Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Let’s just outlaw feeling pleasure

Let’s just outlaw feeling pleasure

(My Clovis News Journal column for November 15, 2013.  But most of the activity is on the Portales News-Tribune site this time.)

I think I have come up with the winning strategy in the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs.

The problem is, each time a new substance is criminalized, independent innovators come up with something new which isn't yet illegal. Marijuana is illegal most places, therefore "synthetic marijuana" (which is actually dangerous, unlike the innocuous plant whose effect it mimics) was invented. The synthetic marijuana is then outlawed by "do somethingers", so a new substance will be created. It's an unending battle of unintended consequences.

And each new volley fired at society by either side hurts more people than the original problem ever did.

As opposed as I am to the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs, I see the only solution is to cut to the root and address the reason humans desire to use drugs.

The substances themselves are not the most critical piece of the puzzle. The drugs are just a means to an end; just the delivery system. You've got to address the feelings they produce. The goal is the feeling of pleasure- or at least a temporary reduction in misery- people get from using the substances.

The Prohibitionists need to stop focusing on the delivery system and focus on the feeling. They must write a "law" forbidding anyone from feeling any pleasure- that way all drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, would be outlawed. Just what the Prohibitionists have always craved.

One problem this would create for the State is the loss of income from the pleasures that are currently legal and "taxed".

It's not only chemical substances that cause the scourge of pleasure. Activities and hobbies do too. People get pleasure from football, religion, hobbies, cars, food, friends, romance, and more. Will those be exempt? Wouldn't that be a dangerous precedent which could create pleasure loopholes?

I suppose that can be dealt with when it becomes too much of a problem and distracts people from their primary purposes of producing "tax revenues" and being enthusiastic cannon fodder for The State.

Another problem would be finding a way to manufacture the exceptions the anti-pleasure advocates would demand for their own pleasures. After all, "my pleasures are acceptable; yours are shameful and wrong". Or, at least that seems to be what the anti-pleasure nannies have been saying with their advocacy. Obviously, the thrills the anti-pleasure nannies get from criminalizing other people's joy can't ever be subject to limits. That would never fly. It would expose the hypocrisy of the whole prohibition movement to even acknowledge that pleasure exists. I never said my solution would be perfect.

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