17 Victimless Crimes

In Bolivia, a clown known only as “Mr Twister” has been threatened with prison for refusing to promise a Santa Cruz court that he would not repeat his offence. Mr Twister was charged with repeatedly feeding the parking meters of complete strangers.

Report in the Guardian, June 96

Here we look at the proliferation of victimless crimes appearing upon our statute books. The original remit of the state was to protect us from other states. As the need arose this was expanded to include protecting us from criminal elements within our own state. Now, satisfying the state’s need for increased regulation, it takes on the mantle of protecting us from ourselves.

We briefly explore the laws against cannabis use, which have imprisoned millions for enjoying a safer and happier alternative to alcohol; those governing the education of our children, which have seen parents killed and children taken into care for disagreeing with legislated educational requirements; laws covering the entire sexual arena, from determining what orifices may legally be used to banning visual or verbal depictions of the activity that creates us; laws governing permissible and non-permissible housing, which can make it impossible to live in a hand-built shack on your own land with a compost toilet; and forfeiture laws in America which routinely deprive people of large sums of their legitimately earned money as punishment for having unknowingly neglected to fill out a required form, or for accidentally making an incorrect entry upon a form.

It would seem obvious that more laws against victimless crimes creates more criminals and less resources to reduce the number of victims of actual thieves and violent criminals. It will be obvious to readers by the end of this chapter.

Greg's posts on this

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