"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will." ~ Adam Smith
Let's Go Dutch
As a criminal defense attorney in the U.S., I represent people charged with prostitution, pot, hashish, and hallucinogenic mushrooms. As I write this, I am in the Netherlands, where those activities are not prosecuted. The Netherlands Libertarian Party has invited me to speak at the Hague about U.S. drug laws. I advocate repealing prostitution and drug laws to make the U.S. freer than the Netherlands.
In Amsterdam, an American can march up to a 'bartender' and announce: 'I want to buy some hashish and then I'm going to smoke it.' An American can smoke it on outdoor terraces in front of the police. An American can hire a Dutch prostitute next door.
As a criminal defense attorney I cannot advise U.S. clients to commit crimes nor how to commit crimes. However, I can tell them what a lot of Americans do: vacation in Amsterdam.
It is inspiring to walk into a Dutch smoke shop and see U.S. citizens quietly engaging in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is embarrassing to see less personal freedom in my country, the 'land of the free.'
U.S. laws are sometimes defended with the phrase 'Love it or leave it!' Many Americans leave on frequent holidays in Holland. Many travel specifically to flout U.S. laws.
Of course, some of my clients can't travel, and they are arrested for the same acts that their freer neighbors commit abroad.
Judging by the massive drug use statistics in the U.S., a Hollander might think that the U.S. has no drug laws. But the U.S. sets world records for imprisoning peaceful people who use recreational substances that are not alcohol, tobacco or coffee.
Government pushes tobacco with tax subsidies at the same time that it threatens tobacco smokers on private property. The government pushes specific sports recreation with taxes for socialized football stadiums, while it jails prostitutes and even nude dancers. Alcohol, tobacco, coffee and football are pushed against other recreational competition.
Our government fails to distinguish non-violent consensual acts from theft and violence. Our government commits theft and violence against peaceful people. Many jurors do not know that they have the absolute power to acquit if they believe the law is wrong.
As a criminal defense attorney, I am often asked how I sleep at night after representing people who are guilty. I sleep like a log after I protect peaceful people from guilty government. My counter-question is 'how can anyone sleep after defending the statist quo?'
Let's fight government's antidisestablishmentarianism. Let's go Dutch.