Thursday, 28 January 2010

Legislator or Dictator?

Whenever a topic is raised that involves censorship or the legalisation of something that is currently illegal opinions and reasons always clash. I will point out that I will not air my views in this post. I am merely observing an argument.

Lets look today at two topics. Prostitution and Cannabis. I think the key to considering both arguments are not to let individuals decide what is morally right or wrong but instead to consider the merits of legalisation for society. We need to look at the problems currently faced by society and look at if these would be solved, reduced or increased if they were legalised. Sex between consenting adults should be legal surely? Regardless of if payment or reward is part of the act. Morally I see the objection. What of people who can't for one reason or another go on a date? Should they be denied the joys of the flesh? A basic human instinct? 

Sexual relations are handled differently in countries around the world. Most countries encourage varied forms of monogamy, others polygyny. Even in the case of monogamy, there are numerous countries that impose no restrictions on prostitution, unlike a majority of the communities within the United States and the UK.

In order to discover if legalization is proper, one has to first familiarize oneself with the U.S. prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and the legalization of abortion in the 1970s. The implementation of prohibition was a result of an abolitionist philosophy and caused great harm to the country through lost taxes, increased crime rates and higher suicide rates. Similarly, when the U.S. abandoned its abolitionist stand on abortion, the country benefited from fewer deaths from botched back alley abortions. This proved prohibitionist thinking to be baseless and actually detrimental to communities.

There are many benefits to legalized prostitution. The benefits include (1) allowing law enforcement agencies to respond to more important crimes, (2) freeing justice systems from nuisance cases, (3) helping women who are trapped by prostitution, and (4) preventing teens from being ensnared into prostitution.

When data from countries that ban prostitution is compared with data from countries that do not, many startling discoveries can be observed. Countries without anti-prostitution laws have less murders, less rapes, and prosecute/imprison less people. HIV/AIDS is less of a problem; suicide rates are lower as are divorce rates, too.

Critics of the legalization of prostitution offer no alternative to a troublesome problem. These people would rather adopt the status quo model, which virtually abandons lower strata, low socio-economic prostitutes. Instead of managing the problem, these critics view the continued downward spiral of this subgroup as acceptable.

The critics of legalized prostitution rest comfortably within relatively new moral codes. The religions that now reject prostitution once used to manage it. However, even though religionists publicly denounce prostitution, too many hypocritically entertain like services and commit adultery. The Catholic Church has covered up institutional paedophilia at the expense of demeaning religious values and the lives of those who aspire to follow them*.

Enlightened people within civilized societies pride themselves on the contributions made to others who are less fortunate. Low strata prostitutes clearly rest within the domain of the less fortunate, but the countries who cling to anti-prostitution laws choose to abandon these people and thereby negatively affect the crime, health, and general safety of those nations. One must reconsider whether or not those countries are truly civilized.

The same argument can then be applied to Cannabis. Is there any reason not to legalise it? The people who use Cannabis will use it regardless of it's legal status. Currently the Cannabis trade around the world turns over billions of dollars in revenue. This could be taxed, regulated and would in one swoop reduce gun crime, gang fights, and access to cannabis by minors. There is absolutely no reason why a substance such as cannabis which has no worse effect than alcohol or tobacco on a persons health remains illegal.

Is it time to rethink why such things are illegal?

*references - Liberator, M. (2004) Legalized Prostitution: Regulating the Oldest Profession.


  1. Oh boy, I don't know. Women are exploited by prostitutio, as they are by other things which are legal. I worry when we say yes to pot, yes to prostitution we nod a moral yes to drugs and paying for sex. However we will never legislate people choosing to live a moral life.

  2. wow!! really??
    OK I will admit I have no IDEA what Cannabis is?????
    as for the other...OK I will go there! We continue to move the boundaries! We continue to drop the standards! And we seem not to want to stand up and say that moral and virtues matter!! Prostitution is a degrading profession for a woman!It is a degrading thing for a man to do! And we can make do with out giving into the joys of the flesh! (love how your quoted the phantom! HEE HEE!!)when do we stop? where do we take the stand? when do we teach our kids that feeling good is not the end all be all? when do we teach our boys to respect themselves enough NOT to pay someone for S**! (can I say that on a blog I am so clueless! HA HA!) and our girls to respect themselves enough to say NO!!! REGARDLESS of what it pays!!Because the cost is unmeasurable!! and the price their VERY self worth!..ok! I will hush now!

  3. opened up a can of worms here Steve :-)
    I can see the reasoning behind the statements and statistics...but, I just don't know about the prostitution thing. The state of Nevada seems to do fine with it, but as a woman, I have trouble accepting anything "pro" prostitution.
    As for Pot, I say legalize it and move on to bigger fish!

  4. Cool blog. I will be back for more!

  5. Thanks for joining in the debate everyone!
    Ok, so a big moral no then for legal prostitution!

    But isn't this the danger? If legislation is based on personal moral beliefs instead of an analysis of the effects on society then isn't this then dictatorship?

    Debbie! I cannot believe you haven't heard of cannabis! :)

  6. WELL now I have been all filled in !! I am a teensy sheltered, I guess!:)
    Oh my stars! MORALS , good morals should be part of government!we SHOULD be a moral society...Dictators seem to go wrong when they lack morals and values..when they seek after their own desires and selfish ambition!! I vote on morals!! I really do!! never works..but I do it anyway!:)

  7. As for cannabis, I would rather date a Girl who was a pot head any day of the week rather then a girl who was a drunk. Alcohol is legal and it causes 100 times the problems then Pot. Think about it; have you ever seen two stoned pot heads fight. Heck no they are to busy eating Twinkie s to think about fighting. You don't ever hear about pot heads hurting people on the road ways either but the drunks are always running into things. It's just a matter of pure logic. If one legalizes alcohol then Cannabis must be made legal.

    Nothing ever good came out of Prostitution unless you own stock in a pharmaceutical company. Its an activity that is harmful to the prostitute, to the Payee and to the families of both. Not to mention the health risks associated with the activity. I believe there are many victims in this crime.

    Morality- In a secular society we should not base laws on moral views. It should only be prudent to make laws against activities that put others in harm such as drinking and driving laws and the like. If you want to make laws based on morals then your better off living in a country that basis their constitution on religious views and texts.

  8. The that America was founded on religious premises...just sayin....;)