The essentially spiteful nature of the state was evidenced twice last week.
Firstly, our newly elected government in the UK decided that they were fed up with its citizens choosing to ingest certain drugs that made them feel happy. So frustrated, as they were, by their inability to stop us enjoying ourselves by means of existing legislation they decided to take no further chances and ban everything we might like (other than those drugs already so popular and mainstream that they can easily tax). In doing so, they overturn the fundamental principles of English Common Law and force the legitimate small businessman currently supplying drugs legally from his “head shop” into the gangster world created by the rest of their drug prohibition.
Secondly, the authorities in the US have jailed a man for the rest of his natural life for…..hosting a website. Yes, Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road site on the dark web where citizens freely traded in an online marketplace has been jailed for life because some of the trades on his site involved illegal products. Presumably he narrowly escaped execution. Of course if the Americans enacted the UK legislation they could no longer sentence criminals to death by lethal injection as that would be “a substance intended for human consumption capable of producing a psychoactive effect”.
Seriously, libertarians don’t often talk about drugs publicly and apparently this is because we are concerned that our views make us seem wacky and out of step. The majority of our citizens are afraid of drugs and have been encouraged by a rabid media to view those who take them as a threat to civilisation. But the prohibition of narcotic substances is one of the most harmful and destructive cornerstones of the state’s strategy to exercise control over the population. The freedom for each individual to choose what to do with his own body and mind is a key libertarian principle and we must vociferously oppose the attempts of governments to compromise that freedom.