LA News Release, "Legalise All Drugs Now!" (February 2002)
In Association with the Libertarian International
London, Monday the 18th February 2002
For Immediate Use
Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, firstname.lastname@example.org
"LEGALISE ALL DRUGS NOW", SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK
While the Government’s proposed decriminalisation of cannabis is a step in the right direction, full legalisation of all drugs must remain the final objective. So claims the Libertarian Alliance, Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties think tank.
Libertarian Alliance spokesman, Dr Sean Gabb, said:
“We want a situation where any adult can go into a pharmacy and - without showing any permit or identification - buy as many drugs as he or she may want and use them for any self-regarding purpose. This means legalisation for recreational use and for self-medication.”
He added that nearly all the evils blamed on drugs can really be blamed on drug prohibition. For example:
- Drug prohibition means that drugs are dangerous, because they are sold by dealers who have no concern for product safety;
- Drug prohibition means that drugs are expensive, because the law requires them to be supplied by roundabout and uncompetitive means;
- Drug prohibition breeds petty crime, because of the high price of drugs and the need to associate with criminals to get them;
- Drug prohibition breeds organised crime, because of the large profits to be made from drugs once legitimate suppliers are driven from the market;
- Drug prohibition breeds public corruption, as police and revenue officers, intelligence agencies, and politicians take bribes from organised crime to look the other way;
- Drug prohibition leads to a war on freedom, because the only way of even trying to make prohibition work is to remove rights to privacy and due process - see, for example, the money laundering laws, and the 1997 bugging and burgling law, and the creeping in of asset forfeiture laws;
- Drug prohibition brings the law into general contempt, because it criminalises private acts that in themselves cause no actionable harm to others, because it breeds corruption, and because it is actually unenforceable.
Of course, Dr Gabb added, as a libertarian, he believes that adults have an absolute right to do with themselves as they please, and this is independent of the utilitarian reasons given above.
The only answer, said Dr Gabb, is a return to “Victorian Values” - the situation that existed in this country before the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920, when adults were free to decide for themselves what drugs to take and for what reason.