Marijuana prohibition shouldn’t be controlled by the feds

Last week the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics completed a public opinion poll about how Pennsylvania voters feel about marijuana legalization. The results can be found on the Mercyhurst website under Political Science.Since my freshman year, I have had the privilege of working at MCAP and always find it very exciting to have the results of the poll that we all worked so hard on revealed. I find it ridiculous, however, that we even have to conduct such a poll in the first place.

To begin, what authority to do politicians have to tell you and I what we can do with our own bodies? If I want to drink, smoke and shoot myself up with heroin – why can’t I do that? Do I own my body or does government own my body? Being an anarchist I think that social contract theory is a giant load of hogwash, but even if you believe in make-believe fairy tales such as the social contract you cannot justify things such as drug prohibition.

The foundation of social contract theory is that you give up some of the rights you possess to the government in order for them to protect you. This logically implies that the government cannot do anything that you would not have the right to do in the so-called “state of nature.” Do you have the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body and use force to make me comply? No? So where does the government get that right?

The great economist and social thinker Ludwig von Mises once said “A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper. He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police.”
The live and let live mentality is a core part of living in a free society. I personally have no desire to do heroin. But what difference does it make to me if you desire to do so? You are not hurting me by doing heroin.

Perhaps my arguments have not convinced you about the criminality and sheer illegitimacy of telling people what they can and cannot do with their bodies. So I will leave you with this thought. If you believe it is okay that police violently assault people for being in possession of certain chemical substances and using those chemicals on their own bodies would you perpetrate the violence yourself?

If I was in possession of cocaine, would you personally violently assault me and imprison me? What if you found out your best friend had some LSD? Would you even call the police, let only do the deed yourself? I do not think you could call yourself their friend if you would.The point is that advocating for the prohibition of certain substances, is the same as advocating for the brutal violence that is used against the people who violate the prohibition. And if you would have a problem violently assaulting someone because they have a certain banned substance then perhaps you should rethink your advocacy of someone else perpetrating the violence on your behalf.