To clarify this morning’s post:

neither of these industries is comparable.

I agree, but I had a specific point to make with this post.

I am in favour of the decriminalisation/legalisation of the drugs trade (I think users themselves should be decriminalised and addiction treated purely as a medical issue, while some, but not all drugs, should be available the same way tobacco and alcohol are now), but I reject the comparison between the drugs trade and the sex trade, and am not in favour of the decriminalsation of the sex industry (I used the porn industry [as an example] here, as they are both US based, I could have made a comparison with Germany’s legal ‘flat rate’ brothels, that offer oral sex without condoms, and ‘gang bangs’ for a small supplementary charge).

The drugs trade and the sex trade are not comparable, in that one is the trade in various chemical compounds, and the other is the trade in human beings. With the drugs trade, the ‘welfare’ of the chemical compound being sold is not a part of the debate.

Other people often make the comparison between the drugs trade and the sex trade, saying (rightly in my opinion) that the ‘war on drugs’ has done more harm than good. They then go on to say that the sex trade is the same, and that abolition does more harm than good, and that the decriminalisation of the sex industry would reduce or remove most of the harm.

I made the comparison above to demonstrate how decriminalising the sex trade, as in the LA based porn industry, has not reduced harm, because the sex industry is one that is predicated on abuse and exploitation, and it is abuse and exploitation whether or not it is legal.

I also made the comparison to show that the legality of porn production has not ‘cleaned up’ the industry, the porn producers fight tooth and nail against any health and safety measures, any accountability, anything that might reduce their profits, and it shows that the bosses don’t give a shit about the workers.

Compare that with the legalised marijuana trade in Colorado, where the producers have actively asked for greater controls, greater restrictions, greater accountability.

This comparison shows that there is no similarity between the drugs trade and the sex trade, and that evidence of legalisation/decriminalisation of the drugs trade improving society, does not in any way prove that decriminalising the sex industry will bring about improvements.

From the comments thread of this post

One response

  1. […] Radio 4; the subject this week was proposed changes to the law regarding drug use and prostitution (you can read what I think about the usefulness of such a comparison here), the programme is available on BBC iPlayer here. I find the format of this programme very limited […]

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