The Victimless Crime Racket.

IN ONE recent discussion I had with a federal deputy public prosecutor on the subject of victimless crimes, I was told that drug offenses(which is what that branch of public prosecution specialize in) are not being as enforced as harshly as they were five years as they are being “slowly” de-criminalized.

It was not clear weather or not this “slow” de-criminalization(as I was told) was made for for reasons pertaining to the nature(and incoherency) of federal law or for purely logistical reasons. The latter is more likely given the fact that deputy prosecutor told me that people in years passed were shackled and imprisoned for merely smoking a joint or having traces of it on their pants. I then asked why judges were so harsh on drug offenses “back then”, but the prosecutor did not know.

In any case, I find it mind numbing to think that a judge who presents himself as being a serious and hard-nosed professional (typically those judges who have facial expressions which are indicative of their incessant seriousness) would seek to perpetuate the unproductive and menace manufacturing(recidivist) racket known as victimless crime enforcement.

It can be inferred that the judges and prosecutors want to consolidate victimless crime laws so that they can keep their jobs and that they may also believe that they are dispensing “justice”, as they define it, is aligned with the apparent “public interest” or “societal norms”. Judges assume that these titles correspond to reality yet they have never been made to demonstrate how much public interest there would be if the public were presented with an economic analysis of victimless crime laws. In other words, the public would not have any interest in consolidating victimless crime laws if property taxes needed to rise in order to build new prisons, mental institutions, police stations etc.

A rise in taxes to enforce victimless crimes in the name of so called “safety” is non sensical as people are coerced to pay taxes for services that they as a community did not sign a contract for. We are forced, by threat of violence, to fund the police because the government knows that without taxation the market would replace the police with private security guards or night watchman to protect their person and assets. People do not care about the vices of people they do not know which means they would not be inclined to see people locked up for a prohibited behavior(i.e. drugs, gambling, prostitution etc).

There is no justice contained in victimless crimes as they are not crimes against society but the state. The state does not represent societal interest because society consists of a group of individuals who are indifferent to the behavior of others unless it causes themselves harm. Picture a lonely and disheveled man in a small apartment who has a minor drug problem, he has no friends or close family and he takes a prescription drug which, unbeknownst to him, has been made illegal. No one knows of this mans existence except for the narcotics enforcement unit who sees his name on the registry of people who use the now illegal drug. The word “illegal” in the mind of the enforcers is like a whistle in that it signals, without context or definition, that violent action must commence immediately. The police and the justices are not concerned with justice as the state is not an individual which is directly harmed and is not therefore a recipient of justice. State justice is fiat justice.

Justice has to be in service of something much like how sensations must be caused by something. Lady Justice is blindfolded to ensure that that facts of the case before her are not contaminated by the bias of corrupt judges who want to imprison people for sake of keeping their jobs as opposed to honoring Justice. Judges want to maintain victimless crime laws because they know very few in the private sector will pay for their services as the enforcement of such crimes are not a service but an self serving imposition. An angry mother, who is disappointed in her sons drug use, will not think(unless she is abusive) that her son must be shackled and imprisoned to improve himself.

We come to reckless beliefs about justice when we conflate punishment with deterrence or justice with imprisonment. Assume there were no modern police and that one day I propose to you, despite no observable or statistical evidence, that we must imprison all of our insolent youth because an all-wise third person(the state) has a pre-ordained position of credibility which can see reality from a different standpoint. This proposition fall into the myth of the standpoint(Popper) as the state cannot have a standpoint due to the fact that the it looks to sustain itself by profiting off of victimless crimes. Sustainability always comes before the objective as major changes have major consequences for the livelihood of the states employees.

A government lawyer may argue that such a proposition made in hypothetical circumstances is void because hypotheticals do not describe how the world works in a performative sense. In other words, less laws would create more opportunities for people to exploit one another because their is no deterrence as people will be less frightened about losing their liberty.

Here our government lawyer has attempted to make a pragmatic argument for victimless crimes based on potentiality and prevention. Although I agree that prevention is important, prevention must prevent something dangerous or unfair from happening. To rely on a remote station of law enforcement is far less practical than having night watchman guard the neighborhood as they are just paid to just patrol. Preventing drug use from happening by way of imprisonment is impractical because there are more drugs in prison! As seen here: “A new study on intravenous drug use in Canadian prisons argues that needle and equipment sharing is rampant among prisoners. And with needle-sharing being a primary contributor to increased rates of HIV and hepatitis C infections, the study calls for renewed support for government-run in-prison needle and syringe programs as a harm reduction strategy.

Drugs, of course, are illegal and contraband in Canadian prisons, yet inmates gain access to them nonetheless. Correctional Service Canada has stated that drug and alcohol abuse is a “major concern” in federal corrections. Almost 70 per cent of prisoners admitted are assessed as having a substance abuse problem and a 2007 inmate survey found that 17 per cent of men and 14 per cent of women admitted to using intravenous drugs while in federal prisons. A further 25 per cent of inmates stated that they are under pressure to participate in smuggling drugs into prison.”-Jayson Maclean of

As we can now see, victimless crime laws merely perpetuate vice because imprisonment and morality are a contradiction in terms. One cannot claim to be morally superior by forming their own equivalent of morality that is embedded in a material punishment. Vices are a blight on a spirit, but they do beget malevolence against another person.




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Luke "Lantern" Thompson

I am a lay libertarian, bioethicist, writer, philosopher, alternative health and reform advocate and more.