The hardest test of my Libertarian views is arguing with my mom, who has over 35 years as a Registered Nurse under her belt.
Sure, Daniel, you should be able to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, snort coke, eat twinkies and swap needles with your HIV-positive buds to your heart’s content. It is, after all, your body.
But, what happens when you get hauled into an emergency room to treat your cirrhosis, emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressur, bowel cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, and myriad other disorders brought about by your lifestyle choices?
I, and the rest of society, are probably going to end up footing the bill. If not for you, then for an overwhelming majority of people who make decisions like yours.
That bill isn’t just financial - though that’s a big enough reason to stop and think. What if you have children? Those kids deserve a father, and the choices you have (hypothetically) made may easily preclude you from being a good father. How much more likely is it that those kids are going to have problems that harm me or mine because you were too busy with feeding your habits?
I think prohibition is a bad idea. I believe - and this is born out by what I’ve read and seen - that it makes the problem worse instead of better.
But, no person is an island, and your decisions have an effect on the rest of us. We have millions of people who made an informed or uninformed decision to begin smoking. The costs may be beyond calculation, and they are certainly outside the scope of any government agency’s ability to recoup them from a lawsuit.
Sola bona lingua est mortua lingua.