Libertarians: More guns, marijuana, and pornography?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Libertarians
THE START OF A LIBERTARIAN'S GARDEN? More than 7 in 10 libertarians agree that there should be less government control of marijuana. (Photo uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for public use by a photographer who declined to identify himself by name.)

THE START OF A LIBERTARIAN’S GARDEN? More than 7 in 10 libertarians agree that marijuana should be legalized. (Photo uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for public use by a photographer who declined to identify himself by name.)

Should you have the liberty to do things that might harm you? Should the government make laws that keep you from harming yourself? Most libertarians believe that it’s not the government’s business to try to protect people from themselves. I wonder what the original Sons (or Daughters) of Liberty would think about this opinion.

Libertarians generally oppose government regulation, but their attitudes about social issues are mixed—even contradictory, according to the just-released 2013 American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Here are some of the issues and how libertarians stand on them.

Legalizing the use of marijuana: Very strong support for this issue, with 71% of libertarians in favor of it.

Doctor-assistant suicide: Strong support here, too, with 70% of libertarians saying that we should allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who want to end their own lives.

Access to pornography: Almost seven of ten (68%) of libertarians oppose making it more difficult to access pornography on the Internet.

So far, these findings are consistent with the libertarian view of maximizing personal liberty and free choice. But, there is less support for other issues.

Legalizing same-sex marriage: A majority of libertarians (59%) oppose legalizing gay marriage.

Making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion: A majority (57%) oppose doing so, consistent with a libertarian view—but a sizable minority support making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion.

On which issues do you agree with the libertarian view?

Which ones do you disagree with?

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