SSM and Marijuana are legal (kind of). What's next?

Over the last few years we have made inroads into legalizing same sex marriage and marijuana (medicinal and recreational). While not universal yet, I think it’s just a matter of time. So what is the next society-based law to be legalized. I think there are two that make sense.

  1. 18-21 year old drinking. The same way that 18 year olds got the vote in Federal elections may work for drinking. I tend to think this WON’T be made legal for two reasons.
    18 year olds got the right to vote during the Vietnam War because society felt the disconnect between someone being able to be drafted and not being able to vote - both civic responsibilities.
    Although 18 year olds are legally adults, our society still sees them as children. Listen to the radio (especially sports radio) about how some 19 or 20 year old in college does something stupid and they are defended because “they are just kids.” As far as I’m concerned if you are 18 and want to give yourself alcoholic poisoning to look cool in front of your frat bros be my guest because you are an adult. I think this viewpoint is in the minority.

  2. Prostitution
    Not the streetwalking kind but in a brothel licensed by the state with regular checkups. This may be related to the abortion contraversy because if you are pro-choice because it’s a woman’s body then how can you NOT justify her using her body to make money. I know people argue that the woman is the victim in prostitution but that is why it is strictly controlled and not hooking, spreading STDs and getting beat up by pimps and clients. And I know that someone will link to the recent Cracked article and let me just say, her travails sound the same as most American worker drones with the legal employer harrassment, firings on a whim and a super-low pay to value ratio.

So I think prostitution (not counting selected counties in Nevada) will be the next illegal taboo to start to be mainstream legal. What do y’all think?

I think you might be right about prostitution. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I can imagine that happening. I don’t think the drinking age will be lowered - although if it were up to me that would happen, and the voting age would go down, too. We’re becoming more and more safety conscious as a society and lowering the drinking age would run counter to that powerful trend.

No. Just no. These things have nothing to do with each other unless your entire argument is “freedom.”

…or your argument is that adults have a right to privacy, which includes the right to make medical and other decisions regarding procreation.

Having said that, a much better argument is that evidence-based legislation works much better than the “eww, icky” basis that underlies most morality-based legislation. Criminalizing prostitution doesn’t seem to have done much other than drive prostitutes underground.

I’d like to see the drinking age lowered for no other reason than because 21 is an almost random age to set it at.

That’s the same thing I was (glibly) summarizing as “freedom.” I’m not saying there’s no argument to be made for legalizing prostitution- there’s an argument there. But if you get into the issues in any specific way, the arguments for prostitution and abortion have little to nothing in common.

I think the USA should switch to the approach used by Sweden and France, wherein it’s illegal for a client to buy sex acts from a prostitute, but not illegal to sell them. Cycling prostitutes through jail time after time accomplishes nothing. Both Sweden and France tried making the entire process legal, but realized the flaw in that approach and re-criminalized only the act of hiring a prostitute. Likewise Germany and the Netherlands have tried fully legalized prostitution, but are likely to soon repeal it.

Bestiality Liberation Now!

But that is the constitutional argument for legal abortion. I guess it’s possible that we’ll get legalized prostitution (outside Nevada) by legislative action or plebiscite, but it’s much more likely to happen via judicial decree.


Could you enlighten us as to the flaw in making prostitution legal?

Nah, euthanasia is mostly supported by adultsineurope.

No seriously, I think that’s probably going to be it. It’s already legal in three states in the US (Washington, Oregon, and Montana), and I think the end-of-life question is one which is going to affect a significantly greater number of older Americans over the next 10-20 years.

Whoa! I was sure I knew who posted this, but when I looked at the user name, I was wrong!

Vermont, too.

Oh, didn’t know that. Well, that’s four more states than either 18-21 drinking, and three (I know, minus Clark County) more than prostitution, so there’s certainly more precedent for it.

The bill just passed in May, IIRC.

That would be good to see. I’d argue that that’s a clearer and more pressing issue.

I didn’t say anything about the Constitutional argument. I was talking about the arguments people use in saying abortion should be legal. Those can include the right to privacy but they also cover other issues that aren’t related to arguments in favor of legalized prostitution. What if I say I’m in favor of abortion because economic growth is associated with access to birth control for women? Or what if I say that I think people shouldn’t be forced to become parents if they’re not ready because that’s immoral and because it’s bad for children if parents aren’t on their best possible footing financially, emotionally and otherwise when they have a child? What do those have to do with legalizing prostitution?

The OP said this:

But that’s the most simplistic possible version of the pro-choice argument, and asked to explain at length, most people wouldn’t put it that way. Just because you believe a woman has a right to terminate a pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to believe she should be able to earn money as a prostitute. One is about reproductive choice and one is about money. By that logic, would pro-choicers support prostitution by men? Because the argument has no relevance to guys. And does it extend to drugs other than marijuana? If the OP’s logic is sound, people who support abortion rights should also support the legalization of all drugs because “it’s the person’s body,” but very few people believe that either. It’s just a weird conflation of issues.

As I said, I don’t think this will happen by legislative act. So the constitutional argument, IMHO, is the important one.

After Marijauna becomes legal people may see an opening to legalize other non-addictive recreational drugs, such as MDMA and Psilocybin.

Huh. I guess this explains why I have such issues with the pro-choice crowd in spite of believing that abortion ought to be legal under most circumstances. I do believe a person has the right to do what they want with their body, which of course includes drug use and prostitution. Pro-choice people don’t share that belief. Ignorance fought, thanks.

There are numerous inaccuracies in this paragraph, and I’ve called you on them before.

If the “can kill for country, can’t drink” argument is used, then shouldn’t it apply to purchasing a handgun at 18 as well? Drinking is not generally part of the military job description (but talk to Navy guys and you might think you’re mistaken). Not debating here, it just seems like a more logical extension of that.

Some of the conservatives are claiming that bestiality is next, assuming that certain people wouldn’t want it. For one I think my cat would be in favor the way she fawns over me although I wonder if that would make another of our cat’s more dickish actions a jailable offense if he has legal rights. Also, soon we will have polygamy if gays can marry, even though that offers lots of tax scams that SSM doesn’t that the gov’t will never except.

Washoe as well, and I think some small communities. It is illegal in counties that a) outlaw it, or b) are over a certain population limit, which only two counties are. It also only legal in the unincorporated/rural parts of those counties. In other words, >88% of the population lives in prostitution free areas. It was legal in RI from 1980-2009, I guess. Or at least not forbidden.

Doing so tends to make a country a magnet for human trafficking, pimping, and other types of organized crime. In countries where prostitution is completely legalized, many women are trafficked in from other countries and forced to work as prostitutes. That’s what’s caused several European countries that experimented with legalized prostitution to reverse course.