Flip_syde87 asks on the Christian Libertarian FAQ:

What is the Christian libertarian position on recreational drug use? Is it possible to support individual rights without being condemned as a pot user? For the record, I am not.

The Christian libertarian recognizes the fundamental nature of self-ownership, which states simply that with respect to other human beings you own yourself. Thus, it is not right for me (or others) to claim ownership over your body by making laws telling you what you can and cannot do with it. I cannot initiate force against you. I may, Lord willing, use my personal influence to urge you to behave differently, but I shall not lift a hand against you. The argument that these substances are illegal because they can do you personal harm is, quite frankly, completely ludicrous. People consensually agree to do dangerous things with physical substances all the time — such as football, boxing, or riding in cars. The argument that these substances might “influence” you to do harm to others is barely more sane. If you cause harm to someone else “under the influence” then you can be prosecuted as a criminal, but there is no legal principle under the sun that states you can be prosecuted before doing anything wrong. (Remember the “pre-crime” unit of Minority Report?)

One way you can avoid accusations of being a “pot user” is, quite simply, not to use it. Live such an exemplary life that someone could never think to impinge upon your consistency and honesty. Frankly, I care very little if someone has smoked anything. I see no fundamental difference between cigars, cigarettes, and marijuana, and I condemn no one for any such use. One the government has declared illegal, and the others not. (I am convinced that it has medical uses as well.) Nonetheless, I choose not to participate in such activities in order not to put a stumbling block before any brother or sister. Perhaps this is one of those areas where, at the current time, “everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

The best way to reduce substance abuse is to remember that it is a health issue, not a legal issue. Drug abusers need rehab programs and not jail. Prohibition leads to increased violence, as is evident from the immoral and foolish alcohol prohibition era and the current War on Drugs. Thus, all true libertarians call for complete legalization, as it is the only ethical position one can take.

Also, check out other posts on LCC about the War on Drugs.

Have a question of your own? Check out the FAQ today, and submit your question here. Do you not like this answer? Cheerfully and charitably argue your own position in the comments below.

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Dr. Norman Horn

Norman founded LibertarianChristians.com and the Libertarian Christian Institute, and currently serves as its President and Editor-in-Chief. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the Austin Graduate School of Theology. He currently is a Postdoctoral researcher in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.