I recently had an interesting conversation around the table with family, extended family and friends. The conversation went something like this…
Participant #1:”I think marijuana should be legalized everywhere.”
Me: “I would agree to that as long as the State not Federal government got to make that decision to legalize or not legalize a certain substance and I as a taxpayer don’t have to pay for the users rehabilitation program when they need to “dry out.”
Participant #2:”Well that isn’t going to happen, since we already have to pay for rehab for most people.”
Participant #3: “Would you want cocaine and other harder drugs to be legalized too?”
Participant #4: “Well, that is in a different class than marijuana, since marijuana is natural and cocaine takes processing, it is not really a natural substance, therefore not the same as marijuana.”
Participant #5:”Marijuana isn’t anymore dangerous than alcohol and alcohol is legal.”
Participant #2: “Well we tried prohibition and we all know how well that worked out.”
Me: “I see what you’re saying about cocaine being processed and marijuana being more “natural,” however, I still don’t want the Federal or State government forcing me to pay via my taxes for the rehab of someone who made a choice to use a legal or illicit drug, any more than I want to pay for rehab for an alcoholic. If you believe in personal responsibility than you have to agree that we shouldn’t have to pay to fix a problem someone else has willingly participated in.
I continued, also have a problem with marijuana making its way into products that are available or could get into the hands of under-age children.”
Participant #3: “Well, I just don’t agree that drugs should be legalized.”
Participant # 5: “Well, its no different than legalized alcohol and marijuana isn’t habit forming.” (there was agreement from other participants that this was indeed true).
Unfortunately, the conversation ended there…I heard a lot of “talking points” that I have heard traditionally from hippies and the leftist about how it’s no different than alcohol and alcohol is legal…blah…blah…blah…
I relayed the conversation above and continued the conversation with a friend who is much younger than I am and my question to her was this,”So what do we now do with the 30 year “war on drugs,” McGruff the anti-drug crime dog and the slogan that has made its way into our schools and PSA of “Just say no to drugs.”
The anti-drug propaganda (yes, propaganda) got so bad that children would come home and tell their parents not to drink coffee because caffeine was a drug! Yet now, we are being told (by these same people no less) that marijuana is “OK.” Please forgive me if I can’t keep up…
One wonders if perhaps we are just being softened up for the American progressive lefts take on the Weimar Republic, where people were encouraged “Cabaret !” style to booze and have a ball, cause that’s all there is!
I still don’t know if I can consider myself a true Libertarian since I see the harm that unfettered access to drugs can do. (think the Netherlands, where social experiments with free access to drugs & prostitutes & social bennies have not been all that successful). This article is interesting review of past and present drug policies in Sweden. Even though it is from Berkeley, it’s still a good read. http://www.beckleyfoundation.org/pdf/BriefingPaper_20.pdf.
I wonder WHY it is that the United States still think that it has to “follow” the lead of failed European socialist policies.