this thought: It is not possible to prohibit abortions, mind-altering drug use or prostitution, it is only possible to prohibit legal abortions, mind-altering drug use or prostitution. In other words, as long as there is a market for these goods or services, the market will be met. That is simply a reality of life.
So what should we do? In almost all situations it is far better for government to regulate and control those activities than to make them illegal. Here are examples in those three areas:
- Over the years I have had at least four women tell me that the worst thing they ever did in their lives was to have an abortion because they have been “haunted” by it ever since. So why did they do it? “Because I felt so alone, and because I didn’t know that I had options.” But if we were to regulate and control abortions, we could require women to see a licensed therapist of their choice before they could have an abortion. (We do not want the government to select the therapist because that would bring more politics back into the equation!) Then that counselor could discuss with the women that they have viable options, which could then be calmly considered. This would almost certainly reduce the number of abortions received in our country and, at the same time, seriously reduce the harms that often come to women when they receive illicit abortions. To which everyone should say: Good!
- The same situation is found regarding the use of mind-altering drugs. Remember that, after just a few years, Alcohol Prohibition did not reduce the amount of alcohol consumed in our country. But it did seriously increase crime, as well as the alcohol poisoning that was caused by the lack of quality control in the illicit alcohol. The same thing is true today with Drug Prohibition. For example, there is virtually no such thing as people dying from fentanyl overdoses. Those deaths are caused by fentanyl poisoning, because there is no quality control for illicit drugs. To put this into perspective, more people died of drug-related deaths last year than the number of our service members lost in the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined!! Bring people who desire to use these presently illicit drugs closer to the medical community, where they can both receive counseling as well as prescriptions for legal mind-altering drugs. That way they can know what the quantity and quality is of the drugs that they are using. And they can also have steady contact with a medical professional who can monitor and counsel them about their health and welfare. (It has worked for decades with heroin users in Switzerland, and there is no reason it cannot work here as well.) Further, it would also lower crime, because the prescription drugs would be far less expensive than the illicit drugs. Or we could continue to escalate our present failed “War on Drugs” by doing such things as sending fighting troops into Mexico to “take down” the fentanyl manufacturers and suppliers. Does anyone think that will really help? Take away the illicit market, and the problems will be seriously reduced!
- And, yes, the same situation is found with prostitution. License the so-called “sex workers” and bring them closer to the medical and law enforcement community that can help them. That way the sex workers will not need to have to hang out on the streets to solicit customers, which can be dangerous, and will also not need to pay “Pimps” to protect them. And they can be required to have regular medical check-ups, which will reduce diseases for everyone.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and I understand that many fine people have very firm moral biases against these proposals. But if our goals are to reduce involvement in these activities, as well as the crime, disease and other healthcare risks and deaths that often accompany them, regulation and control is the way to go. What do you think? And, as always, feedback of whatever nature is always appreciated!
Quote from the “Accurate Observations on Politics” Department: “Politicians are people who, when they see a light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.” John Quinton
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President
Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com., as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.