If you want to argue that people don’t have the right to do something, at least have the guts to be honest about it. Don’t pull a page out of “1984” and redefine words to mean whatever you want them to mean.
After U.S. Reps. Ron Paul and Barney Frank introduced legislation that would end the federal ban on marijuana (but allow states to decide for themselves on the issue), drug warriors have been apoplectic. The latest example is from former “drug czar” Bill Bennett, who argues in a piece he wrote for CNN that giving people the freedom to make their own decisions about drug use isn’t freedom, because people who are addicted to something aren’t free.
Even many conservatives agree that the war on (some) drugs is a failure. National Review, for instance, editorialized last week in favor of the proposal from Paul and Frank. But old drug warriors such as Bennett aren’t going to let facts get in the way of what they’ve devoted their careers to fighting for.
Personally, I’m strongly opposed to the use of recreational drugs. I think it’s a poor decision that leads to lousy outcomes for a substantial number of people. My own decisions about this are so conservative that I don’t even drink alcohol, which is a drug far more dangerous than weed. But freedom is about deciding that for yourself, not letting Bill Bennett decide what freedom means.
Once again, this is why the state needs to go away. People should be free to choose among competing systems of governance that are most likely to make them happy. Let Bennett and his friends go live in the police state they’ve built and are so in love with.