no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Reefer Madness

September 18th, 2008

Last weekend, I made a Julian Simon-esque wager with a friend: that we’d see the complete decriminalization of marijuana (and possibly other substances) within 10 years, citing only what I believe to be massive popular support (or at least, a lack of strong opposition among the public at large). It’s been quasi-legalized, or decriminalized in a number of states/cities.

Now, a recent ruling in California (Santa Cruz v. Mukasey) might put an end to the fascist War on Drugs, as we know it.

[A U.S. District Court] has recognized a concerted effort by the federal government to sabotage state medical marijuana laws, which violates the U.S. Constitution. The significance of this ruling, the first of its kind, cannot be overstated…

In the summation, the court found that, “There was a calculated pattern of selective arrests and prosecutions by the federal government with the intent to render California’s medical marijuana laws impossible to implement and therefore forced Californian’s and their political subdivisions to re-criminalize medical marijuana.”

Medical Marijauna is on the ballot in Michigan this year, so the ruling in California is cause for optimism. Perhaps we will one day look back on the days when terminally ill people were forced to die in pain, or when otherwise peaceful and law-abiding individuals were arrested, families destroyed, etc. Maybe.

The empirical evidence in favor of decriminalization/legalization is overwhelming to the point of not warranting citation, here.

It’s time to face the facts: drug prohibition doesn’t work, and no amount of tax-dollars directed towards the war on drugs will render it successful. Alcohol prohibition in the 1920s was such an abysmal failure that the Amendment to the constitution was eventually repealed. The drug war, has by any objective account, ruined or destroyed far more lives, wasting untold billions, depriving brown-skinned people in third world countries of lucrative incomes (cf American interventionism in Afghanistan’s opium trade), disproportionately incarcerating brown-skinned Americans, and depriving people of their individual liberties.

But still, politicians and pseudo-politicians like Sheriff Bouchard are willing to throw the will of the people out the window, if it disagrees with his personal opinions on the matter. Last I checked, recreational use has at least tacit support among a pretty significant number of people.

Some people argue that the Medical Marijuana initiative is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and that the proponents of medical marijuana are trying to back-door their way to full-blown legalization. I say that full-blown marijuana legalization is the issue, and it’s the only way to frame this discussion which is compatible with any notion of freedom.

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See also: Reefer Madness #1

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics