Sunday, May 24, 2009

Freeberg nails it again

by Smitty

  You'd think that "it" would get tired of being nailed. If you followed the Rule 5 URL yesterday to Freeberg's Ten Terraces, number 5 in the taxonomy raised hackles for being as enthusiastic about marijuana (and other drug) legalization as Carrie Prejean and this blog are about the destruction of marriage.
  Freeberg doubles down on his point, and draws a comparison with lotteries. The comparison is a high-level one, and the point made is one about sapping the human spirit.
  Back in the day, there was a string of dope comedy flicks by Cheech and Chong. One of them, and it's really not important enough to research, had a character smoking something which had been urinated upon by an iguana or something. Over the course of the movie, the character transforms into a lizard. Hah, hah, ain't that a hoot? Even though I was yet a teenager when I saw flick, I recall finding the point profound: you will eventually become that which you smoke.
  Too many relatives in my extended family are basket cases and drains on society as a result of body chemistry experimentation. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine receive, to varying degrees, a pass. Their effects are not seen in the same debilitating light. Good news, bad news, who can say?
  To have the government consider legalizing any currently banned substances, particularly when ideas of health care legislation are in play, is an entry into paradise engineering, indeed.


  1. Ah, I see. Because the State is thinking of doing something entirely destructive and anti-Constitutional, that's a reason to call persons with cogent arguments against something it's already done -- something equally anti-Constitutional, by the way -- "liberal dimwits."

    That is what we who possess actual functioning minds call a "non-argument."

  2. @Francis,
    The essential point is that drug usage destroys the vitality of society.
    Your response doesn't seem to come down one way or the other on the argument.

  3. I'd say a brazenly unconstitutional intrusion of the federal government into the recreational habits of its citizens destroys the vitality of society in a much more dramatic way.

    In any case there are at least a few drugs that ought to be legalized, even at both the federal and state level. Pot is one of them. On the spectrum of addiction and harm, it's far less in either respect that alcohol or tobacco. I've never done pot and never will, but I've seen the law destroy far more lives over the drug than the drug itself could ever think about destroying.

    Principled arguments can be made for keeping actually mind-destroying substances like crack illegal, but the crusade against Mary Jane is simply unjustifiable by any reasonable standard.

  4. @Matt,
    So, your argument seems to be that legalization of marijuana could trigger a massive economic recovery?

  5. Not even slightly; I'm not sure how you prised that from my comment. In fact I expect it would have very little effect on the economy.

    Rather, prohibition of marijuana at the federal level is an affront to the constitution and principles of local governance. Prohibition at the state level makes almost precisely as much sense as imprisoning people for smoking tobacco, given that the addictive potential and medical harm of both tobacco and marijuana are similar.

    The experience of nations with some legal regime (Spain, for instance) seems to indicate that the overall social effect is not much. In the US I expect we'd see more benefit than usual, as it would tend to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system from prosecuting and imprisoning nonviolent recreational users.

  6. @Matt,
    Thanks for clarifying what you meant by "destroys the vitality of society".
    I'd come at agreeing with you by saying that _any_ federal interactions with private citizens set a lousy precedent, and this applies to taxation, health care, recreation, and procreation.
    Thus, I'm content to see the majority of states continue to hold the current line on substance legality. If, say, Nevada (to pick a relatively permissive state somewhat at random) were to legalize it, that would be instructive. Watching a huge chunk of deadbeats from the rest of the country go there just to stay stoned could be instructive.
    Such an idea isn't going to get any support in my home state.