Sunday, February 24, 2008
Peter McWilliams’ book is based around a simple proposition - in a reasonable society, any adult should be able to do what they please with their person and property, provided it doesn’t harm the person and property of another. That isn’t necessarily the way of things in the United States, however, which at the time of this book’s writing was spending tens of billions in tax dollars to investigate, prosecute and detain people for so called “consensual crimes”. McWilliams argument that the government should stop attempting to protect grown adults from themselves expends 248 pages alone pointing out the numerous ways in which consensual crime laws fail society, then more closely examines the most frequently prosecuted consensual crimes - gambling, drugs, prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, unconventional religious practices, assisted suicide, tranvestism, public drunkenness, loitering, vagrancy, even seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws.
The author was prompted to write this book as an HIV and cancer patient who used medical marijuana to suppress nausea and ease pain, and was raided by the DEA for running a publishing house that printed books advocating the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Sadly and tragically, four years after writing this book, he would die at home of asphyxiation on his own vomit after a fit of nausea. The book is backed by personal fire and zeal, and is well written and researched - peppered with humor and easy to read, yet bringing some very compelling arguments against the legislation of religious morality.