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by Peter Moskos

August 16, 2009

Just Say Yes

The Washington Post has an op-ed written by me, Peter Moskos, and Stanford "Neill" Franklin.
It's Time to Legalize Drug

Drug manufacturing and distribution is too dangerous to remain in the hands of unregulated criminals. Drug distribution needs to be the combined responsibility of doctors, the government, and a legal and regulated free market. This simple step would quickly eliminate the greatest threat of violence: street-corner drug dealing.

We simply urge the federal government to retreat. Let cities and states (and, while we're at it, other countries) decide their own drug policies. Many would continue prohibition, but some would try something new. California and its medical marijuana dispensaries provide a good working example, warts and all, that legalized drug distribution does not cause the sky to fall.

25 comments:

Jaguar said...

You drug warriors are going to love this one

In all candor, I saw a familiar argument long on vague rhetoric while lacking in facts. Such pleas remind me of summations where the defense has no evidence and desperately attempts emotional appeals.

You may have reinforced the opinions of those already supporting your cause, but the piece will do nothing to change the minds of the vast majority of Americans opposed to drug legalization.

Voters in Oakland are not a representative sampling of the American sentiment. The Oakland citizenry tolerates one of the most corrupt city governments in the country every time they go to the ballot box. Their voting booths are hardly the epicenter of wisdom and reasoned judgment.

PCM said...

Long on vague rhetoric while lacking in facts.

As you might imagine, I think that applies to prohibitionists more than me. The facts definitely show that our drug policy doesn't work. What isn't so clear is what to do about it.

Though I agree that most talk about drug legalization speaks the choir (a often a very stoned choir at that). But it is a choir slowly growing in size and including more and more people who can shift their mindset from debating drugs to debating prohibition.

PCM said...

And I'd still like a few answers to the hypothetical question: If drug regulation/legalization reduced drug use and/or saved lives, would you support it? Because I suspect that for many drug warriors, the answer would still be no.

Or what if drug use went up, but drug deaths went down? These are interesting questions that cut through the BS in the debate.

10-8 said...

Here's a great story about a clever policing strategy to combat drug dealers:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/npuwrq

AMac said...

I am no fan of legalization--it will have forseeable bad consequences (e.g. more drug use), and will probably have unforeseen ones, as well. OTOH, these have to be measured against the status quo--it's not as though there are other, competing Good Policy Ideas around. And we have Prohibition and its end to learn from.

> If drug regulation/legalization reduced drug use and/or saved lives, would you support it?

Basically, Yes.

I wonder about issues like these, though --

* Most illegal drugs probably directly harm only the user. But what about those drugs that clearly harm others (e.g. psychosis-inducing agents)? Should they be legalized, too?

* Legalization may hurt inner-city poor neighborhoods the worst, by de-stigmatizing drug use. Lower prices and regularized supply and quality could also increase use. On the other hand, these effects could be marginal, compared to current use patterns.

* What many people fear isn't drug use per se, but the illegal activity, violence, and property crime (theft) that accompanies it. Legalization and the lower prices that would accompany it would somewhat lessen these problems.

* Not incarcerating nonviolent drug felons would be a huge plus for society, as well as freeing up beds for violent offenders.

* Under current policy, success in interdicting supply in the face of high demand inevitably causes higher prices, Economics 101. This makes transport and sale more lucrative, meaning that suppliers will be more violent, and have more means and motives to corrupt societies. Perhaps legalization would spare Mexico some of its current agonies, fuelled by the super-high illegal profits in drug production and smuggling. I'm not sure.

ml_freedom said...

I have to say I totally agree with you on this, drugs should be legal. I am NOT a drug user, though I came from a family consumed by addiction. Still, just like alcohol, if it's controlled by laws, I think things will be much safer. Think of the money we could save or earn with taxes that could go to educating people, especially kids, about what drugs do to your body, your brain, and the relationships in your life.

In legalizing drugs we could study them and the long term effects and gain an even better understanding of the consequences of drug use.

Anyway, I am sure I could go on and on but I wanted to let you know you have one more believer out there. If there is ever anything more I can do to help the cause- please let me know. I've posted on facebook and invited discussions so at least some of us out here are talking about it.

I looked for your email but never found it...

dave h. said...

Jaguar: "but the piece will do nothing to change the minds of the vast majority of Americans opposed to drug legalization."

Don't count on that. Op-eds like this are becoming more commonplace in mainstream media. So are accounts of the carnage in Mexico, wrong door raids, and corruption tied to prohibition. The drug war encourages anti-social behavior, bad government and atrocities. Yet drug warrior's like Jaguar continue to shrug it off: Just collateral damage in their righteous crusade against personal choice.

So let me ask, Jaguar, do you have a personal investment in the continuation of this failed policy, or are you just ill-informed. Otherwise, how can you not see through this absurd war of choice?

Excellent article, Peter.

PCM said...

AMac,

If we could legalize cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and weed, I doubt too many people would care about other recreational drugs.

But yes, I say better to regulate all drugs. And hope education reduces use of truly bad drugs.

Inner-city poor neighborhoods have all but been destroyed by drugs and the war on drugs. I don't think they can get better without legalization.

Legalization would probably do nothing to reduce drug-related property crime. But eliminating the violence of drug dealing and the deaths from overdoses would be good enough in my book.

Though it goes against my argument, I'm a little skeptical about the "non-violent" drug offenders filling our prisons. With some exceptions related to mandatory sentencing, you don't end up in prison for non-violent drug offences. Maybe that's how the plea ends up. But the criminal records and arrest reports in those cases would be revealing.

Many dealers I locked up got sentenced for "non-violent" possession. That didn't mean they weren't violent drug dealers.

Legalization would turn all the violent criminal drug network into legal profit making business.

Who's better for America? Al Capone or Anheuser Busch? Though the transition wouldn't happen overnight, it really is a simple as that. And we do have the end of alcohol prohibition as a historical guide.

But I think what it all comes down to is whether or not drug use goes up and down. I think it will go down. But we won't know till we try. But we do know that other countries that legalized drugs (or almost legalized drugs) DO NOT see in increase in drug use. Why would we be so different?

PCM said...

Dave,

I don't know why I feel compelled to defend Jaguar, since I'm sure he's quite capable of doing so himself.

But no--and police chiefs may be another story--most cops don't have a vested interest in perpetuating the war on drugs (except those "privileged" to work in area with lost of drug-related overtime arrests).

Most cops, the vast vast majority, are against "getting soft" on drugs. I don't question their intentions. I just think they're wrong. But what they want is not wrong at all.

Most police don't know many if any people who take illegal drugs. I think this biases their view of drugs.

Take alcohol (which of course many cops, myself included, take all too often--full disclosure: I'm drinking a beer right now). If all you knew of booze came from domestic disputes, AA, Friday night outside of clubs, and skid row, you might see alcohol as an absolute evil, too.

I know lots of people who take drugs recreationally. In descending order: marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, and LSD (I don't know anybody who takes meth, heroin, or crack). And I also know a person or two who takes prescription painkillers drugs recreationally (ie: illegally). Not my thing. But they're doing OK, too.

So I see people who use drugs because they like them and haven't destroyed their lives and don't harm anybody else. But generally I try to stay away from the drugs are good versus drugs are bad argument because I do think some drugs are very very bad. And I want to legalize them too.

But my goal is to reduce drug use, which I think can only happen with regulation and control. A law-enforcement approach to mitigating drug harms simple does not work. If it did, why is the US the world leader in drug use and overdose deaths?

So I guess in answer to your question, I would go with "ill informed." But given the facts they have and the realities they see, I don't think wanted to keep drugs illegal is an irrational perspective. Drugs have screwed up a lot of lives.

Hopefully common ground can be found in discussion the best way to save those lives.

Jaguar said...

The facts definitely show that our drug policy doesn't work.

That presumes "The War on Drugs" exists in a vacuum. To assume as much ignores concurrent developments like the weakening in family structures or the tectonic shifts in the judiciary system. In the same era that society accelerated efforts at drug eradication, the family imploded and the justice system shifted on its philosophical axis. The influences that would curb drug abuse -- a strong family and fear of harsh penalties -- were emasculated.

So did "The War on Drugs" fail or did the family fail or did our justice system fail when it tumbled ass-over-elbows into coddling the criminal element and favoring the perpetrator over the victim? Did the shift to an information society saturated by mass media that glorified greed contribute to this problem too? How about the porous borders or the bipolar public that voted for solutions like "Three Strikes" but eschewed paying for them?

My personal opinion is they all fed each other. So blaming "The War on Drugs" as the sole perpetrator ignores all of its many accomplices.

it is a choir slowly growing in size

A dandelion will never grow as tall as a redwood. While I'll concede some growing sentiment for marijuana legalization exists in certain sectors, I don't seriously think anything more than that would ever happen within our lifetimes. The sentiment against legalizing all drugs is too strong, and there are far too many legal impediments as well. While incarceration expenses might decline, other hard costs would soar.

Peter, I'm guessing you're not a parent. I've seen you mention a wife here but never children. If you're not but will be one day, I would not be surprised if your opinions change about this issue once you become a father. I am a parent a number of times over, and my opinion on this issue is shaped more by that than what I do for a living. Being a police officer, however, I've witnessed more drug abuse and its consequences than most parents do. My greatest fear with any legalization is that will make access easier for children. Our kids are too precious a resource to chance that risk, no matter how slight.

The greatest challenge I face as a parent is insulating my children from harmful influences driven by peer pressure until they're old enough to understand on their own the inherent dangers in something like drug use. If our society condones drug use by legalizing it, that makes a parent's job that much more difficult. One common rebuttal a parent hears from children is "but Johnny's dad lets him do X." Kids shape their values by both strengths and weaknesses they perceive. If society condones drug use, that sends a horrendous message to our children.

[Unfortunately I've written a speech again, so I'll conclude in the next part. I miss having my own blog.]

Jaguar said...

[Part deux.]

If drug regulation/legalization reduced drug use and/or saved lives

I doubt it would reduce use and I strongly suspect use would spike with ease of access. I think the fear of incarceration is still greater than the fear of physical harm. Once that fear is gone, the temptation is all the stronger -- that's why a third of the population is obese because they lack self-control. It also depends on whose lives you're talking about saving. The users or their victims? Legalize a dangerous, violence-enhancing drug like PCP or meth, and my greatest fear is the rise in savagery perpetrated on innocent victims by drug users. As callous as it may sound, I'd far rather see a drug user kill him or herself than to see an innocent person's life taken because of that drug abuser.

I suspect that for many drug warriors, the answer would still be no.

I don't see myself as a "drug warrior." I'm not on some holy quest to purge society of devilish influences. I do know some who believe that vehemently, however. I view legalization like many libertarian ideas -- long on good intentions and naivete but short on practicality and common sense. Arguably, marijuana use is only mildly harmful, certainly not much more harmful than tobacco. Most other drugs, however, are a far different story. I equate drug use to the idiot who smokes a cigarette while filling up his car at the gas station. I don't want to see people harmed because of someone else's selfish stupidity. In my mind, drug use is moronic. A society that condones drug use by legalizing it values gratification over intelligence. That is a society doomed to fail.

I also calculate the harm to the users' children. It's one thing for a single idiot to destroy his or her life with drugs, but once he or she becomes a parent, that's a whole other life (or lives) needing our attention. I'm sure you saw first hand the effects on young children when you were on the street. Legalizing dangerous drugs will not help those children. It will only expose more to greater harm. And, they are more likely than not to repeat the failed cycle of their parent.

Or what if drug use went up, but drug deaths went down?

I don't see that happening, given the destructive nature of drug use. Also, if drug use increases with legalization, you end up with an ever larger sub-society of zombie wastrels who are largely unemployable. What will be the cost, in both dollars and human resources, to support such a tumor?

campbell said...

Peter, I'm guessing you're not a parent. I've seen you mention a wife here but never children. If you're not but will be one day, I would not be surprised if your opinions change about this issue once you become a father.

I've a couple of kids myself, but I see the results of all the money spent on the drug war along with the incarceration rate. It's hard not to think that maybe it's time for a different approach.

If my kids decide to stay away from drugs, it'll likely be for the same reason I did. Because it's a dangerous path that can ruin your life. When balloons are 20 bucks or less and dealers are giving deals like "buy 10 and get 2 free" I really doubt anyone is being kept off of heroin because it's hard to come by.

PCM said...

Yeah, I seriously doubt my position on drug policy would change if I had kids (I don't). But then maybe I'd just be a bad parent.

AMac said...

Jaguar,

What do you see as the biggest problem of the current Prohibition-style policies about (non-alcohol, non-tobacco) drug use? Can you name a likely good effect from legalization, even if you disapprove overall?

PCM,

Similarly: what do you think would be the most important likely negative effect of legalization? Can you name a positive aspect of the status quo that would worsen under legalization?

PCM said...

AMac,

I love questions like that.

Having lived and worked in Amsterdam, if we just swapped our system for theirs, I can't see any substantial negative.

But... that's not your question. And even they haven't legalized everything.

Two possible negative effects?

1) There would be some increase in publicly visible drug use. Crack addicts would probably come out of the shadows a bit and be more likely to smoke crack on subway platforms or other semi-public places.

2) I have to assume that some people really do get off drugs because an arrest or jail brings them to rock bottom.

Collectively I don't think prohibition helps people stay clean. But I'm pretty sure that for some people it does.

Anonymous said...

You people who love the Netherlands should move there if you think it's such a great place. You can enjoy all the fruits of failed liberalism like the 50% income tax rate and the Islamic fundamentalists ready to tear the country to pieces. People urinate all over the place and you can't even walk in the park because open sex is permitted.

PCM said...

You're funny when you spew nonsense and hatred!

And the old idiotic love-it-or-leave-it position. America is not a jealous nation. She allows me to love other places, too.

I actually did move to the Netherlands. I lived in Amsterdam for a while. My brother still does. He likes to point out that his business pays over 1,000,000 euros each year in taxes. He wouldn't live anywhere else.

For me, Amsterdam was a nice place to work, drive boats, and do research with the police.

Public urination was a problem (luckily public shooting isn't a problem). For police in the center of Amsterdam, pissing was one of the biggest problems.

So, like they're good at doing, they solved the problem. The city brought in a lot of port-a-potties and the police wrote a lot of tickets for pissing. Now they pretty much have that problem under control (not much dog shit anymore, either).

I'm guessing you haven't been there in the past 5 or 10 years and probably didn't get too far from Amsterdam's Red-Light District when you were there. Were you expecting to see the best of Holland while hanging around brothels and prostitutes and coffeeshops?

And the parks are beautiful. Alas, I never did get to see people having sex. Though there is a gay-cruising area in the Bos (forest) that is active at night and tolerated. Maybe that's what you saw. I haven't cause it's not something people accidentally stumble across.

On warm sunny days, however, when you're lucky you get to see hot Dutch women tanning topless in the parks! But I've never heard anybody complain about that.

Too bad it rains too much. So I moved back and now I love New York City, too.

10-8 said...

Here's some interesting news from the Netherlands:

"Holland scrapping liberal policies on drugs and brothels to clean up image."

"The Dutch are rethinking their famously liberal polices on legalised brothels, prostitution and soft drugs, such as magic mushrooms and cannabis, amid fears of growing crime and social decline."

"The nation's ideals are being tested by the reality they brought," said sociologist Dick Houtman of Rotterdam's Erasmus University. "The Netherlands went further in allowing all sorts of liberties than many other countries. The test is severe. There is a feeling that our tolerance is the principal cause of many of the problems we experience now."

Source: http://preview.tinyurl.com/6raboh

PCM said...

Those headlines always crack me up because the US loves printing stuff like that (also about the impending collapse of the Swedish welfare state--but I haven't seen any of those in the past year). They're simply not true. It's part of that conservative media bias.

There is *no* debate in Holland to scrap it's liberal laws regarding marijuana and prostitution. There have been debates about reducing the number of prostitute windows. And they've done that.

That's what you can do with you regulate. You can control. And *that* is exactly their point. The Dutch like control.

There has also been, over the past decade, a reduction in the number of coffee shops in Amsterdam. I think the number they picked that they want to have is 250. No problem there. And there is question, ever since a dumb tourist jumped out a window, if magic mushroom should be available over the counter. Best I know they still all.

So yes, there has been a little swing to the right in Holland over the past decade. And now there is legal prostitution and stores that sell marijuana and magic mushrooms and, as I've posted about, you can't flaunt your hard drugs at parties or you might get taken to a police station (but not arrested or charged).

So when you read that the nation's ideas are being tested, please keep in mind that even the most conservative dutch policy proposition would be considered liberal/socialist in the US.

And when they have problems, and they do, they tinker and fix and work hard to get things better. That's the part about Holland I love.

The bigger debate in Holland concern immigration (read: Muslim immigrants). That one thing--with our relatively open borders, our laissez faire attitude toward immigrants after they're here, and our constitutional right to citizenship for children born here--that's one thing I think the US does much better.

Anonymous said...

How is stating facts spewing nonsense and hatred?

The minimum tax rate in the US is 0% and the max is 35%. The minimum tax rate in the Netherlands is 33.5% and the max is 52%. More than 80% of the population pays over 40%. The productivity rate and GDP per capita is also lower in the Netherlands, a common result from high tax rates.

Sex in all public parks was legalized in Holland in 2008. Frequent spots for open sexual activity during the day include the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, Van der Werf Park in Leiden, and the Zuiderpark in The Haag. A children's concert in the Zuiderpark was stopped several weeks ago because the audience could see people engaging in open sex in the park across a pond. Dog owners are now fined for failing to keep their animals on a leash in parks so they won't "disturb" those engaging in public sex. Public attendance in some parks has declined by as much as 35% since the law passed.

Each year thousands of lampposts have to be replaced in the Netherlands due to damage from public urination, mostly by men. Last year alone in Utrecht more than 500 posts had to be replaced. This was reported in the Dutch press last week.

There are now about 1 million Muslims now living in the Netherlands. Less than half speak Dutch. The unemployment rate among Muslims is three times what it is for Dutch workers. They account for 6% of the population but 20% of adult prisoners and 26% of juvenile offenders in the Netherlands are Muslims.

The Netherlands has many problems not reported in the predominantly liberal press. The American media has reported nothing about the shocking rise in GHB use in the Netherlands which has caused a startling increase in rape. The Netherlands is also one of the largest exporters of illegal toxic waste in the world. Crime rates have risen on average 27% each of the last four years in Holland. These are all facts the American media hasn't bothered to report.

Facts are facts. I found all of the above facts in a half hour by scanning Dutch media sites. Accusing people who are citing facts as being hateful is ducking the issue.

Many Americans see the Netherlands as a failure. We have no interest in importing their failed system to this country. If you think their system is superior, then you should move there. That's like living in Maine and complaining about snow. If you don't like snow then move south or stop complaining about snow.

I lived in the Netherlands because of my husband's job and I thought the country was a disgrace. Every American I knew living there thought the same.

PCM said...

Anonymous,

You didn't mention any checkable facts in your previous posts. That's why I dismissed it. "You can't even walk in the park" is of course nonsense because parks in Amsterdam are full of people walking.

And I see hatred in saying, "Islamic fundamentalists ready to tear the country to pieces." I just don't see that. France, maybe. Holland. No. (Though that's about as far as I'll go defending the Dutch approach to immigration).

The American media doesn’t report much at all about the Netherlands, last time I checked. Where are these reports saying everything is so good over there? Where’s the press saying they have less drug use and less drug violence? I would love to see more good news reported.

First the good news for you:

The tax rate. You’re right. Mostly. It is a high tax country. But we (generally) have state and (sometimes) local income tax too. They don't. There are fewer hidden taxes in the Netherlands. So our rates are more equal than you’d think. And they get a lot more for their taxes than we do.

Export toxic waste? Probable. They got to put it somewhere. So what?

For all I know the leash law did pass. I hope it did. But it had nothing to do with gay sex. Do you really believe that? And the fact that you would link the two... ddo you just repeat from what you read on the web? Cause I found that link, too.

Lampposts in Utrecht? I don’t know. I can’t find that info. Maybe it’s true. Maybe not. Meanwhile in Baltimore people cut down and steal lampposts.

GBH? I don’t know. I doubt it. But I don’t know. Maybe it’s rising there. It might be rising here, too.

And I can’t find anything on any Zuiderpark incident. I suspect it’s not true. I’m pretty sure there actually is no Zuiderpark in Amsterdam.

PCM said...

But now the bad news:

You get your “facts” from google. And many of them are wrong.

For instance, there’s a big difference between one local politician *proposing* legal gay public sex—which got a lot of press—and the fact that the bill didn’t pass. Best I can tell, this bill was proposed by a city councilman in 2008. According to gay news watch, as of 2009, public sex is still illegal (though it is tolerated in some areas, that is true) .

Here’s what seems like an honest perspective on the gay sex in parks situation. And I think the guy talking is the guy who proposed the bill.

Crime has not risen 27% for each of the past four years. This isn’t true. There were 164 murders in the Netherlands in 2007, five more than 2006, but down from 2005. Fifteen percent of victims, interestingly, aren’t Dutch residents (I'm not certain what that means). Regardless, the murder rate is about 1/5 of the US.

Muslims do indeed make up a disproportionate share of criminals and prisoners (I can’t find your figures, but the numbers ring true). Four times as likely to be in prison? Probably. That’s about the same as you find with American Americans in prison in the US. But that latter stat probably doesn’t bother you. So I don’t know what makes Holland so bad with regards to this.

PCM said...

And by the way, I have lots of criticism about the Netherlands. But not about drug policy. Plus, it’s a nice place to live. A great place to visit. Too bad it rains so much. If you've lived in the Netherlands, I would respect your opinion. Most people here who criticize Holland don't even have a passport.

But you get your “facts” from the web and seem to have no understanding of reality in the Netherlands. I know I’ve lived there and I've never met any American who thought it was a disgrace. And I've worked in both the tourism and horeca industries and have met lots of Americans in Amsterdam. Or perhaps we just have no mutual friends.


You know what? Putting all this together... your comments don’t pass the proverbial sniff test. You’ve never lived in Holland. I think you’re lying.

It’s the parks thing. It’s just crazy to say you can’t walk in the parks there because the parks are beautiful and packed with people walking around. I don’t think you’ve ever lived there. I don’t think you’ve ever been there. And I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.

My apologies if I’m wrong, but I’m pulling the alarm and calling you out.

I'll take a gamble and go one step further. I think you're a man. I think you're NYPD. And I think you're the same anonymous person who claimed that he, before leaving a comment, was able to contact “many” of my colleagues and NYPD former students and learned that I was a very bad teacher with a much inflated ego.

But that was such an obvious lie I didn’t feel the need to bring it up.

PCM said...

Speaking of not being able to walk around safely, I only wish our biggest problem were people having sex late at night. Here's a headline you won't see in the Netherlands. this one, too. But such stories are but minor news here in "safe" New York City. But hey, at least our parks are safe... from men having sex.

Antinomian said...

Debaters debate the two wars as if Nixon’s civil war on Woodstock Nation didn’t yet run amok. One needn’t travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights or to Cuba for political prisoners. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, radicals, and non-whites under banner of the war on drugs. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. God didn’t screw up. Canadian Marc Emery implements the American policy of demand reduction for Mexican product. His seeds enable American farmers to poach cartel customers with superior domestic product. Mr. Emery should get a parade, not prison.

The constitutionality of the CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) derives from an interstate commerce clause. This clause is invoked to finance organized crime, endanger homeland security, and throw good money after bad. Official policy is to eradicate, not tax, the number-one cash crop in the land. America rejected prohibition, but it’s back. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

Nixon promised the Schafer Commission would support the criminalization of his enemies, but it didn’t. No matter, the witch-hunt was on. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA halted all research. Marijuana has no medical use, period.

The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Denial of entheogen sacrament to any American, for mediation of communion with his or her maker, precludes free exercise of religious liberty.

Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

Common-law must hold that adults own their bodies. The Founding Fathers decreed that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration.

Simple majorities in each house could repeal the CSA. The books have ample law without it. The usual caveats remain in effect. You are liable for damages when you screw up. Strong medicine requires prescription. Employees can be fired for poor job performance. No harm, no foul; and no excuse, either. Replace the war on drugs with a frugal, constitutional, science-based drugs policy.