Archive for December, 2009

Marijuana legalization makes sense for a rational and free people

December 1, 2009

Alcohol prohibition ultimately failed because a) lots of people wanted the product, b) the product didn’t create the end of a productive society, and c) poor people–anyone–could make the stuff in stills and “apple-jack” or homebrew kegs at home. Prohibition couldn’t in the end be enforced enough.

We have a similar situation with marijuana: lots of people want it, the product doesn’t create the end of a productive society, and anyone, even the poor, can grow it for themselves.

Think about it: An impoverished person suffering from some painful ailment can, without paying for a doctor’s scrip, grow his or her own supply of pain relieving herb (grown in advance to have on hand), and pretty much in the same way that such a person could buy a fifth of whiskey to relieve a toothache until it could be properly fixed. I’m sure many people have been in need of some hefty pain-killer, but have had to tough it out unnecessarily because they couldn’t afford to see the doctor or pay for the drugs or simply had to wait before they could get in to see the doctor. Adding to the ordinary person’s home remedies is a basic part of building liberty and self-sufficiency.

Finally, legalizing drugs, especially low-end, non-schedule I substances (and substances that shouldn’t be so scheduled like Marijuana), is self-limiting in a rational population: Most rational people won’t do stuff that’s that bad for them or they will be judicious about their uses of such things, e.g., keep their serious drinking to the weekend, etc., or when the kids are away.

Tax drugs by a schedule: hard stuff gets taxed huge, lighter stuff gets taxed more modestly. Punish people for the violent crimes they actually commit rather than the crimes that you think they might commit because they are taking substances that you theorize might lead to the person taking other drugs or doing smaller crimes that lead to bigger ones. Most rational people will not allow their drug use to consume their lives and take over their actions. Criminals however will do crimes, with or without drugs. The commission of actual crimes against persons and property should be the LEO’s priority, not made up or arbitrary crimes like smoking a Marijuana cigarette by someone with an otherwise clean record.

Our current drug policy is irrational and needs to reflect the will of a free and independent, rational people: Our markets are so organized and premised. The government doesn’t tell you (beyond naming illegal substances and acts) how to spend your disposable income. Why? Because the assumption in a market economy is that people are rational: they will prioritize, buy relatively nutritious food (instead of just buying ice cream, for example), shelter, and necessary transportation instead of drinking, or smoking, or injecting themselves senseless. The people who can’t control their use of liquor or marijuana or anything else are self-destructive anyway and Marijuana might actually help them, i.e., sedate them, and certainly won’t be as harmful as alcohol as Marijuana use does not lead to violence.

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Doubting Mark

An atheist's adventures in a land of faith

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