Illegal Thoughts

The government, too, has laws, but it's so much less adept at enforcing them than nature...

Crime rates always seem to be on the increase - apparently a good bank robbery costs $136 nowadays... Oh, you know what I mean.

I'm not convinced that there actually is more crime. More reported, more noted, more considered to be crime. More crime inept enough that it is noticed.

Looking on the darkest side, perhaps there is more crime because police are concentrating more on the easily-found non-offensive crimes such as drug 'abuse'. "Gosh, look, 400 more known pot smokers here and 2 less muggers. Crime's on the increase." (I feel relatively safe in making sweeping controversial statements like this on the grounds that I never have illegal drugs in my possession)

It seems to me that one could drastically reduce the crime rate, tax, and various other hated things by legalising a whole plethora of relatively harmless things. Let's see...

Legalise cannabis, reducing the cost to the consumer despite adding a hefty 300% or so tax (as with cigarettes), the effects of supply and demand will still decrease the cost. Police will have less stupid nothing-crime to faff about with, not only reducing the crime rate figure by removing pot-heads from it, but also potentially reducing more serious crime by making more forces available to deal with it. The man-in-the-street pays less tax because a few less police are required and because a ridiculous amount of tax comes in from cannabis purchase. (NB. Cigarettes and alcohol produce governmental funds far in excess of those produced by the "community charge" or Poll Tax)
Some side effects of this could include reduction in lung cancer (the bong becoming an acceptable alternative to smoking-with-tobacco), reduction in drink-driving deaths (Pot drivers, I'm told, feel less safe and hence drive relatively safely, if with an annoying tendency to remain at less than 15mph), and less stress related disorders.
The hemp crop itself also has many useful 'side-effects', being a fine source of raw materials (cloth, paper, fuel and harder materials with treatment) and food.

Legalise euthenasia (Cross reference : Death), reducing NHS overcrowding, waiting lists, technological requirements (no more iron lungs), thereby reducing the man-in-the-street's National Insurance requirements.
Handy side effect being to reduce unnecessary suffering.

Legalise suicide. It's not as though anyone takes any notice of that law anyway.

Perhaps legalise other drugs; LSD springs to mind as one alleged to be relatively harmless. Most of the same advantages, primarily replacing the cost of illegal import with that of tax, meaning the user's money goes to the government rather than to the (other) criminals. The only drugs I see as being problematic to legalise would be the physically addictive, as they could drive people to crime to pay for their next 'hit'. Even that is hardly a good argument - those people using that sort of drug are already knowingly breaking the law, after all.

Abolish a load of out-of-date stupid laws. This doesn't reduce tax and stuff, but it would make law appear less ridiculous, which is a sensible thing to do if you want people to obey it. There's really no need for christmas pudding to be illegal. (I don't know if that one is an urban myth... But nor do you, right?)

I think it would be wonderful if a government put together a 'jury' of clear-minded people to go through the law and tidy it. Yes, it would be a long task, but it would make all law-based things so much easier in future. Take out the contradictions and loopholes... The advantageous side-effect of this is that it would put lawyers out of a job.

[ Think back... ]

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