Monday, 24 March 2014

Rules Are Made to be Broken

No I am not an anarchist (am I…?) I am usually a law-abiding citizen, but when a law is outdated stupid, ineffective, unfair or counter-productive I feel a certain duty to break that law.

For example the copyright on movies and TV shows is enforced. We have to wait months or maybe even years to legally watch some series and then have to pay large fees for the privilege. We also have the knowledge that many of our friends in other countries are already legally watching these programs.

There is no fairly priced, easy and legal way to have access to some of these programs in Australia. If the producers and distributors of these products had any brains they would have created a system for anybody on this planet to have fairly priced access to them years ago. In a case like this where people are faced with such inequality and unfairness it is understandable that piracy is a crime that almost all Australians have committed.

Another example of silly laws is drug policy. A number of drugs primarily marijuana I believe should be fully legalised and then taxed in a similar way to cigarettes. This would give farmers a valuable new crop to grow and provide a major new source of revenue for the government. It would also remove massive amounts of capital from criminal enterprises. At the moment marijuana is in a sort of legal no-man’s-land where the laws are very rarely enforced and only for major traffickers or producers. Everybody, that wishes to smoke marijuana already does.

It is far more preferable to have the money spent on purchasing this drug in the hands of farmers and government rather than criminals. Our current laws only force people who wish to use this drug to consort with criminals. Some of these drug dealers no doubt sell more harmful, addictive, hard drugs as well. The only argument against legalising marijuana seems to be, “but that will mean that we are condoning it.” This is just a stupid emotional argument with no basis in fact or logic. Compare it to cigarettes which have always been legal, but nevertheless the tireless effort of the medical community and government have drastically cut the smoking rate. I also don’t need to mention the horrendous unintended consequences from alcohol prohibition in the US.

Another major problem with our laws and criminal justice system is that people seem to be detained on an arbitrary basis and not on how much of a threat they are to the community. Child molesters, rapists and other violent criminals I believe should be held in jail on the basis of the chance of reoffending. People who have not committed violent crimes and/or first-time offenders are not a risk to the community should not be in jail. Instead they should be made to perform community service to use their talents to pay compensation to their victims or to benefit society. The current system is basically a university for criminals, turning adolescent mistakes into a career criminals.

Three word slogan time:

Abbott fix it!

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