An American basketball player was recently arrested and imprisoned in Russia for possession of cannabis. Some people are outraged over this; others claim she deserved to be arrested because she broke Russian law — a “law” without any ethical basis; a fake law that goes against natural law, as does most legislation.
The Russian government imprisoning an American for marijuana possession isn’t more wrong than the U.S. government encouraging local governments in America to do the same. Wrong is wrong.
The basketball player may get more attention, but the millions of prohibition victims in America are a larger problem. Even if you support prohibition and punishment, prohibition is hurting you.
Possession or use of a plant can never be a real crime. Cannabis is the most obvious example, but this remains true for peyote, opium poppies, coca leaf extract, and everything else. Drug abuse is stupid, but prohibition is evil.
You still have the right to defend yourself from those under the influence of a drug or in any otherwise altered mental state.
Those under the influence of “authority” are much more dangerous than any common drug abuser, though. They hallucinate the imaginary right to run your life, and to destroy you “for your own good” if you disagree. They tell each other it’s OK to rob, kidnap, and kill people who aren’t suffering under the same hallucination — and they do so regularly. Of course, they give their crimes other names to hide the true nature behind a veil of legality. A “fine” is still armed robbery and an “arrest” is still a kidnapping. No mere chemical comes close to the destructive power of imagined political authority.
Where does the Russian government get the “right” to kidnap people over a plant? From the same source the U.S. government gets the identical “right:” from imagination. Many people in society might even want them to do it, but since no individual has the right to kidnap, rob, or cage a neighbor over a plant, no one — and no majority — can transfer such an imaginary right to a government on their behalf.
Authoritarian behavior erodes belief in all the real laws that protect life, liberty, and property. If government pretends there’s no difference, the people will see no difference. Once they realize it’s not really wrong to ignore one type of law, it’s easy for them to ignore the legitimate laws as well. This isn’t good for anyone.