Those who oppose Libertarian philosophy are quick to point out that "Libertarians support the legalization of drugs". They conveniently fail to point out we are not promoting the use of recreational substances. All pharmacy laws are contrary to the principles of Liberty and individual autonomy. The 'War on Drugs' is only one of the injustices associated with those laws.

Do you keep nitro tablets, digitalis or an epi-pen in your medicine cabinet?

No? Don't you know heart attack, arrhythmia and anaphylaxis are major causes of death in this nation. Those ingredients should reside in the medicine cabinets of every home in this land.

The federal government; however, does not permit it. It is illegal to produce, purchase or even posses these and other life saving medications unless you first pay an agent of the state (a doctor) for government's written permission (a prescription) to buy them from a licensed vendor. By law, your doctor cannot permit you those medications unless and until you prove you need them. By the time you realize you need them, it is often too late. Even a pharmacist could not 'legally' administer prescription medications to you if you fell ill while in his pharmacy.

I can only wonder how many people have unnecessarily perished because of this country's pharmacy laws? How many more will die before they are rescinded?

With restricted access to drugs, today's comsumers most often blindly rely on a physician's decision instead of learning for themselves how and when to apply a medication, what it does and what side effects and drug interactions may be expected? If government were really interested in the welfare of its citizenry rather than power and control over them, it would end its strangle hold on drugs and, instead, promote (but not mandate) medical literacy. Were it not for government interference since the early 1900's, our population would be much more medically sophisticated and physicians would not be wasting their time and our money tending to common ailments easily treated by any knowledgeable consumer.

If free market forces were allowed to work, product liability alone would make it highly unlikely that dangerous substances would be dispensed to an uninformed public. If a pharmacist or a drug manufacturer deemed any potion to be so dangerous it could only be safely dispensed with a physician's diagnosis and recommendation, it would be perfectly suitable - and a good business decision - for them to contractually restrict sales for the sake of product safety and civil legal liability. Criminal law should only apply if a dispensor of drugs maliciously harms a consumer by deliberate misrepresentation, misinformation, or gross negligence.

Libertarians do not condone public intoxication. Public intoxication is a menace to society which emperils those with whom the abuser comes into contact. It should not be tolerated.

Libertarians do not encourage the misuse of any food or drug. The abuse of any substance is detrimental to health. Those who engage in such abuse are eventually punished by the laws of nature. But, in a free society, unless their actions harm or cause substantial danger to another individual, the abusers need answer only to their own wretchedness. If bad personal decisions are to be made criminal, what should be the penalty for maintaining an unhealthful diet?

Government has no more authority to usurp our right to medicate ourselves as we see fit than it does to tell us how, when or what to eat, drink or wear. The primary responsibility of any government is to protect the rights of the individual. This includes the right of the individual to medicate himself as he sees fit. For the government to restrict access to medicine by force of law is nothing less than tyranny.

Jack McNally

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