Part 5 of Drug Freeland dealt with reforming welfare. The next step we should take before legalising drugs is the elimination of laws restricting private sector access to information-“privacy laws”. The state however should remain restricted to gathering only the most superficial information on its citizens, unless engaged in criminal or subversive activities.
On several occasions the NZ Privacy Commission has condemned any suggestion that drug testing in the workplace be expanded. They have claimed that such testing would be an unwarranted intrusion on worker’s privacy. Such statements reveal the socialist nature of the organisation and its brief.
In my opinion, the Privacy Commission has much more to do with establishing state control over private sector information flows than with “privacy”.
Current privacy laws hamper the ability of individuals to check out individuals they may wish to deal with. They inhibit the the ability of responsible employers to weed out dangerous and incompetent people from their work force, including, of course, drug abusers. In so doing they put lives at risk.
In New Freeland, most of the “regulation” of irrational activity will be carried out by the insurance industry. Companies in order to be efficient and eliminate fraud must be able to compile and trade data on individuals.
Companies will no doubt specialise on building files on known drug abusers, criminals, contract breakers, serial sexual harassers and the like. They will then sell this data to company personnel departments, employers groups, school boards etc.
This is commonly done now with finance and credit histories. The internet has made it possible to rate teachers and employers. By eliminating private sector privacy laws, this concept will probably expand to cover far more areas than it does now.
In a country where drugs are legal, the ability to track and identify drug abusers will be essential to maintain safety and production standards. Bear in mind, that in New Freeland, the legal profession will be completely deregulated and libel actions will be much more affordable and speedy than they are now. This will give the individual quick redress if untruthful information is circulated about him or her.
This will be a powerful incentive to “get it right”.
“Privacy” laws also interfere with the ability to make and enforce contracts, which is another reason why they should be knocked on the head.
In New Freeland contracts will sacrosanct and bureaucrats will have no role but to enforce them if they are broken.
Individuals or groups will make agreements to perform a service or services for another or others in exchange for specified benefits. Each party will aim to get the best deal possible and will be free to set whatever terms are deemed necessary to achieve the desired result.
The content of such agreements (unless fraudulent) will be of no interest to the state. The state may however be called in to arbitrate or enforce compensation if an agreement is broken.
Therefore any employer will have the right to put any conditions he or she likes in an employment contract. Drugs will of course be legal, but an employer will have every right to demand that an employee does not use them, even outside work hours.
An anti-drug employer will insert a drugs ban clause in his employment contract. This may be enforced by drug tests, sworn affidavits or both, depending on the wishes of the employer.
Also the employers insurance company will probably want to carry out testing as a condition of granting insurance cover. Can you imagine an airline or construction company, not requiring it’s employees to be drug free? Would you travel with a bus company whose drivers were not subject to such a policy? The consequences for breaking such a contract would be far more than the tiny fine many drug offences now warrant.
Many companies will advertise as “drug free” workplaces. There will be competition amongst companies to enforce the toughest anti drug policies.
Drug abusers who want to rise above the lowest rung of the employment ladder will face a choice. Lie to their employer and hope they’re off work sick every time a test is carried out, or give up drugs.
By the same token, a hippy shoemaker on the Coromandel might require regular dope smoking as a condition of employment. Either way, the prospective employee will have the option of accepting, rejecting or renegotiating the conditions on offer.
However I’m sure that on average, drug abuse will a lot less common than it is today.