+<?xml version='1.0' encoding="utf-8"?>
+<?xml-stylesheet href="docbook-css/driver.css" type="text/css"?>
+<article xmlns="http://docbook.org/ns/docbook" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" version="5.0" xml:id="index" xml:lang="en">
+ <title>The Case for Drug Legalisation</title>
+ <uri type="homepage" xlink:href="http://www.shlomifish.org/">Shlomi Fish's Homepage</uri>
+ <holder>Shlomi Fish</holder>
+ <legalnotice xml:id="main_legal_notice">
+<!--Creative Commons License-->
+This work is licensed under the <link xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/">Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Licence</link> (or at your option a greater version of it).
+ <!--/Creative Commons License--><!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns="http://web.resource.org/cc/" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#">
+ <license rdf:resource="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/" />
+ <dc:title>The Case for File Swapping</dc:title>
+ <dc:description>An essay that explains why Internet File Swapping (using Peer-to-Peer networks, etc.) is not only moral and ethical, but also should be legal, and cannot be banned. Discusses other issues.</dc:description>
+ <dc:creator><Agent><dc:title>Shlomi Fish</dc:title></Agent></dc:creator>
+ <dc:rights><Agent><dc:title>Shlomi Fish</dc:title></Agent></dc:rights>
+ <dc:type rdf:resource="http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/Text" />
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+ <date>29 February 2008</date>
+ Fixed some typos, added the "What you can do about it?"
+ section and added the "Links" section.
+ <date>28 July 2006</date>
+ Finished the first published version.
+ <date>14 October 2005</date>
+ Forked the text from a previous document, and starting to
+ Many people take the prohibition on the currently illegal narcotics
+ (e.g: Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroine) for granted. They believe that
+ just because the drugs are physically harmful, they should be banned.
+ Yet, this is very far from the fact. While drugs can be harmful, there
+ is no good reason to make them illegal. In fact, the prohibition on
+ drugs causes so many undesirable side-effects, that they
+ <emphasis role="bold">must</emphasis> be made legal.
+ If this sounds fantastic to you - read on, I'm sure you'll find out
+ that I know what I'm saying.
+ The war on drugs has been supported by both the left and right political
+ camps, and has only been rejected by Libertarians and various other
+ minority groups who hold this view. As a result, most people who
+ believe they should choose between left, right or middle, think drug
+ prohibition is acceptable on everybody. But this is not the case. The
+ prohibition on drugs is very harmful to the public and individual
+ well-being and must be eradicated as soon as possible.
+ <title>The Morality of Drug Abuse</title>
+ A person has a basic right to harm himself, as long as he does not harm
+ others in the process. That's because everyone of us is the owner of
+ his mind, body and property, and is solely responsible for their use
+ All arguments that do not favour that, like that a person thus
+ contributes less to society, and becomes a burden on it are pretty
+ silly. That's because a person is never obliged to contribute to
+ society ("First, do not harm"), and the society at large is not
+ obliged to support its members. (It would be Socialistic to claim
+ Thus, a person must be allowed by law to consume drugs. I'm not saying
+ it is desirable if a person exercises this right. I'm just saying that
+ a person should be allowed to do so, just as he is allowed to smoke,
+ drink alocholic beverages, deteriorate in personal hygiene, give away
+ money for no good reason, act stupidly, etc. These are all harmful
+ activities, yet perfectly legitimate.
+ <title>The Biology of Drug Use</title>
+ Drugs are not as harmful as many people think. Most drug users
+ are perfectly healthy people who just happen to have a drug problem,
+ just like people who smoke, or are alcholics, or are
+ addicted to caffeine have a drug problem. Otherwise, they are able
+ to function properly and be good citizens. There are no recorded
+ deaths from Marijuana in the U.S. The amount of deaths for Cocaine
+ is 20 per 100,000 (4 if we take into account such factors as its
+ reduced quality), and the deaths from Heroin are 400 per 100,000 (or
+ 80 if we take these factors into account). This is compared to 150
+ deaths per 100,000 from Alcohol and 650 from Tobacco. Taking the
+ numbers into account, in the U.S. there used to be 390,000 deaths
+ per year from Tobacco, 150,000 from Alcohol and only 400 from Heroin
+ and 200 from Cocaine (and none from Marijuana).
+ (<link xlink:href="http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa121.html">Source</link>.)
+ Thus, legalising drugs, which would potentially make them more
+ common, will not be a hazard to the global health status of the
+ <title>The Bio-Psychology of Drug Use</title>
+ The mere act of consuming illegal narcotics, usually does not cause
+ one to commits crimes. While drugs affect the mind, a large
+ increase in drug consumption by itself will not cause a large
+ increase in the number of crimes committed.
+ Note that criminal activity is often related to drug use due to its
+ present illegal nature and the fact drug users steal in order to
+ acquire drugs. (or other drug related crimes.) However, this is not
+ a direct result of the bio-psychological effects of the drugs
+ <title>Arguments for Drug Legalisation</title>
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__inflation_of_crime">
+ <title>The Prohibition on Drugs Causes an Inflation of Crime</title>
+ As drugs are illegal, they are being marketed by outlaws, who
+ charge an inflated price for them. Much more inflated that the
+ amount it requires to grow, manufacture and distribute them.
+ As a result, there is a growing black market for the distribution
+ of drugs and drug users eventually need to commit crimes like
+ theft and robbery to support their habits.
+ The average crime rate in the U.S increased twice fold due to the
+ prohibition on Alcohol. Once the prohibition was lifted, it
+ decreased back to its original state. It is expected that
+ drug-induced crimes cause a similar increase, due to the similar
+ nature of this prohibition.
+ In this analysis one should also include the very "crimes" of drug
+ use, trafficing, and sale, as well as crimes caused due to the
+ criminal nature of some drug dealers. Drug trafficing is also a
+ huge source of income for Organised crime.
+ All of this crime can be eliminated in a swift blow by legalising
+ drugs. When drugs will become legal, they will be produced,
+ distributed and sold by local legitimate entities, who will be
+ subject to Capitalistic market constraints. Their prices will
+ drop to a minimum, allowing everybody to buy them at the
+ needed quantities. Criminals will no longer be able to make a
+ decent living from selling them in the black market (as there will
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__not_helping">
+ <title>The War on Drugs does not Help to Fight them</title>
+ Law enforcement organisations attempt to stop drug trade by
+ catching drug shipments, and drug dealers. However, any shipment
+ or dealer that is caught, has only one effect: a temporary increase
+ in the price of drugs at the location to which they were intended.
+ Most drug shipments and transactions are never stopped, and it is
+ a pointless struggle to try to stop them.
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__quality_decrease">
+ <title>The Prohibition on Drugs Lowers the
+ Quality of Drugs</title>
+ Illegal drugs are not sold in the free market and as a result the
+ sold good is subject to the whims of the local outlaw manufacturer
+ or distributor. As a result, they often have reduced quality, which
+ can cause a lot of unnecessary health side-effects on their users,
+ During the prohibition on alcohol it was observed that the quality
+ of alcoholic beverages has heavily decreased, and the same thing
+ happens now with the currently illegal drugs.
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__causes_proliferation">
+ <title>The Prohibition on Drugs Causes Proliferation of
+ People who become heavy drug users often need to find a way to
+ finance their habit. As a result, they often become drug dealers
+ themselves, and try to push drugs onto other people,
+ Making drugs legal will stop this vicious cycle. The price of
+ drugs will drop to free market levels, and people will not need
+ to become drug dealers themselves to finance their habit.
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__lower_sectors_progress">
+ <title>Slowdown of the Progress of Lower Sectors</title>
+ Drug dealing in a society where drugs are criminalised is
+ a way to make a lot of money. As a result, young people among
+ the poor find selling drugs an easy way to earn their living
+ and escape the more demanding path of working in an honest job.
+ This causes a bad effect on the societies in poor neighbourhoods,
+ who turn to drug dealing instead of advancing their rank in the
+ honest world. Making drugs legal will kill this easy way out, and
+ force the young people of the poor to struggle for a honest living
+ and gradually advance their personal and collective financial
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__unholy_enemy">
+ <title>Drug Users Serve as the "Unholy Enemy" of Society</title>
+ There is a common pattern in history of "unholy enemies" -
+ groups of people who are presented by leaders to be of such
+ evil nature that the general populace should be willing to
+ sacrifice their lives, freedom or well-being to fight them.
+ These have been the Jews in Nazi Germany, and the Kafirs in
+ Islam. In modern society, drug users now serve as an unholy
+ enemy for which the government can undermine
+ <link xlink:href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism">Liberalism</link>
+ and gradually repress the people.
+ Yet, drug users are no such enemy - they do not pose a threat
+ to society. Plus, they are people in need of help, not in need of
+ being hunted and prosecuted.
+ The legalisation of drugs will put a stop to the irrational
+ trend to make drug users an unholy enemy and for the
+ government to undermine the individual rights of the citizens.
+ There is no good reason to undermine individual rights, much less
+ one that is useless and pointless as trying to "win" the war on
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__abusive_behaviour">
+ <title>The Prohibition Causes an Abusive Behaviour among
+ Since drugs are illegal and using them can jail a person,
+ drug users usually exhibit abusive behaviours: they lie, steal,
+ and become dishonest and suspicious. This is not an effect of the
+ drug itself - it's a result of the psychological and legal
+ situation in which they are present. By legalising drugs, one can
+ be sure that drug users will be able to openly admit their
+ problems, and seek help.
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__legit_uses">
+ <title>Prevention of Legitimate Uses</title>
+ The prohibition of illegal drugs prevents some legitimate uses
+ of the plants from which they are made. The most prominent examples
+ are paper that can be made out of Hemp, but is now made out of
+ cut-down trees instead (which is certainly not good for the
+ environment), and the various medical uses of Marijuana.
+ <section xml:id="arguments_for__jailing_people">
+ <title>Strain on Society due to People in Jail</title>
+ The prohibition on drugs puts many people in Jail - there
+ are over 1 million prisoners for drug offences in the United
+ States. There are even more if we consider drug-induced offences
+ such as drug-induced theft.
+ These prisoners are a large strain on society which needs to
+ support them. They also prevent more serious criminals from
+ being jailed, which undermines the punishment and
+ rehabilitation system of the government.
+ The legalisation of drugs will free the prisons from false
+ criminals, and restore justice. And the lawful people will no
+ longer need to support hundreds of thousands of jailed drug users
+ The prohibition against Drugs is the real drug problem. It is a war
+ against the people, that consumes lives, money, and property. It has
+ no good reason. History tells us that all the past prohibitions on
+ narcotics failed miserably. The current prohibition on drugs is no
+ <title>What You can do about it?</title>
+ Here is a list of things you can do to help the cause of fighting
+ <emphasis role="bold">Educate people about it</emphasis>:
+ write something pro drug legalistation online, in blogs,
+ mailing lists, newsgroups, web forums; write your school
+ report about it; publish articles about it in newspapers,
+ tell about it to your friends, etc.
+ Note that you should feel free to link to this article, or
+ even quote its text, as long as you give attribution. (See
+ <link xlink:href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/">its
+ open-content, Creative Commons, licence for more
+ <emphasis role="bold">Contact Your Government</emphasis> -
+ write to your representatives and government, and tell them
+ why the prohibition on drugs is harmful and not justified. If
+ possible, vote for representatives that support the
+ <emphasis role="bold">Don't work against the cause</emphasis>
+ - if you're a drug-enforcing policeman, then switch to a
+ different department, or quit. If you're an agent of the
+ <link xlink:href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_Enforcement_Administration">Drug
+ Enforcement Administration (DEA)</link> or a similar
+ organisation - then quit.
+ Last, but not least - <emphasis role="bold">don't use illegal
+ narcotics</emphasis>. They
+ have numerous bad medical effects, and using them reduces
+ your credibility as someone who can speak against their
+ By acting and propagating the understanding that drugs should
+ be legalised, we can eventually create a strong, vibrant
+ movement against the prohibition on drugs, that can eventually
+ <link xlink:href="http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa121.html">James
+ Ostrowski's "Thinking about Drug Legalization"</link> is an
+ excellent and detailed article about the problems of drug
+ <link xlink:href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_(drugs)">article
+ written on the Prohibition on drugs</link> from a hopefully
+ <link xlink:href="http://www.drugwarfacts.org/">"Drug
+ War Facts"</link> was recommended to me by a
+ libertarian correspondant. I didn't fully read it yet.
+ <link xlink:href="http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/">The Schaffer
+ Library of Drug Policy</link> is a comprehensive site for
+ support of the legalisation of drugs. It contains a
+ <link xlink:href="http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/dea/">copy of
+ the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) site, with
+ comments</link> and especially a step-by-step
+ <link xlink:href="http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/dea/pubs/legaliz/claims.htm">rebuttal of their "Speaking Out against Drug Legalisation"
+</article> <!-- End of the article -->