Picture this: You’re lying on a deck chair in your back garden on a lovely summers evening, enjoying the sunshine and basking in natures beauty while sipping from an ice cold bottle of beer. All of a sudden from the corner of your eye you spot a figure approaching you from the other end of the garden. You tilt your head to the side in mild curiosity so as to get a better view of this mysterious figure, only to find out that it is your new neighbour, Paddy McLaw. You sit up to greet him, but before you can say a word, he blurts out, “What’s that you’re drinking there neighbour?”. Slightly confused you look down to your right hand and gesture to him, “ Why, it’s a bottle of beer! Would you like one?”. He responds to this with a gasp that is a mix between disbelief and disgust, “I most certainly do not! Do I look like a druggy to you?” Now your getting beginning to get impatient with this guy, and begin to think that maybe your new neighbour is not well in the head. “Excuse me but do you need something, or have you come over here to start a fight?” “Excuse YOU, but what the hell do you think you are doing? You can’t drink alcohol, it’s a detriment to society!” Completely taken aback by this utterly ridiculous statement, you promptly reply, “This is my house, my property, I can drink whatever the hell I want and it’s none of your god-damn business!” Obviously flustered by this response, your neighbour exclaims, “No you can’t drink whatever you want! Did you not just hear me? Alcohol is bad for society! It breaks up families, it destroys peoples lives and worst of a all it KILLS people. If you don’t stop drinking right now, I’m going to take you by force and lock you up in a cell until you’ve learned your lesson.” Now you are getting worried, and start thinking that maybe this guy is a psycho. You quickly get up, tell this man to get off your property and go inside to ring the Police. If someone came to your house and did this, I’m sure your reply would be the same, if not a little less polite than just “Get off my property”. It is an absolutely outrageous scenario and is something that would of course never happen in real life. Or would it? Ask yourself, what is the difference between this scenario and anti-drug law enforcement? Apart from the fact that drug laws are not enforced by nosey neighbours, it is, in my view, exactly the same. What would be your opinion of such a person that would force his opinions on you? Well, I don’t know about you, but I would be of the opinion that they can stick their opinion up their opinionated assholes. Who are they to say what is and isn’t acceptable for me to put into my own body? I’m sure that the vast majority of you would agree that you, the lazy beer drinking-sun-enjoying man or woman have every right to drink beer whenever he or she likes in their own back garden. But here’s something interesting. Instead of beer, substitute it with crack cocaine. Yep, that’s right; “You’re lying on a deck chair in your back garden on a lovely summers evening, enjoying the sunshine and basking in natures beauty while sucking from an ice white bowl of crack”. Now this time, if instead of a nosey neighbour it was a police officer who approached you, would you still think that he was a crazy asshole? I’m not so sure it would be viewed the same way, because after all, drugs are baaaaaaad! Now of course a police officer has every right under law to take you by force and lock you in a cell for doing this, but why and how is this in any way different from the first scenario with the nosey neighbour? Both drugs have the potential to cause harm, both drugs can and do cause harm in society. Why is it that one drug can be enough to take away your freedom, while the other one is completely acceptable? Now it could be argued that cocaine is much more addictive and therefore dangerous than alcohol, but shouldn’t people be allowed to choose if they want to do it or not? Do we actually live in a society where you can have your freedom taken away for doing something/ having something in your possession that MAY cause harm to you or others around you? Is that not the most incredible injustice of the highest degree? It reminds me a little bit of that film, Minority Report, where people were arrested and locked up because they thought about killing somebody. You could even say it has some similarities to the actions of the Thought Police in George Orwell’s brilliant book, 1984, where even your thoughts where closely monitored and regulated. If you are completely and utterly against drugs that’s fine, but that does not mean that everybody else has to be forced to comply with your opinion. In a free world, people should be allowed to choose what they want to put into their own bodies, what they want to do to their own bodies, and what they want to do with their own bodies, no matter how detrimental that may be to their own health. If you think that is despicable, that is perfectly OK, but you have to realise that everybody is entitled to have their own beliefs and their own world views. If someone’s world view means its Ok to do drugs and to treat their bodies badly then that’s OK. You have absolutely no right to impose your beliefs and opinions on them simply because you disagree with theirs in the same way they have no right to impose their beliefs and opinions on you. Maybe you fear that if these kind of behaviours are allowed, society will fall apart and the world as we know it will become some kind of barbaric, selfish hellhole. This is what I believe is the main motivation behind anti-drug laws. It’s the old familiar fear of the unknown. But ask yourself how are human beings supposed to progress as a society if we are unable to make choices and mistakes for ourselves? If we are prevented from doing things just because we are forced not to, we haven’t learned anything except for the ability to be unquestioningly obedient. We are not allowed to take drugs because they are bad for society, but where will it end? Tomorrow you might hear on the news “Violence on TV deemed bad for society, new policy banning all violent movies and programs passed” or maybe “Curse words to be outlawed after new report shows its promotion of anti-social behaviour”. These may seem far-fetched but, I can honestly see no reason why they shouldn’t be outlawed when you are of the view-point that things that are bad for society should be illegal. What this is about is freedom. When you have freedom, it is unconditional. That is the essence of the word. There is no such thing as freedom with conditions, as true freedom must be unconditional. When you live in a truly free society, you must be prepared to take the bad with the good. Freedom means that you are free to do anything you want, as long as it does not affect the freedom of others. And when you realise this, you must also realise that other people will want to do things that you do not approve of, but you must respect their freedom to choose! It is because of this freedom that you can voice your opinion, and it is a serious abuse of this when you use it to take other peoples freedoms away.