The Cold War on Drugs

These days, there is considerable political momentum behind exploring how we might reform our drug enforcement policies.

Some libertarians think — and have been thinking for a while now — that we should legalize hard drugs. They advance a number of reasons for doing so. One prominent one is that to criminalize drug use represents a violation of individual freedom.

Others respond that if drug abuse only harmed the individual user, there’d be a case for legalizing drugs. But since humans are social creatures who live in communities, some of their behaviors should be seen as socially destructive and not just as self-destructive. If a social behavior is detrimental to the common good, that’s a potential reason to legally deter it.

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