Today, Ron Paul and Barney Frank are proposing a bill that would end the federal war on marijuana. Naturally stoners and libertarians now want to have a lemon party with them (don’t google it). And although I am an occasionally vocal proponent for legalization and decriminalization, I’m among the minority of folks who aren’t all that excited about this.
Why? Because it is a perfect example of Ron Paul’s unprincipled wishy-washy anti-federalism. Sure I suppose I would rather see 25 or 30 individual state “wars on drugs” than one enormous federal war on drugs. But what I really want to see is no fucking wars. If Paul is really that opposed to the war on drugs, on principle, then it is flat out retarded to grant the individual states the same powers which he is attempting to strip from the Feds. Why not propose a bill that say “No more wars on drugs, neither federal, state, county, or municipality. Period.”
“Let the states decide”, as any consistent libertarian knows, is a cop-out, albeit a politically-calculated one.
Also, I hate to break it to you. This bill isn’t going to pass the House and the Senate, and even if it did I’d give it considerably less than a coin-flip’s odds of getting past Obama’s flip-flopping meet-the-new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss style “change”. A lot of people will look at the intangibles, like how this brings the marijuana policy debate to the forefront of American politics. That’s a good thing but like my friend Matt said RP is “not the second coming of Christ” and this bill is essentially a publicity stunt.
All that said… I am not opposed to anything that strips the feds of their power, I just think that the jubilation that this bill will surely spark among many libertarians, tea partiers, social democrats, independents, etc., is not really warranted.
I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that we see legalization in the next 10-20 years, and maybe it starts with this bill, maybe not. But either way there’s still a lot of fight ahead so keep it in all in perspective.