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Legalize it

Arguing from self-ownership, Scott Carnegie thinks we should legalize marijuana.

Scott Carnegie - July 9, 2009

Legalize it, all of it.

Let me make very clear that I do not advocate most drug use. I think that using some drugs is generally bad. I have never used “recreational” drugs in my life, ever. I think our society would be better off if many drugs didn’t exist; but they do, and there is a demand for them, so they continue to be manufactured and sold.

Prohibiting and controlling drugs does not stop some people from having the desire for them, that is unlikely to go away; as long as these desires exist there will be a demand and market for them, and some folks will be willing to meet that demand, whether it's legal or not.

Self-Ownership

Do you believe that you own yourself? If you truly own yourself, then you are free to keep yourself as fit or as fat as you want. If you truly own yourself, then you are free to put into your body what you want, be it apples or marijuana.

The principle here is self-ownership; you own and are in charge of yourself. Because of this, you are responsible for yourself (provided that you have the mental capacity to be) and are free to make good or bad choices, provided that those choices don’t violate the self-ownership rights of other people. Using harmful drugs is generally a bad choice in my opinion, but it is one that you have the right to make as it harms yourself directly, just like eating too much fatty food or listening to your iPod at full volume all day.

Obviously, there are social consequences of using drugs and the possibility of becoming addicted; you may be ostracized from friends and relatives, if you have people financially dependent on you, they may be negatively affected. There will be indirect effects on people from your actions no matter what you do, these cannot necessarily be controlled or measured, that’s why the focus is on the actions you can control; your own.

Legalize Marijuana