Monday, January 13, 2014
On Personal Liberty and the Question of Marijuana Legalization
Eric Erickson over at Red State appears to be in a bit of a quandary over the question of Legalization of Marijuana. He ties the Sexual Revolution of the 60’s (the downside) and the legalization of Marijuana in the same piece. He ends by being conflicted – to Legalize involves personal liberty – but to take a look at what other states experience might be prudent.
There is a problem with most of those who believe the legalization of marijuana is somehow unique, and that the fact that Alcohol, as a drug, doesn’t seem to enter the Lexicon. Both substances lower inhibitions, thus – throw the sexual revolution out the window. It boils down to personal liberty. Should one wish to smoke marijuana, one should have the same rights as one driving to the local package store to pick up a six-pack, pint of whiskey or bottle of wine. During Prohibition the rise of bootleggers and subsequent crime equated with producing and distributing a controlled substance made fortunes for some (Kennedy’s) and for others led to incarceration, sin, and death. Once Prohibition was lifted, the smuggling ended as there was no need. (Those intent on being criminal to begin with just moved onto other endeavors.)
Therefore, as it has not been proven that there is much of a difference between the two substances, then it follows, that the monies spent on law enforcement and prison sentences would be better served elsewhere in all states. The added revenue to the states of taxes, (since it is a substance that is similar in scope to Alcohol) would be a bonus. The fact that the Federal Government is looking at the option of legalization – is more than probably born out of need or desire for an increase in revenue. Not to mention those of an age to be running the nation also were listening to Cheese and Chong during their formative years.
As a Libertarian leaning Independent, it is sensible to allow the states to do what the people decide, as to the Federal Government’s involvement, one is always leery of another stream of income given to those who are least fiscally sane.
The good in legalization, far outweighs the bad as in the potential for underage users to purchase, the potential for out of wedlock children born from lowered inhibitions. Nothing appears to be stopping underage children from drinking –nor is the siren, alcohol the likely reason for more out-of-wedlock births (the option of welfare and free college may be), therefore, one is left with the potential in having the same moral issues in play, but with a tax stream for the State or Federal Government, a decrease in crime, a decrease in costs to the courts or the prison system. Pragmatically, including medical use, it is a win-win situation the real bonus, a boon for personal liberty.