Time to scrap laws against victimless crimes?

One of my favourite bloggers, Amit Varma of India Uncut blogs about why its time to scrap laws against victimless crimes. He makes a passionate plea to legalise prostitution, homosexuality, drugs and betting on sports.

Take me, for example: I sell my skills as a writer, limited as they are, to write pieces such as this one. You no doubt have a job that involves selling your skills as well. Many people trade not their intellectual skills but physical labour. Most such trades, made to mutual benefit, are considered respectable. But when a prostitute offers her sexual services, that is somehow considered improper and unethical.

What is even odder is that in most countries, if two consenting adults get together and have sex, the state will not interfere – unless money has changed hands. On one hand, we sanctimoniously frown upon sex; on the other, we frown at commerce. The human race would not exist without either of these two.

Consider also that there would be much less scope for it if betting was legal and respectable business houses ran betting establishments. If HSBC, HDFC, Citibank and ICICI offered betting accounts just as they offer demat accounts, would you really trust your money to the shady underworld types who now run the show?

Our dubious sense of morality is responsible for all these stupid laws. In India, for example, section 377 of the Indian Penal Code effectively penalises homosexuality – a law that is said to have led to policemen running extortion rackets across the country. Even free speech can sometimes be a victimless crime, as a variety of laws make giving offence, especially on religious grounds, a crime.

Exactly my thoughts. I have forever argued that the only people who make money by making prostitution illegal is the underworld and the corrupt police. The police is even more complicit in the way that they take bribes from these brothels to keep them open and force themselves upon those hapless sex workers and ill treat them. Why dont we legalise it and make the sex workers pay taxes for the work that they do. Give them regular healthcare check ups and insist on asking the customer to wear a condom.

Also when two adult males of females want to have sex, why is it that the government wants to clamp down on it and make it a crime? We have the rights to vote at 18 yrs of age, but we would never be given the right to decide on who we should have sex with? Why is it that the governments are so hell bent on ruling us rather than serving us, which is what they are supposed to do in the first place?

Its high time, we climbed down from the stupid moral high grounds that we hold on to and have a scientific and analytical look at all the ills that prevade our society; and break the shackeles of the centuries old prejudices.

Read the full article here. A must read.

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