Drug Prohibition = A law making the production, sale, or use of a drug a criminal offense.

Legalization/Decriminalization of A Drug = Repealing a prohibition on the drug.


Utilitarian = One who holds the view that government should try to maximize total utility (i.e., happiness).

Libertarian = One who holds the view that the only legitimate role of government is to protect rights to equal liberty.

In class we distinguished various types of Libertarian view. It is useful to give them names:

Unrestricted Libertarian = A Libertarian who holds that one should be permitted to give up one's rights.

Restricted Libertarian = A Libertarian who holds that the rights to equal basic liberty are inalienable; one should not be permitted to give them up.

We also added another type of view, which I think we should classify as another type of Libertarianism:

Caveat Emptor Libertarian = A Libertarian who holds that even laws that are intended to promote informed consent (e.g., laws requiring warnings or other information) are violations of rights to equal liberty (either the rights of the person required to provide the warning or information or the rights of the person required to be exposed to it).

Classical Conservative = One who holds the view that one of the legitimate roles of a government is the moral improvement of its citizens. (Analogy to the role of parents.)

In lecture, we also added:

Mill's Harm-to-Others Principle:

"That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." [30]

Paternalistic Reason for a Restriction on Liberty: A justification for a restriction on liberty that is based on preventing physical, psychological, or moral harm to (or promoting the physical, psychological, or moral good of) the person whose liberty is being restricted, against that person's will.


Mill's Arguments Against Paternalistic Interference: The state should not intervene to prevent a person from using drugs, if the only harm is to the user him/herself.

Compare Mill's discussion of gambling, drunkenness (the Maine Law prohibited alcoholic consumption), and poisons.


A. Mill Would Permit State Interference When the Interests of Others are Directly Involved

B. Addiction and The Slavery Analogy: Mill's Argument Against the Enforcement of Slavery Contracts