To Criminalize or De-criminalize

Create a model enabling more productive discussions around the options to criminalize an activity vs regulate vs de-regulate.

From a minimalist point of view, we want to provide the most freedom and liberty for an individual while protecting others freedom from being infringed upon by others doing the activity.

Eg. Jefferson ~~”You are free to swing your fist where ever you want until it hits my nose.”

A key question when looking at any activity is, to quote Penn Jillette.
~~”Can this problem be solved with more freedom?”

Important note, at all levels of the pyramid there is still the rule of law.  The choice is not between anarchy vs tyranny.  We are discussing gradients of the amount of law and freedom.  Even the top of the pyramid still has law protecting individual freedom and rights.


As a minimalist, my primary goal is to establish the activities that can be moved up the pyramid.  Even if we can only move it one step, that is always better.

Eg. moving marijuana up from Criminalize to Heavy Regulation.

Eg. moving alcohol up from Heavy Regulation to Light Regulation, allowing parents to determine the best use of alcohol in their homes.  Catholic-like religions should be able to give wine to a teen as part of the sacrament.

The organization LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition makes the argument very conclusively as law enforcement agents, that criminalizing many activities is worse for the society than regulation.  If you truly abhor an activity and think it is terrible, you should NOT criminalize that, that just drives it underground fueling a black market.  Instead, you should regulate it to drive those addicted to safe outlets.  Eg heroin clinics instead of crack dens.

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