LEAP: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Late last year Norm Stamper from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) toured Australia talking about the failure of prohibition and how re-legalisation would lead to fewer deaths, less crime, billions of dollars saved and less corruption.

It is necessary to run these “consequentialist” arguments to convince people, but I would also like to add that re-legalising drugs is also an issue of freedom. To have any meaning, freedom must include the freedom to make “mistakes” according to other people, so long as your actions are voluntary. Drug prohibition is the nationalisation of our blood stream and not only is nationalisation a harmful policy, it is also morally wrong: each person should own their own blood stream.

But unfortunately we don’t live in an age where people respect freedom and individual self-ownership. And so we must battle forward with the arguments that do change minds… and that means pointing out failure of the war on drugs. Prohibition clearly fails a benefit-cost analysis, and the government should only have policies that create a net benefit. So even for those people indifferent (or hostile) to freedom, the re-legalisation should be convincing.

LEAP now also has a blog with regular updates on the progress of their campaign.

7 thoughts on “LEAP: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

  1. A question- what would we do with all those police-officers if we didn’t need them to help us to prohibit things? Would they all go on the dole? Instead of ‘think of the Children!’, I say to you ‘Think of the Cops!’

  2. I was opposed to drug prohibition on consequentialist grounds long before I gave the freedom issue any serious consideration.

  3. I think the first priciple freedom issue needs to be highlighted.

    I’m generally a utilitarian, pragmatic kind of guy, but lurking around this blog has shown me that an argument from first principles can sometimes be very useful. Also, the libertarian argument is generally a fairly simple but powerful one.

  4. I’m with Terje. Before I became a rights-based libertarian, it was clear to me that prohibition had failed miserably.

  5. Marijuana legalization is a very big issue her in California and it is likely we will see it take on the same status as alcohol (personal use over 21, no driving). There was a group coming out against this though claiming that prohibition is a good idea because this way a lot of cops are employed and since they have jobs they are able to spend money in the community and thus create a more prosperous state. Kensianism finds itself in the weirdest places sometimes.

    I know a few Leap Members though and they are all great guys. I think once people realize how expensive the war on drugs is and that the expenses are not just tax dollars but lost productivity and police corruption that they may wish to change the system.

  6. Apparently, NZ is going slack on enforcing anti-marijuana laws! Maybe the land of the long white shroud will become a place to go for excitement! Can any enzeddies tell us what they know about Cannabis cafes in auckland?

Comments are closed.