Purusing the headlines this morning I found an article (Here in it’s entirety if you are so inclined.) in the Missourian in which the writer seems to have a problem with legalizing the “devil weed”. As you all know we are going to explore our options and discuss legalization in Missouri over the next week or so, but I felt it important to point out the fallacies I find every single time with some of the arguments the writer makes.
So, let’s get at it……
To supporters of recreational marijuana use, we pose this question: What is so unsatisfying or unfulfilling about your life that you feel a need to get high? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Among the most frequent responses are: Marijuana is no worse than alcohol. That’s true. We recall a story last year with the headline: “Alcohol is still the deadliest drug in the United States, and it’s not even close.” Alcohol abuse is a scourge in our society. Consequences include accidents, fatalities, family breakups, job losses, health problems, legal issues and more.
To the opponents, I pose this question:
- What is so unsatisfying or unfulfilling about your life that you feel the need to eat ice cream? or watch that soap opera? or read 50 Shades of Grey? or have an affair? or eat fast food everyday at lunch? or meddle in the choices of grown adults?
- And conversely, what is so great about your life that makes you think a few drinks at happy hour with friends is ok? or that glass of wine with dinner? why do you go to the gym?
I think you can see where I am going with this. There are choices that people make everyday in their lives. Folks choose if they want to be happy, healthy and wise. And, they choose what that means to them. As a freedom lover you do not get to pick and choose what freedoms another is allowed to have. You don’t have to like or even approve of someone’s choices, but they are their choices to make. To the extent that there is no harm extended to you, you do not have the power to choose for another. Otherwise, you also like Obamacare and the EPA.
Alcohol prohibition in the United States has been tried; it failed. A comparison to alcohol is not a compelling reason to legalize another mood-altering substance, which experience has shown creates problems and is difficult, if not impossible, to repeal.
It’s my business if I want to get high; I’m not hurting anyone else.
That may be true for a person who lives in a vacuum. Otherwise, it is classic denial. A person who is impaired cannot be completely involved in activities with a spouse, children or friends. Impaired judgment impedes the ability to follow instructions, interact with co-workers or complete routine tasks. Getting high is about self, not about others.
To this silly argument, I would just like to point out, you already deal Every. Single. Day. with what might be hundreds of people that are high. Maybe you think this is part of the problem with society. That’s fine. You are entitled to think whatever you want, but again, legalizing it or not does not change this fact. The only thing you accomplish by keeping cannabis illegal is possibly making criminals out of people who are doing ZERO harm to you or yours. People you like, who clean your house, care for your children, are your BEST friends; all for no other reason than you disagree with how they spend their alone time. You are ok with their doors being kicked in. Their dogs shot. Their families torn apart. Their lives ruined. You will sit in judgement of how much is too much or too little involvement with families, children and spouses, their ability to do their job or take on tasks, yet I guarantee lots of normal, regular people are already doing those things around you every day. Personally I think, if someone is not doing themselves to your satisfaction, you are the one with the problem. You do you, let them do them.
When we discuss legalizing pot, we have to be honest about what the real discussion is. If someone is a bad parent, a lazy bum, stealing to support their habit, using substances under-age-all of these things are already addressable with existing law. The legality of marijuana has nothing to do with it. If you blame pot for failings in the human race, we must revisit the whole “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument.
Don’t be a hypocrite.
The goal of every true freedom lover should always be to have the least amount of laws (and control) over the lives of others while maintaining order and giving the opportunity to prosper in society.