Before we delve into the dilemma facing the prohibitionists lets clear up some of the misrepresentations promoted by the pro-pot club. The people backing the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” have obtained the required signatures to place it on the November ballot.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the 62-page initiative will make it harder for people under 21 to obtain pot and easier for police to crack down on illicit sales.
Both of these assertions are unsubstantiated assumptions that are contradicted by the history of alcohol use. Presently kids can readily avail themselves of their parent’s liquor cabinets something they cannot do of Marijuana. Given the increase in pot possession that will result from its legalization those components of the Act that outlaw specific transactions will not be any more accessible to law enforcement than they are presently but more likely less accessible. (It should be noted that legalization will significantly reduce the incentive of large scale black market deals for drugs thereby reduce crime.)
Does either one of these scenarios justify the perpetuation of prohibition, no.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states in part: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;….”
Freedom of religion is not exclusive to thought life. Freedom of religion entails practice; freedom to what one puts in his or her body just like the bread and wine performed in the Catholic ceremony of the Eucharist. You cannot have one without the other for prohibiting the expression of thoughts through practice is the prohibition of religion. Prohibiting the use of marijuana is prohibiting freedom of religion.
Despite this fact the most ardent advocates of prohibition have been bible toting Republican law makers and law enforcement control freaks. As it has been in the past so it is today.
The California Republican Party voted to oppose the measure at its convention last month. On Wednesday, the California Police Chiefs Association, the California Hospital Association, the Teamsters Union and other groups also said they would be campaigning against it.
The primary argument espoused by these groups is that the use of marijuana, drugs, is harmful to individuals, families and society as a whole.
Granting them this assertion the fact remains if the American people are to be free than that freedom must include the choice of indulging in practices that are harmful to themselves.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin
Why is it that the Republicans repeatedly and loudly clamor for small government and then immediately turn about face desiring to create a nanny state when it comes to the consumption of marijuana but not Big Macs and Coca-Cola? Their hypocrisy knows no end and reveals an ulterior motive behind their agenda of “The War on Drugs.”
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln
“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
It’s legal to worship Satan in America but it is illegal to ingest a naturally occurring plant.
It’s legal to drink a glass of wine or two after dinner in America but it is illegal to inhale some smoke from a weed.
The Fact is: “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.” William F. Buckley, Jr.
Mr. Buckley’s assertion is supported by “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,” (LEAP), a drug policy reform group made up of current and former law enforcement professionals from the U.S. and other nations. LEAP does not promote the use of drugs however statistical and real world historical data supports LEAP’s conclusion that prohibition causes more harm than good to individuals, families and society as a whole than legalization.
According to LEAP, “there have been more than 39 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses in the last 40 years. Those incarcerated over a 20-year period quadrupled so that now more than 2.3 million US citizens are in prison or jail. The US spends 70 billion dollars a year on incarcerating 22.5 percent of the entire world’s prisoners even though the U.S. only has 4.6 percent of the world’s population. LEAP has concluded that not one U.S. drug policy goal of lowering crime, addiction, drug availability or juvenile drug use has been achieved over the last 40 years, but rather the drug war has exacerbated all of the problems associated with drug use in addition to destroying families by removing parents from the home. Drugs are cheaper, more potent and more accessible to adults and juveniles then what they were 40 years ago. Powerful drug cartels and inner city gangs are created due to the illegality of the drug trade which is beyond authorities’ supervision. These cartels and gangs perpetrate all kinds of violent crimes against each other as well as innocent bystanders to maintain control over regions and aspects of the black market. Most of these unnecessary secondary crimes would disappear if drugs were legalized and regulated reducing the incidents of addiction in the process.”
“The drug war wreaks havoc, funds terrorism, and causes major corruption around the globe. This is the very definition of a failed public policy. This madness must cease!” LEAP
Legalization will help keep families together enabling more people to get off public assistance due to one and zero parent households. Legalization will not only make average citizens’ lives safer but police officers’ lives as well.
“Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out things that are not crimes.” Abraham Lincoln
Make no mistake, for a lot of people, regular pot use will turn them into sluggards diminishing both motivation and energy. I have not once met a person who uses pot on a daily basis in which that use has not diminished his intellectual capacity and has not been detrimental to his ability to achieve his goals and dreams; his ability to succeed occupationally and or his ability to create a happy and healthy family. But that should be his choice, for it is clear any dictatorial mandate levied from above will not affect his outcome. It is much cheaper and safer for society to treat this person’s addiction as a health problem rather than a criminal problem.
The argument that prohibition makes society safer is a fallacy. Prohibition is a violation of the 1st Amendment of the United States. No God fearing, economically conservative or libertarian American should ever be in favor of prohibition for it cuts against the grain of his values.
A few more notable quotables:
“A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” Abraham Lincoln
“If you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.” Milton Friedman
“We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don’t. There is no middle ground.” Leon Panetta
“Prohibition has made nothing but trouble.” Al Capone
“He who tries to determine everything by law will foment crime rather than lessen it.” Baruch Spinoza
“Drug prohibition has caused gang warfare and other violent crimes by raising the prices of drugs so much that vicious criminals enter the market to make astronomical profits, and addicts rob and steal money to pay inflated prices for their drugs.” Michael Badnarik