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A Note on Rand, Playing Politics and Constitutional Arguments

After my article yesterday regarding Rand Paul's recent statements
regarding drug legalization, I received some criticism particularly over at the Daily Paul for coming down too hard on Rand. "After all", the argument goes,"he is just taking the Constitutional position and leaving it up to the states to decide. Rand is on our side".

To be clear, in the specific statements Paul made regarding drug legalization, there was no distinction between "federal" and "state" legalization of drugs. He simply stated that he "wasn't for that (legalizing heroin)." And yes, I am well aware that this is a more politically palatable position, as I've been reminded over and over, because Rand needs to do what he has to do to "win". This attitude implies that it's not ideas that are important, but political victory itself.

I believe this is the opposite of how politics should be viewed as a tool for advancing liberty. Political victory should come as a result of expressing the correct ideas about liberty. If liberty positions must be "muddled" and "filtered", what is gained by any victory? This is an example of the problem, as I've discussed before, with simply using Constitutional arguments when developing positions. If one simply relies on the Constitution for framing all of their arguments, one can quickly lose moral high ground in debate over an issue.

This is how libertarians get into trouble when they say things like "well, drug laws should be left to the States...that is what is Constitutional". But this is a backwards way to make an effective argument. Rather, it should be explained that it is wrong to use force on someone simply for putting a substance into their body. It should then be argued that federal drug laws should be repealed for this reason.

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Alcohol as an example

Um...alcohol is legal, and we judge people based on their ACTION, whether they have drank alcohol or not.

The same should be applied to all those who use drugs, "legal" or "illegal".

If your ACTIONS are not harming others, there should be no laws against said actions.

Putting a substance in your own body, as an act in and of itself, does not harm anyone other than potentially oneself.

I can't believe I have to argue against the war on drugs on the Daily Paul...what has this place come to?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

I don't know...

But when I watch "certain" posts jump to a +10, and the counter posts jump to -10 almost immediately, it creeps the hell out of me these days.

We all can have disagreements and differing points of view, and most of us, whether Libertarian, libertarian, anarchist, and minarchist have all found common ground for discussion and debate.

But these new whack jobs... or old whack jobs coming back, are really starting to drive me nuts.

(Just to be clear, I was not referring to -anyone- in this thread as a "whack job"... That was a reference to my frustration at a certain variety of threads that have been creeping in lately. I just wanted to make it clear that I wasn't referring to anyone that I may happen to be in disagreement with here, at the moment... :) )

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

wolfe's picture

Really? Naive much?

Many, many drugs were available over the counter including heroine, etc. in the US at the time that it was drafted! For instance, even a lot of cough medicines included mild doses of very nasty drugs. Coke actually started with COCAINE in it (so that's pretty damn recent, ain't it?).

Drugs have been with us since the beginning of time, and will always be with us. The only INTERESTING fact is that they have only been attempted to be outlawed in VERY recent times.

Somehow, most of the world's population have always managed to avoid becoming 100% junkies and killing each other.

Killing over drugs started with the criminalization more than anything else. Just like prohibition.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -


but not in the sophisticated form of todays drugs.

wolfe's picture

Once again...

Not true, except in cases that the drug war created the drugs.

Oh, and there is NO worse drug than heroin, so that argument is not valid anyway.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -


You are in favor of the war on drugs?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

No, not at all.

Overcoming years of aversion to hard drugs, I am still swinging on this one, trying to find a middle ground that works for everyone involved.
Who pays for, treats, and looks after those drug users that wreak themselves and their families? The State that legalizes them? Charity?
Or are they left to themselves?
The consequences of hard drugs are just as messy as the war on drugs, which we know is fueled both ways by Government, both the war and the supply.
Your ideas on how this all works would be good.


As I had originally planned to write more in depth about drug use in a free society but got sidetracked with this one. I will later on tonight or tomorrow.

But briefly, you seem to be looking for state solutions to state problems. "Who" pays for something is not something we should be on a quest to decide, for only a market in a free society can determine these things. But it is very likely that in a freer society, where drug use is not subsidized by unemployment and welfare, that far less people would be drug addicts and there would be many charitable and profit-seeking ventures springing up to provide drug rehab services.

"But they won't be able to afford it", you'll say.

Well then why does every homeless guy I see have a cell phone?

The market will serve every body, at different levels, if only it's allowed to.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Thanks Marc,

will look forward to reading what you have to say about this sticky issue.

wolfe's picture

Not true.

Read my second comment to you on the subject, and do some history reading to learn the truth about even the "hard" drugs.

As far as taking care of those people that get addicted anyway... Do you think the war on drugs has created less junkies? I can prove the opposite. So it's a false argument.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -