Sex workers need rights and access to courts, writes syndicated columnist Tina Dupuy
Americans have warmed up to the idea of marijuana being legal. Most polls now report more than 50 percent of voters think pot should be legal if not decriminalized. And with good reason: More than half (52 percent) of drug arrests are for marijuana. This is a drug that has been proved to be less harmful with fewer health risks than alcohol or tobacco, and we’re throwing silly amounts of tax dollars away trying to get rid of it.
For the past few months, pot has been legal in two states, Colorado and Washington, and other states such as Alaska and Illinois are considering following suit. This isn’t even medicinal. This isn’t even under the guise of helping your back pain; this is recreational, extracurricular, just-for-kicks marijuana consumption. We used to wink at the medical benefits of whiskey during temperance and the subsequent Prohibition. We’ve stopped having to do that, and we can all just have a drink and chill out about being morally compromised. This seems to be where weed is going.
So Americans are basically saying they’re OK with allowing grown-ups to indulge in a drug for the sake of indulging. This is a big turning point for a drug that has been consumed for 5,000 years and vilified in this country for the past 100.
There’s a coalition of people coming together on this issue. There are the libertarians who think all drugs should be legal, fiscal conservatives who see the “war on drugs” as a big waste of resources and money, and the hippies who have been pro-marijuana since before it was cool. So this unlikely axis of legal can agree on some pragmatic policy. They’ve proved it.
So it’s time for a serious discussion about the decriminalization of prostitution. Stick with me.
As I mentioned, we’ve been cultivating pot for at least 5,000 years. But is pot dealer the world’s oldest profession? Not even close.
First off, prostitution is not totally illegal in the United States. It’s legal and regulated in some counties of Nevada. It’s also legal to pay someone to perform sex acts if it’s for entertainment purposes such as film and stage productions. So there is not an all-out ban on the selling of sex.
And yet roughly 80,000 people are arrested every year for solicitation.