Collateral damage

Okay, conservative friends and Drug Warriors, let’s see if we can pull you out of your nightmarish hypotheses long enough to take a look at the actual facts of the collateral damage issue:




Now, does anyone believe that legalizing drugs that tens of millions of people are already using is going to octuple the number of people ODing? Because clearly, we’re quite willing to accept 40,000 annual deaths in the interest of easy transportation. How much more should we accept in the defense of the Constitution? And the fallacy of arguing that it should be illegal because of the possibility of more people driving under the influence should be obvious to everyone: such driving is already illegal. It’s also easy to argue that drug warriors have actually worsened the collateral damage. In Oregon, deaths from illegal drug overdose more than doubled, from 70 to 183, after ten years of drug war.

There is only one serious case for the War on Drugs. It is an excellent way to get large numbers of easily frightened people who otherwise believe in liberty and the Constitution to accept massive Federal intrusions on both. It is impossible for any conservative supporter of small government to support the Drug War without some serious cognitive dissonance. I understand that these days that it is a good Republican position, but then, so is Mars, amnesty for aliens, increased funding for the NEA and the Medicare drug entitlement. Are you buying into those too?

Do try to remember, conservatives, that central government is no friend to freedom. And no conservative philosopher has ever argued that freedom comes without cost.

*clearly I was guilty of exaggeration in writing 100,000 annual highway deaths before.

** this almost surely includes many suicides. No one knows how many, but I’d estimate about 75 percent based on the fact that 11,340 of the annual 21,000 gun deaths are suicides. I also suspect that many car fatalities are suicides, but it’s impossible to say how many.