Suppose for a moment that a new food additive was discovered which had dramatic effects on humans:

1) it acted as a mild depressant.
2) It worked as a sleep aid.
3) Consumed in sufficient doses it was dangerous.
4) When abused, it was downright deadly.
5) It was addictive.

Obviously, the FDA would require all kinds of clinical trials, and the stuff would end up either banned outright or dispensed only under prescription.

I’m being pretty transparent, I know. Alchohol meets these criteria nicely, but because it’s been around for millennia (and because da gummint already TRIED to ban it once) it’s grandfathered in to our diet, our medications, and our culture. Most adults seem to be able to behave responsibly concerning alchohol, and don’t want a minority of substance abusers to ruin things for them.

Okay, let’s switch gears… what about marijuana? All I’ve read on the subject suggests that it’s SAFER than alchohol. Why the stigma? Is this a double-standard? Broad-stroked generalizations suggest that conservatives prefer to keep pot on the no-no list, liberals would like to see it legal for medicinal purposes, and libertarians would just as soon ALL regulations regarding pot, alchohol, tobacco, and anything else not immediately death-inducing be done away with because people are smarter than the government gives them credit for.

I’m not sure whether this post has a point or not. It’s just something I’ve been ruminating on, and it’s little more than an intellectual excercise for me. I don’t drink alchohol, and won’t smoke marijuana whether or not it’s legal. Y’all can pretty much do what you want.

Then again, my mother was killed by a drunk driver. He got the death penalty, self-administered, which is about what I think most drunk drivers deserve. We’ve got legislation starting to lean in that direction (albeit from a great, great distance), because the gummint has ample evidence that people are not as smart as they think they are once they start drinking.

Okay, now I’m rambling. But I wrote something today.


49 thoughts on “”

  1. An excellent philosophy, Howard, and one that I sometimes wish that my friends in the LDS church down here in Melbourne would adopt. I love them dearly, they’re wonderful people, but they’re a little close-minded about a lot of things.

    You are definately the coolest LDS member I’ve ever had the privilege of… I’d say knowing, but I don’t really know you, so… being acquainted with.

  2. aye, pot is safer than alcohol (though it is about as dangerous long term as tobacco) Of course there are a dozen or so other illegal drugs that you could say the same thing about, at least if they were made avaliable the same way alcohol is (quality controlled and regulated) Most of the danger in a lot of drugs lies not in the drug itself but in the fact that it is produced by amatures, sold to other amatures who modify it (by adding fillers and other things) and then sold to people who seldom know what they are buying, and almost never know how pure the drug is. Which, even if abstaining from drug use didn’t generally appeal to me, would be enough to keep me away.

    1. There’s also the problem that people who use illegal recreational drugs are scared to go for help if something goes wrong. It happened a lot at my college with alcohol. Underage drinkers would get very ill, and not call campus EMS because they were afraid of getting busted.

  3. My newest flatmate has given me the chance to observe someone mentally troubled become downright unbalanced as a result of overindulging in marijuana. I’ve always supported legalisation based on the premise that its opponents are having a hard time proving it’s dangerous enough to stay banned, and after watching her degenerate I still support legalisation, but now for different reasons: if the government could regulate supply, it would become as expensive as alcohol or tobacco and she’d be forced to cut back.

    I wish we could ban people who can’t moderate their vices.

  4. There are two things I like very, very much about the libertarian philosophy. One is that it wants government out of the private lives of citizens – summed up in something resembling the prime law of Wicca, it’s “do as you like, as long as you aren’t harming anyone.” And of course, there are questions as to whether “anyone” has to include yourself or not, etc etc.
    The second is that, as you said, it assumes people are (generally) smart enough to make decisions about most or all of these things themselves, and emphasizes personal responsibility for one’s actions and choices. Obviously, we have people who violate or abuse that responsibility – be it a responsibility to handle alcohol moderately, or to be safe about the use and storage of weapons, or anything else.
    (Note here that – as far as I know – the primary arguments for gun control are that there are people too stupid/incompetent to have/use guns safely, and that there are people evil enough to use them criminally… the latter will never be solved by gun control legislation, and the former is not a good reason to assume the general public lacks the responsibility required to handle a gun, but instead to ensure that the people who do acquire guns are competent in their handling and use. In my opinion, similar arguments apply for nearly every “controlled substance”.)
    Ultimately, I suppose the point of a libertarian government – with respect to these questions – is to prevent people from abusing or neglecting their personal responsibilities, or at least prevent such neglect from affecting other people’s rights.

    Anyway… similarly rambly. Eh.

  5. I’m sorry about your mother, I had no idea. (While I’m against the death penalty, people who win the Darwin award don’t bother me in the slightest.) I keep thinking that cars should come equipped with breathalyzers; if you don’t blow clean, the ignition is disabled. I’ve heard of them before, I know they exist… I don’t understand why you wouldn’t make something like that standard.

    An estimated 17,970 were killed in 2002. Forty-two percent of all traffic fatalities were alcohol-related in 2002. In 2002 approximately 252,000 people were injured. Three out of every ten Americans will be involved in an impaired driving crash in their lifetime. Approximately 49 people are killed across the country each day in alcohol-related traffic collisions. One person is killed every 30 minutes and one is injured every 26 seconds. Direct costs of alcohol-related crashes are estimated to be $114 billion yearly.

    Makes me wonder what the costs were before they mandated seatbelts, you know?

    I saw an author make a very good point that had me almost jumping up and cheering: “…people don`t realise that freedom is the biggest personal challenge on the planet. If you are free to do as you like, you need a huge amount of personal discipline and personal restraint. You need values of your own to direct your conduct.”

    Our history with prohibition should have taught us something. Organized crime in the United States was given a foothold during that time. Currently, drugs are their #1 source of income. Legalizing drugs takes the money out of the system. You then have a clean source of drugs (eliminates the problems mentioned by ), and if you tax the sale of drugs, that money can be put towards rehab programs. (Not to mention freeing up all the money spent by the government on the ridiculous War on Drugs – which, in my humble opinion, will never be won. It is not possible to legislate morality.)

    My husband, sitting next to me, points out that installing breathalyzers on cars starts a slippery slope into violation of privacy rights. My answer to that argument for any of you who thought of that: I don’t know about other states, but here in Florida when you get a driver’s license, you sign away your right to refuse a sobriety test – so that slippery slope is already here.

    1. I keep thinking that cars should come equipped with breathalyzers; if you don’t blow clean, the ignition is disabled. I’ve heard of them before, I know they exist… I don’t understand why you wouldn’t make something like that standard.

      1) Cost. Yes, I know that even at $1000 (and I’m sure it’d be less) a pop, it’s way less than that $114 billion annual cost for alcohol-related accidents, but what people will see is “my car is more expensive.”

      2) Accuracy. A bit of Googling reveals that there can be signifcant differences between someone’s breath-alcohol level and their blood-alcohol level. The lawsuits from a) sober folks who were prevented from driving off (thereby causing who-knows-what havoc in their lives) and b) drunk folks who passed and therefore thought they were OK to drive would be…daunting.

      3) Cheating. Whether it’s blowing through a filter of some kind or having someone do it for you or some sort of homemade bellows, anyone who wants to cheat will have very little difficulty figuring out a way to do so.

      4) Convenience. I’m out in the middle of the day running a few errands. I get gas, make a stop at the post office, pick up cat litter, and get this week’s comic books. I have to breathe into the thing and wait while it comes to a decision five times. Thing is, I don’t drink. After a few weeks of this, I’m gonna be Rather Grumpy, and rather open to the idea of something that will (illegally, of course) bypass the thing.

      In short, it appears to cost money, isn’t sufficiently accurate, can be fooled, and will regularly annoy law-abiding folks.


      1. you know? All excellent points. :-/ *sigh* I can’t wait for the Star Trek era of medicine….

        maybe just making breathalyzers standard installation on cars for people who have been convicted of one DUI?

  6. I have to say that if I had the choice between alcohol and marijuana being freely available, well …. for myself, I’ve never understood why people smoke anything (well, except salmon and kippers), so I’d sooner have a couple bottles of good muscat wine and one of single-malt Scotch in the closet. But as far as society as a whole goes, I’d sooner it was marijuana that was freely available than alcohol. You see very few angry, violent stoned-out-of-their-skull hippies. I could really see marijuana instead of tobacco — not only is it inherently less toxic to start with, but can you imagine someone having the fortitude to smoke four packs a day of North Idaho’s finest? It’d probably cut way down on the lung cancer rate, overall.

    My viewpoint on the whole issue of banning any drugs is that making them illegal just drives the traffic underground and makes it enormously profitable. Legalize it, produce it cheaply in certified purity, and the international drug trade would collapse. Tell all the users, “You can put whatever you like into your body in the privacy of your own home, it’s your body after all, but if we catch you operating a vehicle while you’re drunk or stoned or high, you WILL go to prison, you WILL lose your license for life, and youWILL make full restitution to anyone you injure.”

    1. Hm. Agreed on the Scotch, wine, and other “adult beverages”. (I have a taste for the occasional good cognac, and a bottle of port goes well with an amazing range of things – cubed sharp cheese, chocolate-dipped strawberries, a good beef-and-potatoes meal… you see what I mean about the range?)

      I don’t smoke cigarettes, but I have to admit to indulging in cigars and pipe-smoking. (Yes, I do rather have that “old aristocrat” thing going – they may have had a large number of faults, but in general I tend to agree with their tastes.) Marijuana I’ve never tried, and I probably never will even if it’s legalized. Partially, that’s because of the way it smells – I’ve been around others who were indulging at the time, and the smell of the smoke made me nauseous almost immediately.

      True, you don’t see very many stoners getting violent and angry – though it’s been known to happen, very infrequently. It’s not a big enough issue to alter the decision either way, though. But your final argument in favor of legalization is flawed – marijuana is much higher in tar and many of the other carcinogenic compounds than US-grown tobacco is – which is partially the doing of the Big Evil Tobacco Companies. Low-tar is a selling point, after all, and they’ve for decades been selecting strains for that purpose, among others.

      I like your stance on how users should be treated – it mirrors my own rather neatly. I doubt that such steps would cause the various cartels and other such organizations to collapse, any more than our home-grown groups collapsed following the repeal of the Volstead Act, but it would likely throw them off their stride for a while as they tried to find some new profitable line.

  7. Also, if pot was legal, then there would be no problem growing hemp. Hemp can be used to produce better paper than wood pulp, produces more tons of cellulose fiber per acre than trees, the seeds produce a useful oil, and in a number of ways I can’t remember (not really one of my causes, but it is a cause belonging to several of my friends) it is a useful crop. Apparently it is a splendid cash crop that isn’t too hard on the soil.

    1. While you’re at it, why not extoll the values of corn oil? It can be used to create a hydrocarbonate fuel which is far cheaper and pretty much as efficient as gasoline, it’s relatively safe for the environment, it doesn’t require that you spend billions of years condensing it into a useable material, and generally speaking, it can be easily produced with the /excess/ in farmland that the United States encounters every year.

      It won’t be produced en masse for largely the same reasons that the government won’t support hemp production.

      1. Because corn oil is not ecologically sound in most of the US. Corn is a water hog, and we are short of water in a lot of our major farming regions. Corn requires a lot of nutrients and does not replace any. That is why the farmers in my area are going corn/soybeans for the most part, though that just slows down the losses. There are a lot of crops that are much healthier for the landscape than corn, and which one to pick is dependant on exactly where you are.

      2. Fission Power could easily provide plenty of juice for everything neeeded. No more burning messy, polluting, hydrocarbon fuels. Current reactor designs (such as pebble bed) eliminate the possibility of a disasterous meltdown. The waste isn’t as big a deal as most people think, they just don’t want it stored near them no matter how safely it might be contained – could say the same for power plants i guess. ‘Nuclear’ invokes fear, hence my tendency to say ‘fission’ power.

      3. Corn oil is not far cheaper than petroleum; it’s more expensive — unless you’re talking about waste corn oil from fast-food restaurants, and the quantities of that are pretty limited compared to the overall transportation fuel market.

  8. From a pragmatic standpoint, it is relatively straightforward to test for high concentrations of alcohol in the blood. (This isn’t foolproof as an indicator of impariment; I am personally nearly immune to most drugs and probably alcohol too, and everyone’s tolerance level is different.)

    But I am not aware of any reasonable and quick test for cannabis intoxication or consumption. Something like that would make the prospect of legalization more attractive, I’d guess.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  9. I’m still undecided on a lot of these questions, though I think another question can be asked.

    Which does more damage currently … drugs if they were a more available, or the current anti-drug laws, departments, etc (and long-term side effects of this).

    Of course I live in a country that is starting to experiment with ‘industrial hemp’ (much lower levels of the ‘active’ component per plant) for various uses.


    1. The latter, due to the increased lack of respect for society and the law which they engender. Read “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country” by Peter McWilliams, for an easily readable, excellent review of this issue in the US.

      Also: If an individual is abusive due to drunkenness or being stoned, people regard them with scorn or ridicule, avoid them, or have the police cart them away. However, if an entire anti-drug department of the police is abusive, people don’t really have much recourse.

      There’s a case of an elderly and completely innocent man who died of a heart attack because his door was smashed down and a SWAT team of anti-drug bozos burst screaming into his house, ransacking it and roughly shoving him and his elderly wife around in their destructive search of the house for non-existent drugs.

      The cops had meant to hit the house next door, but made a mistake with the house numbers. From what I heard, in the end they didn’t even replace the door — because they weren’t required to.

      I don’t know anyone rational who can respect that sort of behavior. That kind of abuse of the innocent, by the police, breeds resentment and disrespect for the law in the minds of the public. It damages society in a broad scope which can never be approached by addicted individuals.

      1. From what I can tell, the ATF and DEA are doing a good job of becoming US versions of your typical cliche third-world corrupt police force.

        Admittedly, I’m only looking at this from a very outside view with shockingly little serious research or study into the problem, or the situation in the US.

        I remember a friend once made the comment that ‘crack’ cocaine really is as bad as all the stories make it out to be, but that’s about the only one, and what it does to the life-span of an abuser tends to make it a self-correcting problem. The friend in question can be a deeply cynical person at times I will confess, still, I have a hard time entirely disagreeing with him.


        1. From what I can tell, the ATF and DEA are doing a good job of becoming US versions of your typical cliche third-world corrupt police force.

          The INS too. Still, to be fair, I suppose we should note there tends to be abuse and arrogance any time a group has too broad a portfolio of control over others, and too little public oversight. From what I’ve read, for example, there’s a routine problem within the New York police force — about every 20 years or so there’s a huge scandal about corrupt cops accepting drug money. This is one of the reasons I believe in legalization, for example.

          In some ways I can’t blame the NY cops who succumb to such temptation, though — they don’t get paid very much, and they risk their lives on a daily basis protecting the indifferent (or even outright hostile) citizens of the city. Under those circumstances, I can see how it could occur. It could be justified as “I only accepted enough to pay for [Mom’s surgery/my wife’s pregnancy/braces for the kids/whatever], and it was just to look the other way for a moment… nobody got hurt…” and the cop forgets or doesn’t realize that’s just the first step — because now they’re caught.

          Knowing all this doesn’t make it any better for those who are currently suffering from abuse at the hands of an “over-enthusiastic” social group, of course. However, perhaps this knowledge can aid us in crafting the mandates for future such groups, and in determining what we truly consider wrong and worth fighting.

  10. What prohibition taught us

    Banning material goods is an old tyme human tradition from weapons to coffee

    But what we learned during the time of prohibition was that when you ban an inanimate object you can then get away with passing a flurry of insane laws and taxes to fight said inanimate objects newly created wealth-generating properties. Wealth is generated on two fronts, those that traffic in the inanimate object and those that enforce the ban on the inanimate object.

    This is a link detailing the Law Enforcement Growth Industry and is an expansion on what Ayn Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged.

    1. Re: What prohibition taught us

      Except that it doesn’t even work that way. Revenue is not being generated by the trafficking or enforcement of contraband – it costs money to enforce it, and the traffic is not getting taxed.

      The correct way to go about it – which benefits everyone involved, from users to dealers to law enforcement to the government itself, is to make it legal, but regulate the quality and tax it. Users get better quality product, the ability to go to the hospital when they screw up, and recourse against unfair dealings; dealers get aboveboard cash and don’t have to flee from the cops; cops don’t have to hunt down the huge portion of the population that uses; government gets revenue from the appropriate taxes. Many countries that had major problems with prostitution dealt with it in this way, as did Nevada.


      1. Re: What prohibition taught us

        Money is made off of drug prohibition – because they’ve received expanded powers to confiscate the personal property of drug offenders – bank accounts, vehicles, real estate…

        And the horrible thing is, you’re guilty until proven innocent when it comes to seizure.

      2. Re: What prohibition taught us

        Read the Law Enforcement Growth link. Money is made by taking money from you and giving it to politicians, cops, guards, and the incredibly long list of contractors catering to this industry. Look into privatizing prisons and jails.

        Follow the money.

          1. Re: What prohibition taught us

            Sure it is. It’s spent on weaponry, gear, clothing, electronics, and salaries. Most cops get from $300 to $1000 gear/clothing allowance, to spend at their discretion. And it costs $25k+ to trick out an otherwise generic Ford Taurus with custom electronics. Not to mention police suspension and more powerful engines.

            However, I agree with your original thesis on decriminalization/legalization and taxation.

          2. with a major exception…

            We’re also spending a lot of money in other countries in an attempt to stop the drug trade, and that money is definitely not going towards furthering our economy.

          3. Re: with a major exception…

            Granted, but I think this is still somewhat minor compared to domestic spending. Consider also that in a lot of those cases, money is being spent to increase the internal stability of foreign governments, which in a lot of cases is money well-spent (and in a lot of cases, it’s not–but it could be used as leverage to get them to clean up their acts).

          4. Roundup ready coca plants.

            And all that herbicidal goodness is going to waste because there is now a coca plant that is resistant to herbicides.


            So the herbicide manufacturers need more money for research to kill this evil weed and of course universities will say they’ll do the research hand in hand with them and take all the federal money they can get then license the publicly paid for patent back to the business.

            Muh ha ha ha

          5. Re: What prohibition taught us

            And how much money do you think could be made by each person who is today behind bars for drug possession? Law enforcement and security are cost centers simply because every person you put behind bars is costing the economy money in the form of necessities and land, in the form of labor to do nothing but keep the criminals in (or out, in private security). Why? Wouldn’t that money be better spent in job training or technology? wouldn’t that land be better spent in housing?

            A person is the classic example of an investment center: you put money in, and in the future, you get a lot more money out. A person in jail is not putting out money, and the money you put in is not being used in an investment sense. Incarceration turns a person into a cost center (and, at that, a $10,000+ a year cost center), which is only useful if the risk associated with letting the investment continue is so great that the loss involved a cost center is small in comparison.

            The argument that it gets them money is fallacious: prisons hemmorhage money so fast you could remove gum from concrete with it.


          6. Re: What prohibition taught us

            Money spent on law enforcement goes back to getting more drug money, which is then spent again. It’s a nice little cycle and by allowing police departments to seize and then spend illegal drug money, it converts illegal money to legal money and therefore helps the economy.

            A good example of this is the small town I grew up in, which is next to an interstate highway, and annexed land around a small patch of the interstate so that they could have jurisdiction out there to write traffic tickets. Well, they pulled someone over and found coke, and money… a lot of both. The money seized ended up being like eighty thousand dollars. The law says that the police department can keep the money and spend it only on themselves. It couldn’t go to the poor city government or the poor school district… it had to be spent on law enforcement.

            But they used the money to buy three new squad cars and increase their payroll from two full-time to three full-time employees. And guess what they do now most of the time? All three patrol the interstate, writing tickets, and looking for another bust. And every ticket they write generates revenue for the city. And in the meantime, there’s an extra employee in town spending money at the local stores (one new well-paid citizen is significant in a town of 700 people) and buying a new house (which means property taxes which contribute to the school district) and etc.

            So the illegal drug money has been instantly converted into legal money which is spent in the local economy or spent on things that benefit the local economy. Thus, in cases like this (which are happening everywhere), money spent on law enforcement can be seen as “initial capital investment”, building up law enforcement agencies until they can become self-sustaining… and thanks to the war on drugs, and the regular seizure of drug money and assets of those caught possessing drugs, they can.

            Now, keep in mind that I find this whole thing morally wrong, but I’m just saying, the way the system works, yes, that money does end up furthering the economy.

  11. Well, I don’t drink alcohol or smoke anything, either – but I’m all for allowing others to do what they want with these substances. It’s none of my business.

    However, these drugs should never serve as an excuse when you are committing crimes. You choose to get wasted, you bear the consequences.

    1. I consider it a capitol crime to use any drug legal or not that is known to cause intoxication and then causing the death of another. I would heartily endorse fist degree murder.

  12. Without going into specifics, I have enough experience with
    the substances and attendant subcultures to offer some
    practical observations. (Suffice to say that in my experience,
    after most people have gotten stoned, they wonder aloud at
    some point shortly thereafter what the Big Deal is about it all.)

    Alcohol intoxication, in my observation, yields happy/angry
    drunks in about a 70/30 split. (Happy drunks being the
    chatty, goofy, relaxed kind; angry drunks being the belligerent,
    tense, “C.O.P.S.” kind.)

    Marijuana intoxication yields the same split, but the ratio
    is more like 99/1, and that 1% are the rare people that get
    off into some paranoid headspace for whatever reason.

    Ceteris paribus, I’d much rather be around somebody
    stoned out of their gourd than a drunk, simply because the
    interaction is probably going to consist of giggling at
    cartoons and junk food instead of puking, arguing, and/or fisticuffs.

    Now, there’s a whole different set of arguments about
    whether or not people should be allowed to harm themselves,
    which substances are more harmful in that sense, the economic
    and political ramifications of the War on Drugs, etc. that
    I’m not going to get into because honestly it’s probably not
    new information for anyone.

  13. The thing about making drugs illegal is just just doesn’t make economic sense. If people want to buy something and others are willing to supply it, it will be traded, no matter what you do. Singapore hangs drug dealers and there’s still drug use in that country.

    My thoughts on the matter are best expressed by Russ Nelson, the Angry economist:

    “We are told that illegal drugs are addictive, so that there are no drug users, only drug addicts. If this is true, then the demand for drugs will not be sensitive to price. We are also told that one of the reasons to make drug possession and use illegal is to drive up the price to discourage people from using drugs. Well duh, this conflicts with the very principle of price insensitivity. Either people are addicted and will pay whatever is necessary, or else people will reduce their drug use in the face of higher prices. Somebody’s lying to us about drugs.”
    Read the rest on it, here.

  14. Hmmm…

    God invented marijuana,
    Man invented alcohol.

    Which one do you trust?

    Personally I don’t trust either, but then again, I’m not normal.

    The cost to society of alcohol is tremendous, but will continue to be paid, because it’s considered “acceptable” behaviour that causes it. The only way to change this is to change people’s opinions and stop making “getting drunk off your nut” a “cool thing to do.”

    People are the problem, always the problem.

    1. God invented marijuana,
      Man invented alcohol.

      I remember watching a National Geographic show that had elephants waiting until a particular set of fruit had gone rancid before eating it. They would, in fact, *defend* these fruits until they started to ferment before eating it, and monkeys would sneak in to eat them.

      So, fermentation is a natural, God Created process. 😉

  15. Marijuana is less dangerous short-term, but the long-term dangers of regular marijuana use include increased risk of mental illness, strongly increased risk of lung cancer, etc. (even with light use) whereas continued light use of alcohol is medically recommended and has been shown to improve health (at the level of one glass of red wine per day).

    I still favour legalising marijuana, but there ought to be more awareness of the potential long-term risks – and also more awareness of the short-term risks of excessive alcohol consumption.

  16. OTOH, Marijuana is less of a risk cancer-wise than tabbacco. There’s just no way the FDA would allow that if it was introduced nowadays. Nicotine is one of the most toxic substances in nature, weight per weight. Not to mention more addictive than just about anything else known. Besides, you just can’t smoke as many joints as cigs !

    IIRC the ban on Mj was at least partly to do with surpressing hemp, at the behest of the cotton, logging and petrolium industry lobbys. You know you can make plastic from it even?

    Me, I’d prefer a glass or two of wine anyday, it’s far healthier. But then anything in excess is lethal, and anything in a small enough dose you can survive [even cynide].

    1. Besides, you just can’t smoke as many joints as cigs !

      I’ve always hated this reason for the legalization of marijuana. When was the last time that you smoked a non-filtered, hand rolled tobacco cigarette made from non-processed tobacco? And at the *speed* which one normally smokes a spliff? Trust me, it’s not that easy.

  17. Howard: Sorry to hear about your mother.

    On to the topic…
    Making things people want illegal simply drives up the prices of the goods, and therefore makes criminals richer, while putting a drain on society’s resources (spending money to enforce the law). On the other hand, making things people want legal and taxed increases government revenue.

    Making laws against people hurting themselves is dumb. You cannot stop somebody from hurting himself if he really wants to, and punishing him on top of it is just silly. Of course people will argue that alcohol/drugs hurts others via drunk driving. True, but nobody seems to want to take the cars away, and they kill plenty of people without the help of alcohol.

    Corollary to that, if somebody wants to kill themselves via drug abuse, let ’em! The world could use fewer dumb people.

    There is a strong tendency among certain groups to make illegal anything fun (i.e. no other value) which they themselves do not like. They have done this with alcohol, sex, drugs, etc. with varying degrees of success. Marijuana is the greatest tragedy… outlawed because it’s fun, but it serves a legitimate medical purpose.

    I’m sure I had one more point to make, but it’s eluding my mind now. (no cracks about pot, please… I never smoked it)

    1. Corollary to that, if somebody wants to kill themselves via drug abuse, let ’em! The world could use fewer dumb people.

      Corollary to that – just don’t make me pay for it (this applies for anything stupid you do to yourself)

  18. Okay, more food for thought…

    Most of you have probably paged on, but I got this via email and thought I’d share it.

    Chapter IV is especially pertinent. Those of you who have an opinion about the amount of authority the state should be able to exercise over personal liberties ought to give it a read.

    I’d cite the salient points, but I just finished making dinner. Spoon-feeding YOU guys is on my short list of Things I’m Just Not Going To Get To. 🙂

  19. I’d point out that the libertarian philosophy would not be for the legalization of ANYTHING. That’s passing new laws, which increases the size of government.

    What the libertarians tend to support is decriminalization. This takes it from “You can have it, but only in these circumstances” to “You can do whatever, and we don’t care”

    Decriminalizing guns is the second amendment. (Note, infringed means don’t touch it. Not pass lots of laws about it)

    My attitude? If you want to snort it, smoke it, shoot it, chew it, suck it, swallow it, or rub it all over you – go right ahead. Just don’t bother me with the afteraffects. Once you’ve done that, you can eliminate the DEA, the Narcs, BATF, and half of the FDA. I wonder how much money you’d save?


  20. I’ve thought the same thing. Basically, I’ve no problem with marijuana, it’s just political suicide to try and legalize it. I’d prefer to keep everything heavier illegal or — preferably — controlled in exactly the same way as medical drugs like Vicodin.

    OTOH, alcohol is darned hard to get rid of. It’s a very simple chemical that forms naturally (as opposed to a complex one that forms in a small number of plants) and is really quite useful, as are all alcohols. And don’t you have to go through alcohol to get to vinegar? Somebody check me on that one?

    1. Note: 25, never smoked anything in my life, much less anything illegal, and never been drunk. And for the record, I’m not Mormon. ;>

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