Why Libertarians Are Against the War on Drugs


June 6, 2002

Medical Marijuana Protest in Springfield

Libertarian Senate Candidate Carol McMahon 2nd from left



Pioneer Valley Libertarian Association


             In general Most Libertarians are against the War on Drugs, and against most regulations of so called drugs or narcotics. While everyone may have their own set of reasons, the reasons presented here are reasons which most Libertarians would agree with.

            The big simple reason, is that the War on drugs has been expensive and it has not worked. More people use drugs today than they did in 1932 when the laws against heroine use were passed. There are parallels between drug laws and the laws of the 1930's prohibiting the drinking of alcohol. The illegality simply drove the price up, encouraging more people to sell it. In some cases government itself has been corrupted. The heroine in the famed French Connection case was mostly flour when it was used as evidence in court.

            The war on drugs has been expensive. New Prisons have been built. More police have been hired to enforce the drug laws. More judges have been appointed to hear the cases. More lawyers are hired to argue the cases. More guards are hired for state and county jails to guard the increased number of prisoners. Keep in mind that the victim was the user himself, the one who decided to take the drugs. As a solution to their eternal failure in the matter, police departments lobby Democratic and Republican lawmakers for yet more intrusive laws, and more funding for yet more personnel. The solution prescribed by the Democrats and Republicans is spending more money, dressing in terrorist garb and smashing down doors. Many times the drug raids and the cops that participate in them are more violent than the people being arrested.

            The policy has its price. Massachusetts has several cases of homicide or disappeared persons which have been unsolved for years. The state Laboratory has been refusing requests to analyze DNA evidence for some rape cases because they are short staffed. The Medical Examiner has been selling bodies without the knowledge of the families to raise money for his expenses.

The Democratic Solution:

Graduate more boot camp classes of state police trained to bash down doors and equip them with black terrorist style clothing, fast cruisers, high capacity pistols, and other weaponry. Do not hold your breath while they use these tools to solve the backlog of murders.

The Libertarian Solution:

Abolish the drug laws. Abolish intrusive laws that are aimed at non-violent people. Get the police and courts in the business of protecting victims. That means we only need to enforce laws that protect people’s rights. The numbers of crimes would diminish, as would the number of police, judges, guards, prisons, etc.

What about the drugs?

Since it would be legal to sell them, there would be more competition. The price would plummet causing many to drop out of the drug dealing business, there would be no profit. Law enforcement could not demand payoffs simply because there would be no reason to threaten someone with arrest. The motivation to convince people to use drugs would diminish. 










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