Drug War Kills Six Thousand
So, after a long period of time, here's another post on an entirely different subject, and I apologise for its poor organisation of ideas - I'm learning.
Last year more than 6300 people died as a result of "drug-fuelled" gang violence in Mexico. I read this in The Week today, a publication I would recommend to anyone residing in the UK, although the ethical and economic judgements they sometimes espouse are usually utterly useless. I initially thought "Those drug barons are evil murderers". And I stand by that judgement, but a few seconds later I also thought "These killings are only judged necessary by the drug barons because the "drugs" they are attempting to sell in voluntary transactions are prohibited arbitrarily by law" (after all, not all dangerous substances are unlawful to consume/provide). I'm not going to go into the question of who is to blame for the killings; government action could lead to their ceasing but this does not excuse the drug lords and gangs, despite their legitimate claims to self defence (as I would argue self defence, and defence of contract do not justify killing in these circumstances). I just wanted to show how government action (in the form of inaction) could have led to 6300 more people alive today, and it is inexcusable that the government continues to violently intervene in voluntary contracts of this nature (and think about it, you don't see alcohol "lords" killing the police and innocent bystanders all the time, do you?).
I'd assume you [you = misesians] know all this, but just in case you haven't read any good blogposts/articles/essays/books on the merits of drug legalisation/liberalisation, I'm going to post a few links:
The excellent book Prohibitions, published by the IEA (a British free market think tank), edited by John Meadowcroft: http://www.iea.org.uk/files/upld-book429pdf?.pdf [the chapters on drigs are relevant]
Another excellent book Defending the Undefendable, written by Walter Block: http://mises.org/books/defending.pdf [again the chapters focusing on drugs are relevant]