Was reading the comments on a post over at Althouse and one of the comments jumped out at me. The topic of the post was a book review of a graphic novel about a guy who gave up "romantic sex" for "sex with a lot of prostitutes". Anyway, the comment that caught my eye concerned that, while the commenter used to have a fairly liberal view of drugs and sex, living in an urban area where drug use and prostitution were common changed his mind. What caught my attention in this comment was that the commenter didn't make the connection between the illegality of (some) drugs and prostitution and the negative behaviors that these activities caused.
I'm a fairly law-and-order type. I'm a senior NCO in the Army; I live a life controlled by all sorts of minor rules that exist to bring about conformity and obedience, and I am now charged with enforcing those rules, regardless of my personal opinions of their validity and efficacy. But it is a life I chose voluntarily and fully-aware of the sacrifices it would entail.
Drugs are bad. I got it. I'd prefer to live in a world where everyone was happy and fulfilled all the time and had no need or desire to seek pleasure, relief, release from various natural and man-made chemicals. We don't live in that world. I have my drug of choice to enjoy while cooking, watching TV, chilling on the beach, crying myself to sleep while dwelling on all of the mistakes I've made in life, whatever. The difference between what I enjoy and what puts almost 800,000 in the prison system annually is a matter of historical timing.
State-required racism couldn't do as much damage to minority (particularly black) families as the War on Drugs has. The late Robert Byrd's fellow-travelers couldn't have imagined a policy that would 1) get 40% of black men under 30 to have a prison record and 2) not only be viewed as race-neutral but get almost the entire country to support it at the outset. The added bonus that many drug arrests result in felony charges and convictions results in these people being disenfranchised. If you resurrected Roger Taney and asked him about this even he'd go "How the fuck is this Constitutional?" He'd then try to eat your brains.
Thanks to a quixotic crusade to protect people from themselves our society has destroyed "the black family", created a permanent under class of felons, eroded our civil liberties (the Founding Fathers started a fucking war over searches and seizures that are now routine in the War on Drugs), has turned Mexican border towns into war zones, and is even financing the people killing our troops in Afghanistan. Selling heroin through vending machines in middle school cafeterias probably wouldn't result in outcomes are skull-rapingly horrifying as the status quo. Hell, the school nurse could hand out clean needles while she's giving out condoms.
Speaking of condoms, I have a very difficult time making a transaction mutually agreed upon by competent adults illegal. I fail to see how, in a post-Roe and post-Lawrence world prostitution can be illegal in so many places. Of course that might be why I'm not a lawyer. "Because it's icky" isn't a really compelling reason.
Anyways, it is a gorgeous day outside and a beach is calling me.