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CAPSULE COMMENTARY: “Do Drug Addicts Own Themselves?”

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“In last Sunday’s Parade magazine (I read it only sometimes), “Walter Scott’s Personality Parade” took Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr. to task for being a drug addict. A reader had asked whether Downey needed rehabilitation rather than incarceration. Reflecting the statist mindset that unfortunately grips the minds of all too many Americans, Scott’s answer was: “Downey’s blind determination to squander his talent reminds us of the self-destructive excesses of Marlon Brandow and Errol Flynn. Downey was given several chances at rehabilitation and blew them all. As harsh as it may be, we hope hard time at California’s Corcoran State Prison — also home to Charles Manson — will sober Downey up once and for all. But we’re skeptical.” In other words, by engaging in self-destructive behavior, Downey now belongs with the likes of Charles Manson, who have destroyed the lives of other people through murder. The point that Parade is making, of course, is that neither Downey nor anyone else owns his own life. Instead, he is owned by “society,” which uses government to punish those who refuses to conform to the statists’ vision of the “proper” life. These people are out of control, and I’m not referring to drug addicts. I’m referring to those who are obsessed with trying to control the lives of other people and who, with their cruel and immoral war on drugs, have done more damage to the American people than all the drug addicts and possibly even more than all the murderers too.”

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.