I would have hoped that the discussion about the UN report would be about decriminalization, not about the morality of prostitution and drug usage.
I must confess to being conflicted about this issue, but a wise man counts the costs of both sides of a decision.
While I would rather the UN locate their headquarters in another location, and distrust them as just another set of bureaucrats trying to encroach on my freedoms ... even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again. It IS time we give the question of decriminalization a hard, careful look.
On the one hand, I fear decriminalization because of what happened with the decriminalization of sodomy; consider its horrible results:
* gay pride parades,
* gay marriages,
* don’t-ask-don’t-tell, then gays openly serving in the military,
* laws which prohibit discrimination against gays,
* lawsuits against the Boy Scouts for not admitting gays,
* promotion of homosexuality in school textbooks, and
* lawsuits against business owners who do not wish to transact with gays.
What would decriiminalization of drugs and prostitution lead to? “Ho pride” parades? High Times parades? I shudder. Few saw these consequences when the Federal Courts struck down the Texas Law against Sodomy.
But on the other hand, it appears to me that the current situation is unsustainable, as thousands of women are trafficed each year, and the drug war has led to the destruction of rights enumerated in the Constitution.
1) Prostitution is not called the oldest profession for nothing. The debate should not be whether there should be prostitution or not — whether we like it or not, prostitution is endemic in all large cities, and accessible via the internet or even the yellow pages. This is not a debate on the morality of prostitution, it is a debate on how we can minimize the harm that results from its existence. If you are not concerned about harm, then just kill every prostitute, every customer, and anyone connected to a brothel.
The debate should be whether it should be decriminalized or not. What would lead to the least harm to society and the prostitutes themselves - decriminalization with the resulting “Ho Pride Parades” but the reduction of coersion that results from decriminalization, or all the current consequences of keeping it underground. It is the underground nature of prostitution that leads to international trafficing of women. And there is lots of data available from Europe (and certain counties in Nevada) that could be used to craft the decriminalization statutes.
I note that, during WWII, the military in Hawaii concluded that regulating the brothels was preferable to driving them underground. The UN report simply pointed out that decriminalizing prostitution leads to the elimination of coercion currently resulting from the illegality itself.
2) I concluded some time ago that the “War on Drugs” is much worse than drug addiction itself. Again, the debate is not whether drug use is desirable or not, because there is no magic wand we could wave to make it disappear. The debate is whether the consequences of the drug decriminalization would be better or worse than the current consequences of the drug war. Even the “drug warriors” themselves are becoming disgusted with the drug war.
The drug war has led to:
* loss of financial privacy, and the virtual criminalization of the use of cash for large transactions
* the use of forfiture laws to bypass the right to property
* militarization of the police with no-knock warrants, and a culture of “law enforcement” rather than being “peace officers”.
* incarceration of a large fraction of the population (the largest in the world) for drug offenses, especially young black men [Complete hypocracy for Obama to prosecute the drug war when his book admitted that he imbibed himself]
* the rise of a culture of illegality in the black population of the inner cities,
* the complete corruption and smashing of the government of Mexico by the drug cartels, funded by illegal drug profits
* the loss of the right to travel through National Parks without encountering drug growers
* and many more.
So, again, the question is not whether you want your children to become drug addicts or not ... it is whether you want to have “high times parades” or a SWAT team to bust in and ruin your whole day. Again, if you are not concerned with harm reduction, then we can add another alternative — public lashing of anyone caught with any amount of drugs, and death for the dealers. Do you want to live in that society? Do you want your chldren to grow up in that society?
No, a wise man knows what is moral and right and what is evil and depraved. A moral relativist does what you describe.
a wise man counts the costs of both sides of a decision