There has been quite a bit of discussion about the failure of the US drug policy lately. Many critics point to the large number of people jailed for drug crimes, especially marijuana. The rise of crack and crystal meth also provoked much discussion and new law enforcement efforts. The crack "epidemic" lessened when others saw the ill effects of the drug and declined to become involved. We can expect the same thing to happen over time with meth.
The three viewpoints on drugs are outlined below:
The libertarians say that we should be free to injest whatever we want as long as we do it "responsibly" and don't injure others. They claim that drug laws are ineffective and a violation of one's rights.
The liberals feel that people need to be protected from harm, especially when they don't understand the risks. That's why we have institutions like the FDA to make sure harmful or ineffective drugs are kept off the market.
The conservatives seem to be opposed to mood altering drugs for some vague religious reasons which get expressed as moral arguments.
So, how do we balance the "rights" to self control against those of health and safety, and those of a fight against "moral decay"? If the present drug policy is ineffective, how do we reform it? What does it say about the state of our society that so many people feel a need to zone out in the first place?