Friday, December 07, 2007

War on drugs claims another scalp

The media are applauding the Australian government's identifying a "drug dealer to the stars" who was apprehended in Amsterdam airport and is going to be extradited back home.

The 40-year-old man cannot be identified because his name has been suppressed by court order.

Victoria Police Drug Taskforce Detective Inspector Steve Smith said the arrest was the result of a joint effort between the AFP and Victoria Police, with help from Interpol.

He said the man had absconded while on bail in 2003.

I'm going to come straight out and say that the war on drugs is a massive waste of effort and police resources. This guy didn't do anything wrong, other than trade voluntarily with people who were willing to buy his goods.

Whether you support or oppose people taking drugs, and despite the fact that they can be harmful, you have to ask yourself about why the police should be spending half their resources chasing drug dealers when there are serious crimes that actually do infringe on the rights of individuals - theft, assault, rape, murder and vandalism.

Put it this way.. if your neighbours are smoking marijuana or taking ecstacy pills, do you agree with the idea of using your taxes to make their behaviour a punishable crime ?

I don't.. its their own problem, its their own lives. Whether it be medicinal marijuana or hard drugs, I really don't see why the police have to get involved and meddle in their lives. In the US, millions of individuals are clogging up the prison system because of drug related crimes. Prisons are not cheap, and can cost more than some 5 star hotels apparently. So I don't feel the need to pay taxes to criminalise drugs, nor do I feel the need to pay more taxes to pay for prison facilities.

This is not about good behaviour and bad behaviour, or morals. It is about priorities and decisions, like everything else in life. I don't want people taking drugs and getting out of control.
But would you spend your own hard earned money on such a grand project to enforce your preferences on society, or would you live your own life ?