Barney Frank and Ron Paul have about as much in common as Anne Frank and Rue Paul, except for one thing. Both think the war on drugs is stupid. Good for them. It is.
I am not much impressed by the argument that states would benefit from taxing marijuana. I am unmoved by the fact that there may be some medical benefits to smoking pot. I am massively neutral about its harmful effects compared to alcohol. I have not even seen a joint in years and I have absolutely no desire to burn one down with Willie Nelson.
I just think it is none of the government’s business.
What a person puts into his/her own body is an individual decision, whether that be pork chops or pot. The state has no legitimate interest in preventing drug use, as drug use itself causes no material harm to others. The state of course does have an interest in preventing and/or punishing violent acts done under the influence of drugs. The same holds for violence done by those under the influence of alcohol or PMS*.
In researching this blog, I was interested to see some sites defending drug criminalization adamantly. The surprise was not in finding a diversity of opinion on the subject, but in finding that one of the top hits in an Internet search was from the DEA. Hmmmmm…wonder why the DEA is lobbying others to oppose drug legalization? It could be because they legitimately think that is a proper role of the state. I suspect that more than a little of it has to do with employment, though. The government has an interest in keeping drugs illegal for the same reason it has an interest in meddling in thousands of other things–it makes government bigger and more powerful.
Frank ‘n Paul’s bill would allow states to make their own decisions about marijuana. At least that is a start. At the state level, 50 different approaches can be tried instead of one big stupid one. Hopefully in the mix we can find a sane path to making the world safe for Willie.
*This is obviously meant to be funny in light of its ridiculousness. It should be clear to any rational person that there is no connection between PMS and acts of violence like bludgeoning, stabbing, poisoning, emasculating, setting on fire, or locking someone in a car and sending it through a crusher.