Apr 5, 1992

Thomas Szasz: The Right to Take Drugs

Thomas Szasz is a psychiatrist and author well known for his criticism of the modern psychiatry movement. He has consistently sought to apply classical liberal principles (such as bodily and mental self ownership) to social science and also explored the consequences of mandatory institutionalization of persons the state deemed to be insane.

Szasz passed away on September 8, 2012.

In this lecture given at Harvard Law school in 1992, Szasz borrows from his then newly-released book Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market, speaking on the medical monopolization of the drug industry backed by the power of the state. He says:

“It isn’t just heroin and marijuana that are illegal — EVERY drug in America that’s any good is illegal, because if you have to go to a doctor to get a prescription to get a drug, ladies and gentlemen, it’s illegal. The medical people have forgotten this because we all get drugs like people in Russia (then the Soviet Union) have to get permission to emigrate.”