Can’t believe people are arguing in this thread about the terminology “victimless.” Sure, it’s been overused and even misapplied, but that doesn’t alter the point: for a crime to be a crime, there should be a “victim” who files a complaint against a perpetrator.
In the case of drugs, gambling, and prostitution, you have situations where no one is filing complaints, but the police go out and arrest people anyway.
And as far as the “harm” done by these activities–lots of things cause harm, but they aren’t necessarily against the law. Nor does criminalizing them decrease the harm; in fact, oftentimes, just the opposite happens (as during prohibition, which increased rather than decreased alcoholism, and brought in the element of organized crime).
Besides, you have to measure the harm against the supposed cure. If somebody takes drugs, he might (a) eventually outgrow the habit, (b) go into rehab or © overdose. Making drugs illegal decreases the chances of (b) and increases the chances of ©. Moreover, it adds a fourth possibility: (d) go to prison where you can be beaten up, raped, possibly killed. This is hardly much of an improvement over the other possibilities. In fact, if drugs were legal and regulated, it might cut down on © quite a bit.
Okay, let’s admit there is some potential harm in these activities. Nevertheless, undoing that harm is not a matter of bringing in the police. And if you dislike the term “victimless,” then let’s use “consensual crimes.”
And as for Krells, you’re right: people should think before they speak. Try it yourself next time. Yes, drugs, gambling, and prostitution can harm marriages, but should that be reason enough to make them illegal. Will prosecuting the “criminal” and putting him in jail save the marriage? Hardly. And should everything else that might harm a marriage be made illegal as well? How about mandatory prison terms for adultery? Maybe husbands and fathers should be outlawed from having dangerous jobs: after all, they might get killed at work and that would harm their families. And it should probably be illegal for them to have any interesting hobbies or outside activities, because that might deflect them from focusing on their home life, and thus again harm their families. They probably shouldn’t fly on business trips either, because the plane might crash, causing their spouses and children to undergo the harm of losing a husband and father. Also, it should probably be illegal for them to undergo any kind of religious conversion–you never know, they might decide to take a vow of celibacy, become a monk, and leave their families bereft. And the list goes on…