Saturday, August 10, 2013

Trinidad & Tobago Suffers Severe Consequences From Drug Prohibition

Uruguay should be congratulated for its bold move to decriminalize marijuana use. Certainly, the eventual successes they realize will form a case study for other countries to substantiate what they likely already know intuitively, but lack the political fortitude to implement. 

The fact remains that Trinidad & Tobago will never stop the production and consumption of marijuana, because despite the high price and legal consequences related to prosecution, persons still insist on buying and selling the herb. 

In fact the mere attempt to criminalize narcotics increases the prices and consequently benefits producers and serves as the incubator for crime, gang activity and corruption. Meanwhile persons intent on getting their hands on drugs for personal use, get it regardless and pose a threat to no one but themselves. If unfortunately they are caught, their lives are ruined because of their criminal record and they have no choice but to turn to a permanent life of crime to sustain themselves, creating a permanent criminal underclass.

Ironically the prohibition of marijuana contributes to the mystique of this forbidden fruit that the government says to "Say No" to. Parents also become delinquent in educating and informing their children about the dangers of using drugs. Parents figure, "they should know they should not break the law!" The drugs also become more potent, concentrated and deadly because it is forced underground.

What Uruguay has done more importantly is shrugged off international pressure and done what it thinks its in its self interest and not the interest of international institutions that intimidate and strong arm smaller countries. Moreover Uruguay will free up law enforcement to focus on real perpetrators of violent crimes and violations of person and property. 


Consider also from a freedom and liberty perspective; should politicians be able to mandate what we can and cannot consume? By subscribing to this notion we all expose ourselves to future tyranny, for who knows what next will be mandated to be consumed or not consumed: BBQ pig tail, black pudding, oysters, cigarettes, alcohol, soca music? A politician's job shouldn't be to protect us from ourselves; family, community, church and the prospect of negative consequences serve that purpose.

As Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1949: 
If it is true that government derives its authority from God and is entrusted by Providence to act as the guardian of the ignorant and stupid populace, then it is certainly its task to regiment every aspect of the subjects conduct. The God-sent ruler knows better what is good for his wards than they do themselves. It is his duty to guard them against the harm they would inflict upon themselves if left alone.
... Once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objection can be advanced against further encroachment ...
... Why limit the government’s benevolent providence to the protection of the individual’s body only? Is not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more disastrous than any bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and seeing bad plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues and from hearing bad music? The mischief done by bad ideologies, surely, is much more pernicious, both for the individual and for the whole society, than that done by narcotic drugs.
... If one abolishes man’s freedom to determine his own consumption, one takes all freedoms away. The naive advocates of government interference with consumption delude themselves when they neglect what they disdainfully call the philosophical aspect of the problem. They unwittingly support the case of censorship, inquisition, religious intolerance, and the persecution of dissenters.
Related Topic: An Effective 3 Point Crime Plan For Trinidad and Tobago

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