Uruguay legalizes marijuana, India criminalizes homosexuality

In the news today is a contrast in progress against victimless crimes – Uruguay passes legislation legalizing marijuana and regulating its distribution, while India’s Supreme Court upholds a law criminalizing homosexuality:

Sex between consenting homosexual partners is once again illegal in India after the country’s Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling Wednesday.

Four years ago, India’s High Court decriminalized such a relationship, in what was then hailed by gay rights groups as a landmark ruling.

The Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

Known as Section 377, the law has been in the books since India’s Colonial-era days. It bans people from engaging in “carnal acts against the order of nature.”

I have no interest in debating the pros or cons of homosexuality with anyone – I don’t care.  I don’t care if you are gay, and it is none of my business.  We have no business legislating morality – everyone has their own moral code and their own religious beliefs, we are a global community now more than ever and we are not governed by local mores as if it were the 16th century, and a huge dose of tolerance is necessary for us all to get along and survive each other.   What if we lived in a predominantly gay society, and the local legislature passed laws criminalizing heterosexual relationships?

Uruguay, on the other hand, has just passed legislation legalizing marijuana and regulating it’s distribution:

Supporters of the proposal have said it marks a turning point and could inspire other Latin American nations to take a similar approach.

It places the South American country at the vanguard of liberal drug policies, surpassing even the Netherlands, where recreational drugs are illegal but a policy of tolerance is in place.

“It is understood that a regulation-based policy has positive consequences for health and public security, given that, on the one hand, it can produce better results when it comes to education, prevention, information, treatment and rehabilitation in relation to the problematic uses of drugs,” said Sen. Roberto Conde of Uruguay’s Broad Front coalition, which supported the measure. “On the other hand, it helps fight drug trafficking, which fuels organized crime and criminal activities that affect the security of the population.”

I also don’t care if people smoke marijuana – I don’t think there is any doubt that marijuana is less addictive, and less harmful, than alcohol, and money spent on enforcing the drug laws would be more effective if it is spent on prevention, education, and treatment instead.  We have no business forcing our morals on our neighbors – we enact criminal laws to protect us from one another, not from ourselves.

What if we took all of the resources that are spent on drug enforcement and used those officers, vehicles, time and equipment to solve violent crimes instead?

 

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