Do you believe that a person can commit a crime against one's own self?

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#1 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

The question is simple-

Can a person commit a crime against themselves? I'm specifically targeting laws against using certain substances, like marijuana, for example. A crime needs to have a victim. I don't personally use pot or any other illegal substances, but I defend the right of others to do so. When you really look at it, a law against a person using a certain substance is saying that they are committing a crime against their self. How is that possible? How can you have free will and have laws saying that it's a crime to use drugs? Now, if someone gets drunk or high and commits a crime against someone else while under the influence, they are obviously responsible for their actions. The using of the drugs themselves can't be a crime in my view. It just can't be if we're in a free society.

What do you think?

#2 Posted by NiKva (8180 posts) -
Suicide is illegal and it's usually done to oneself.
#3 Posted by jim_shorts (7320 posts) -

I think it's a little more complicated than that. By using drugs you're supporting cartels (which I guess are only there because drugs are illegal in the first place) so it isn't exactly victimless.

#4 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

I think it's a little more complicated than that. By using drugs you're supporting cartels (which I guess are only there because drugs are illegal in the first place) so it isn't exactly victimless.

jim_shorts

If we go down that path, I could make the argument that cartels are only dangerous and violent because their trade is illegal.

#5 Posted by Aljosa23 (25999 posts) -

A crime is only something that's defined as such so, yeah I guess.

#6 Posted by jim_shorts (7320 posts) -

[QUOTE="jim_shorts"]

I think it's a little more complicated than that. By using drugs you're supporting cartels (which I guess are only there because drugs are illegal in the first place) so it isn't exactly victimless.

hartsickdiscipl

If we go down that path, I could make the argument that cartels are only dangerous and violent because their trade is illegal.

I more or less said that, but as it stands one still contributes to them with recreational drug use.
#7 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

A crime is only something that's defined as such so, yeah I guess.

Aljosa23

How do you define a crime? Using your own common sense.

#8 Posted by ghoklebutter (19327 posts) -
The very idea is silly.
#9 Posted by Aljosa23 (25999 posts) -

[QUOTE="Aljosa23"]

A crime is only something that's defined as such so, yeah I guess.

hartsickdiscipl

How do you define a crime? Using your own common sense.

You don't, the government says what is or isn't a crime. Just because you think doing something is fine even if it's still a crime doesn't change anything.

#10 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -
No. Crimes are committed against the state, not an individual.
#11 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

No. Crimes are committed against the state, not an individual.thegerg

How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself? What harm have I done?

#12 Posted by Zeviander (9503 posts) -
Only suicide could apply.
#13 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

[QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

[QUOTE="Aljosa23"]

A crime is only something that's defined as such so, yeah I guess.

Aljosa23

How do you define a crime? Using your own common sense.

You don't, the government says what is or isn't a crime. Just because you think doing something is fine even if it's still a crime doesn't change anything.

The issue is the definition of what can be considered a crime. My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime. A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves. That's common sense in my book. I don't feel that the state can be considered a victim if a person chooses to use a certain substance.

#14 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"]No. Crimes are committed against the state, not an individual.hartsickdiscipl

How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself? What harm have I done?

"How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself?" Because possessing that joint is defined as a crime in most places, it's really quite simple. "What harm have I done?" You have put yourself into a situation that could lead to the state taking your money or your freedom, such an outcome could harm your family.
#15 Posted by UglyDude_07 (2574 posts) -
Only suicide could apply.Zeviander
They gone lock me up if I commit suicide?
#16 Posted by m0zart (11568 posts) -

The issue is the definition of what can be considered a crime. My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime. A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves. That's common sense in my book. I don't feel that the state can be considered a victim if a person chooses to use a certain substance.hartsickdiscipl

It took a long time for me to hear something sensible coming out of you. Good job!

Now please don't screw it up by introducing... you know... to the subject.

#17 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -

[QUOTE="Aljosa23"]

[QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

How do you define a crime? Using your own common sense.

hartsickdiscipl

You don't, the government says what is or isn't a crime. Just because you think doing something is fine even if it's still a crime doesn't change anything.

The issue is the definition of what can be considered a crime. My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime. A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves. That's common sense in my book. I don't feel that the state can be considered a victim if a person chooses to use a certain substance.

"My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime." Then you should probably research criminal law. It is VERY possible to commit such a crime. "A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves." Even if such an act harms or endangers others?
#18 Posted by KiIIyou (27155 posts) -
I like tickling myself with feathers, it gets soo loud that the nearby pigs yell at me to stop. but I say NO
#19 Posted by harashawn (27604 posts) -
No, a crime can only be committed against the state.
#20 Posted by l4dak47 (6838 posts) -

The question is simple-

Can a person commit a crime against themselves? I'm specifically targeting laws against using certain substances, like marijuana, for example. A crime needs to have a victim. I don't personally use pot or any other illegal substances, but I defend the right of others to do so. When you really look at it, a law against a person using a certain substance is saying that they are committing a crime against their self. How is that possible? How can you have free will and have laws saying that it's a crime to use drugs? Now, if someone gets drunk or high and commits a crime against someone else while under the influence, they are obviously responsible for their actions. The using of the drugs themselves can't be a crime in my view. It just can't be if we're in a free society.

What do you think?

hartsickdiscipl
is this real life? ........I actually agree with you.
#21 Posted by m0zart (11568 posts) -

"My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime." Then you should probably research criminal law. It is VERY possible to commit such a crime. "A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves." Even if such an act harms or endangers others?thegerg

Yes, law is arbitrary and hollow enough that anything can be defined a crime. Whether it should be is another question altogether. I am relatively convinced that it should never be, and that such opposing magnetic poles should exist between the words "victimless" and "crime" that the two can never meet.

#22 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"]"My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime." Then you should probably research criminal law. It is VERY possible to commit such a crime. "A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves." Even if such an act harms or endangers others?m0zart

Yes, law is arbitrary and hollow enough that anything can be defined a crime. Whether it should be is another question altogether. I am relatively convinced that it should never be, and that such opposing magnetic poles should exist between the words "victimless" and "crime" that the two can never meet.

I agree, to an extent. What needs to be defined, though, is "victim." There are numerous acts which do not actually harm another that most reasonable people would consider to be reasonably criminal.
#23 Posted by m0zart (11568 posts) -

I agree, to an extent. What needs to be defined, though, is "victim." There are numerous acts which do not actually harm another that most reasonable people would consider to be reasonably criminal. thegerg

I might then be, in your view, an unreasonable person. And I'm probably ok with that.

I'll stop assuming though and let you offer an example.

#24 Posted by Zeviander (9503 posts) -
They gone lock me up if I commit suicide?UglyDude_07
If you fail they will. Or anyone who helps you. It's one of those "nonsense" crimes that makes no logical sense. If somebody wants to throw their life away, or end suffering, they should be entitled to do so. Personally, I'm going to hang on till the bitter end, but I do not judge others for their choices. Responsibility to the responsible.
#25 Posted by harashawn (27604 posts) -
[QUOTE="thegerg"][QUOTE="m0zart"]

"My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime." Then you should probably research criminal law. It is VERY possible to commit such a crime. "A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves." Even if such an act harms or endangers others?thegerg

Yes, law is arbitrary and hollow enough that anything can be defined a crime. Whether it should be is another question altogether. I am relatively convinced that it should never be, and that such opposing magnetic poles should exist between the words "victimless" and "crime" that the two can never meet.

I agree, to an extent. What needs to be defined, though, is "victim." There are numerous acts which do not actually harm another that most reasonable people would consider to be reasonably criminal.

If it is against the criminal code, it is a crime. Whether there is a definite victim is irrelevent.
#26 Posted by m0zart (11568 posts) -

If it is against the criminal code, it is a crime. Whether there is a definite victim is irrelevent.harashawn

Certainly, the mob office that demands its protection money is very relevant to me. And if I pretend it's not relevant, I am sure they will remind me that they very much are.

But that's a bit different than holding onto a concept that any definition of a crime is ok, and that any law is perfectly alright, even if it creates victims rather than acts to protect them. That is the unfortunate effect of holding onto a legal system defined to act on "victimless crimes".

#27 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -
[QUOTE="harashawn"][QUOTE="thegerg"][QUOTE="m0zart"]

Yes, law is arbitrary and hollow enough that anything can be defined a crime. Whether it should be is another question altogether. I am relatively convinced that it should never be, and that such opposing magnetic poles should exist between the words "victimless" and "crime" that the two can never meet.

I agree, to an extent. What needs to be defined, though, is "victim." There are numerous acts which do not actually harm another that most reasonable people would consider to be reasonably criminal.

If it is against the criminal code, it is a crime. Whether there is a definite victim is irrelevent.

You're righ, but that has nothing to do with my post.
#28 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"]I agree, to an extent. What needs to be defined, though, is "victim." There are numerous acts which do not actually harm another that most reasonable people would consider to be reasonably criminal. m0zart

I might then be, in your view, an unreasonable person. And I'm probably ok with that.

I'll stop assuming though and let you offer an example.

If I drink a bottle of wine then get in my truck and drive though a school zone at 70mph while firing a pistol out the window but hit no one with my vehicle or weapon one could argue that there were no victims, but a reasonable person would believe my actions should be criminal.
#29 Posted by harashawn (27604 posts) -
[QUOTE="harashawn"][QUOTE="thegerg"] I agree, to an extent. What needs to be defined, though, is "victim." There are numerous acts which do not actually harm another that most reasonable people would consider to be reasonably criminal. thegerg
If it is against the criminal code, it is a crime. Whether there is a definite victim is irrelevent.

You're righ, but that has nothing to do with my post.

A reasonable person would consider a crime to be criminal, and a reasonable person would consider a breach of the criminal code to be a crime. I don't see how that has nothing to do with your post.
#30 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -
[QUOTE="thegerg"][QUOTE="harashawn"]If it is against the criminal code, it is a crime. Whether there is a definite victim is irrelevent.harashawn
You're righ, but that has nothing to do with my post.

A reasonable person would consider a crime to be criminal, and a reasonable person would consider a breach of the criminal code to be a crime. I don't see how that has nothing to do with your post.

My post has nothing to do with the reasonable belief that a crime is criminal. If you don't see that my post has nothing to do with that then maybe you should go back and read my post more carefully.
#31 Posted by m0zart (11568 posts) -

If I drink a bottle of wine then get in my truck and drive though a school zone at 70mph while firing a pistol out the window but hit no one with my vehicle or weapon one could argue that there were no victims, but a reasonable person would believe my actions should be criminal. thegerg

Certainly that's a gray area. I have to admit though that I am probably ok with not criminalizing such an act if no harm was actually done. Sounds controversial, but over the years I more and more side with the notion that we're all slowly becoming more in danger of the laws that are made to protect us from such risks than from the risks they target.

But yes, I can see that exposing someone to a very real risk can be considered well within that gray area. Similarly, making threats of force or fraud can be considered actionable to some extent, since the threat is expressing some real intent to create a victim.

A reasonable person would consider a crime to be criminal, and a reasonable person would consider a breach of the criminal code to be a crime. I don't see how that has nothing to do with your post.harashawn

If you decided to define "crime" as meaning "anything and everything we chose to make illegal for just about any purpose we chose whatsoever", then sure, a reasonable person would see your defintion and say the term was applied as strictly defined. But that's really only because he knows how to use your definition as stated. It's a pretty low-level of reason really. It's actually little more than applying logic, making it a bit automatic, as automatic as a math equation.

But someone who goes to the next level and says "that which we have made illegal should be in any and all circumstances", that person is no longer being reasonable, just robotic. From my own perspective on what constitutes ethical Government, making a victimless act into a crime only creates new victims, and worse, victims who often have no recourse, having been marked by whoever wields the rubber stamp as an officially sanctioned victim. We tend to blank out the violence we do to others when we internalize it into the legal system, when we make it official. And of course, that kind of evasion of the ethical wrongdoings we commit in such cases is, IMO, pretty damned unreasonable.

#32 Posted by l4dak47 (6838 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"]If I drink a bottle of wine then get in my truck and drive though a school zone at 70mph while firing a pistol out the window but hit no one with my vehicle or weapon one could argue that there were no victims, but a reasonable person would believe my actions should be criminal. m0zart

Certainly that's a gray area. I have to admit though that I am probably ok with not criminalizing such an act if no harm was actually done. Sounds controversial, but over the years I more and more side with the notion that we're all slowly becoming more in danger of the laws that are made to protect us from such risks than from the risks they target.

But yes, I can see that exposing someone to a very real risk can be considered well within that gray area. Similarly, making threats of force or fraud can be considered actionable to some extent, since the threat is expressing some real intent to create a victim.

A reasonable person would consider a crime to be criminal, and a reasonable person would consider a breach of the criminal code to be a crime. I don't see how that has nothing to do with your post.harashawn

If you decided to define "crime" as meaning "anything and everything we chose to make illegal for just about any purpose we chose whatsoever", then sure, a reasonable person would see your defintion and say the term was applied as strictly defined. But that's really only because he knows how to use your definition as stated. It's a pretty low-level of reason really. It's actually little more than applying logic, making it a bit automatic, as automatic as a math equation.

But someone who goes to the next level and says "that which we have made illegal should be in any and all circumstances", that person is no longer being reasonable, just robotic. From my own perspective on what constitutes ethical Government, making a victimless act into a crime only creates new victims, and worse, victims who often have no recourse, having been marked by whoever wields the rubber stamp as an officially sanctioned victim. We tend to blank out the violence we do to others when we internalize it into the legal system, when we make it official. And of course, that kind of evasion of the ethical wrongdoings we commit in such cases is, IMO, pretty damned unreasonable.

Well said.
#33 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"]No. Crimes are committed against the state, not an individual.hartsickdiscipl

How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself? What harm have I done?

You can smoke in Washington now, but can't buy a big gulp in New York City. Government can't use logic.
#34 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

[QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

[QUOTE="thegerg"]No. Crimes are committed against the state, not an individual.thegerg

How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself? What harm have I done?

"How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself?" Because possessing that joint is defined as a crime in most places, it's really quite simple. "What harm have I done?" You have put yourself into a situation that could lead to the state taking your money or your freedom, such an outcome could harm your family.

A crime should be something that's causing real, quantifiable harm. Possessing a substance without using it to harm others cannot qualify. This discussion isn't about what the law currently says is a crime. It's about examining what should be considered a crime, and how current laws infringe heavily upon free will.

#35 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

[QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

[QUOTE="Aljosa23"]You don't, the government says what is or isn't a crime. Just because you think doing something is fine even if it's still a crime doesn't change anything.

thegerg

The issue is the definition of what can be considered a crime. My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime. A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves. That's common sense in my book. I don't feel that the state can be considered a victim if a person chooses to use a certain substance.

"My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime." Then you should probably research criminal law. It is VERY possible to commit such a crime. "A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves." Even if such an act harms or endangers others?

Once again, you're missing the whole point of this discussion. Step outside the box for a minute and think for yourself. This isn't about what the f*cked up legal system considers to be a crime now, it's about how it should be. Smoking pot isn't endanging anyone else.

#36 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"][QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself? What harm have I done?

hartsickdiscipl

"How can I commit a crime against the state by using my own free will and smoking a joint by myself?" Because possessing that joint is defined as a crime in most places, it's really quite simple. "What harm have I done?" You have put yourself into a situation that could lead to the state taking your money or your freedom, such an outcome could harm your family.

A crime should be something that's causing real, quantifiable harm. Possessing a substance without using it to harm others cannot qualify. This discussion isn't about what the law currently says is a crime. It's about examining what should be considered a crime, and how current laws infringe heavily upon free will.

I was simply answering your questions. Anyway, should I be allows to drink a bottle of vodka then drive my car as fast as I want to public roads?
#37 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"][QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

The issue is the definition of what can be considered a crime. My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime. A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves. That's common sense in my book. I don't feel that the state can be considered a victim if a person chooses to use a certain substance.

hartsickdiscipl

"My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime." Then you should probably research criminal law. It is VERY possible to commit such a crime. "A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves." Even if such an act harms or endangers others?

Once again, you're missing the whole point of this discussion. Step outside the box for a minute and think for yourself. This isn't about what the f*cked up legal system considers to be a crime now, it's about how it should be. Smoking pot isn't endanging anyone else.

No, I'm not missing the point of the discussion. I am simply explaining to you where you are wrong.

Saying"My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime" is like saying"My sense tells me that it's impossible to eat a hamless sandwich." It's silly. Your sense is wrong.

#38 Posted by sSubZerOo (44198 posts) -
Suicide is illegal and it's usually done to oneself.NiKva
Suicide is not illegal in the same sense as committing a crime..
#39 Posted by mingmao3046 (2648 posts) -
No which is why drug laws are so absurd
#40 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

[QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

[QUOTE="thegerg"] "My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime." Then you should probably research criminal law. It is VERY possible to commit such a crime. "A person with free will has the right to do whatever they want to themselves." Even if such an act harms or endangers others?thegerg

Once again, you're missing the whole point of this discussion. Step outside the box for a minute and think for yourself. This isn't about what the f*cked up legal system considers to be a crime now, it's about how it should be. Smoking pot isn't endanging anyone else.

No, I'm not missing the point of the discussion. I am simply explaining to you where you are wrong.

You used current law in your argument, you clearly missed the point.

#41 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

Not really. However, I don't think that future me would take kindly to current me killing myself because I had a rough day.

#42 Posted by whipassmt (14544 posts) -

of course. why couldn't someone commit a crime against their self?

#43 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -

[QUOTE="thegerg"][QUOTE="hartsickdiscipl"]

Once again, you're missing the whole point of this discussion. Step outside the box for a minute and think for yourself. This isn't about what the f*cked up legal system considers to be a crime now, it's about how it should be. Smoking pot isn't endanging anyone else.

hartsickdiscipl

No, I'm not missing the point of the discussion. I am simply explaining to you where you are wrong.

You used current law in your argument, you clearly missed the point.

I used current law as an example because it proves you to be wrong. Saying "My sense tells me that it's impossible to commit a victimless crime" is like saying "My sense tells me that it's impossible to eat a hamless sandwich." It's silly. Your sense is simply out of touch with reality, that doesn't mean that I'm missing the point.

#44 Posted by krazykillaz (21141 posts) -
It's your body and I think you do whatever you want with it. As long as you're not causing problems for anyone else, do whatever. Your rights end where mine begin. EDIT: This all goes to healthy people by the way. There are ethical issues with letting someone who is a child or mentally unfit doing whatever they want to themselves.
#45 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

of course. why couldn't someone commit a crime against their self?

whipassmt
Money? Join the army and then walk in front of a humvee, instant G.I bill.
#46 Posted by thegerg (16060 posts) -
[QUOTE="whipassmt"]

of course. why couldn't someone commit a crime against their self?

Fightingfan
Money? Join the army and then walk in front of a humvee, instant G.I bill.

What?
#47 Posted by mccoyca112 (5433 posts) -

I have zero complaints about people using a substance, as long as A: They are of age(Anywhere from 18-21), and B: They aren't using it or on it in public.

#48 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

I have zero complaints about people using a substance, as long as A: They are of age(Anywhere from 18-21), and B: They aren't using it or on it in public.

mccoyca112
That's my stance on it too, I think a legal adult should be allowed to do whatever they want drug wise in the privacy of their own home. Just make everything legal and regulate it, Portugal did it and the drug abuse dropped by 50%. Don't tell people not to do something, inform them on the consequences that the drugs do, and if they do choose to do the drugs inform safe ways like, don't share needles, etc... http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/07/05/ten-years-after-decriminalization-drug-abuse-down-by-half-in-portugal/
#49 Posted by mccoyca112 (5433 posts) -

[QUOTE="NiKva"]Suicide is illegal and it's usually done to oneself.sSubZerOo
Suicide is not illegal in the same sense as committing a crime..

He has the right idea though..

A failed attempt that is caught in the act can put you in temporary cuffs, and have you sent in for mandatory observation. In other words, taking your right away. You have to sneak it, or be damn sure you're going to be successful.

#50 Posted by edgewalker16 (2284 posts) -

Killing someone takes a toll on the mental self. I suppose that could be considered a crime. The moral grey area on that one, however ambiguous, is rather large.