Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Legalize Adult Pleasures, But License the Buyer

The case for total prohibition is argued at National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). It was founded by Joseph Califano, a Harvard Law School indoctrinated lawyer. The lawyer depends on criminalization for a living, and has an irremediable conflict of interest. The estimated, mostly in health, costs is put at $485 billion in 2005.


President Obama will be the first stoner President. This election saw little criticism of that past drug use, not even by his Republican opponent, a fan of a few adult pleasures himself. Indeed, Obama seems so mellow, he should release the result of his urine screening for illegal drugs. The nation has or is ready to legalize just about all adult pleasures. The problem? We cannot have a duplication of the consequences of smoking and alcohol abuse. How can we make adult pleasure policy logical, coherent, yet prevent a health catastrophe?

As a rule, 90% of people can enjoy most adult pleasures without destructive consequences. Of those who have smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for 50 years, only 1 in 7 will get lung cancer. Experience in other countries implies, availability by legalization will increase not just use, but also addiction, and the health and social consequences, but among the 10% who cannot control the use. In our country, we have seen that opening a casino increases gambling addiction four fold within 50 miles, worse in adolescents. Making adult pleasures illegal has caused great damage to our economy by exporting money to our enemies, by not generating jobs, by not collecting taxes, by costly massive imprisonment, by diverting police from violent offenders, by dropping the value of close in, downtown property for herding crime into usually minority areas, by making large numbers of people lawbreakers, by the hypocrisy of legal alcohol and tobacco, killing 500,000 people a year, and by causing allies to almost become failed states by the enrichment of drug cartels. About half the people in the drug trade die by murder. There is little left to deter them.

How can the majority of users causing no problem be left alone to enjoy their pleasures in moderation, while restricting those prone to addiction, causing problems? Try licensing the buyer.

Licensing the buyer would increase freedom, yet, restrict people not controlling themselves. It would end the hypocrisy of the legality of alcohol and tobacco that kill 100's of 1000's of people a year. There would be no more costly and ineffective Wars on Whatever. Prisons would empty, making room for vicious predators, now attacking people with near immunity. It would grow the economy by an amount now going to terrorists and organized crime gangs, perhaps a $trillion. It would increase tax revenues and may end budget deficits.

At eighteen, one gets an adult pleasure license. Those who already went to rehab at age fourteen would not, nor would those with proven behavioral or mental problems. Everyone asking to buy a drink would have the license verified, like a credit card. The police report a drunk driving offense. The license gets a point. The girlfriend officially reports, she got roughed up when the person was drinking. Another point. An emergency room doctor reports the person fell down the steps, broke an arm, and is legally drunk. The third and final point is registered. The license gets pulled.

Anyone serving alcohol to this unlicensed person is held totally responsible for any future consequence in criminal law and in torts. So, he beats up the girlfriend while drunk again. The buyer goes to jail, and the liquor store clerk does, for the same sentence. The person kills a pedestrian driving drunk. Because serving an unlicensed person is a felony, the death of the pedestrian is a felony murder. The liquor store clerk could get the death penalty. The owner of the liquor store could be held responsible in a lawsuit.

This change should have the support of the majority, and should not get rammed through, as Prohibition was. The change should be tried in small venues, to test for unintended consequences. Then a Constitutional Amendment should enact the change.
What about abuses of the license by government? The Amendment should limit the price of the license to the actual cost to government, such as $1 to verify each purchase. Those who do not indulge in adult pleasures pay nothing for the license.

All records of adult pleasure purchases should be destroyed after 3 months. Only investigators of crimes should have access to them prior to their Amendment mandated destruction, with a court order, after showing probable cause for the search.

Legalization is here, in the case of gambling, cigarettes, alcohol. Prostitution and marijuana smoking are rarely prosecuted. This proposal advocates tighter controls by licensing, to hold back the damage tsunami.

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