The intellectual absurdity of the concept of ‘legalization’

A very smug article was published in the daily disappointment (The Oklahoman) of July 6th if I’m not mistaken. Rather, an editorial, which questioned the “qualifying conditions” of medical marijuana use. (Specifically, constitutional amendment 37 which would legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Oklahoma.)

I will quote a bit. “Other provisions of the proposal provide cause for skepticism about the initiative’s true goal. Under the proposal, anyone who lacks a medical marijuana license but is caught in possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana (or up to six cannabis plants) would have only a misdemeanor charge if that individual ‘can state a qualifying medical condition…’

“In other words, as long as you can remember to say ‘dude, I have chronic headaches,’ marijuana cultivation would be only a misdemeanor, not a felony, even if you have no license. “

Funny how some people like to think they know what’s best for other people.  Maybe the person in question (if we are to stoop to hypotheticals) actually thinks that marijuana has a positive effect on headaches.

I don’t personally think weed is all that good of an idea, but because I am not a doctor nor am a scientist, I can’t question its medical effectiveness. Nor can I say anything about possible harm.

But I can say that if you think weed is a good idea, and that you enjoy regular use of it, more power to you – just be sure to take the consequences of those actions, which could either be positive or negative.

While we’re here I would also like to make another point. Weed activists question why weed is illegal – the moderate ones question the illegality of medical marijuana, the others question the illegality of marijuana for normal use. But should they not be questioning – on an intellectual level at least – the power of a government to make such things illegal to begin with?

I hold that shouldn’t be within a government’s scope of power. Always eager to hear your thoughts on this, in the comment forum on this article, preferably –

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6 thoughts on “The intellectual absurdity of the concept of ‘legalization’”

  1. Very good blog Alex. I haven’t read the medical petition but I have a few friends that are also disappointed with the clause in it requiring a dispencary prove that they have the ability to invest at least 100k.
    But as you point out, the real question is the constitutionality of prohibition in the first place. Oklahoma has put it in our constitution based on the central governments interpreting erroneously, that they have the power to regulate a plant.

  2. I think the power of the Government to ban marijuana use is well established; I think it falls under their power to protect the public’s liberty against things that are antithetical to our liberty, and that would destroy its foundation. I also think that taking a look at some of the things the Founders banned (via government power) we can hardly claim the government does not have the rightful authority to ban pot. But let me ask; do you think it should be legal (as long as the builder gives notice) to use asbestos in public buildings and homes? Because currently there are certain federal bans on asbestos uses.

    Also, let me just point out (respectfully of course) the intellectual absurdity of one of your statements: “I don’t personally think weed is all that good of an idea, but because I am not a doctor nor am I a scientist, I can’t question its medical effectiveness. Nor can I say anything about possible harm.”

    This is just silly on its face; who cares if you are a Doctor or a Scientist? Of course you have the right to question its effectiveness or think up possible harms; it is simply common sense. If we take your premise and apply it elsewhere, then logically you can’t; comment on or question theological issues because you are neither a Pastor nor a Theologian; you cannot question an account of History because you are not an Historian; you cannot question the effects of a policy or say anything about potential harms of a policy, because you are neither a politician nor part of a think tank dedicated to that topic; you cannot comment on sports issues like steroids or the hall of fame because you are not a pro athlete, commentator, writer, or umpire (or Doctor); and so on and so forth.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Bottom Line Staff
    http://thebottomlineusa.wordpress.com/

    1. With thanks, for your comment !

      If I said anything about my personal doubt – and personally, I do question it’s effectiveness – supporters of legalization would no doubt attack me on grounds that I am not a doctor. Medical matters are more of a tricky thing than the others examples listed. But I hope this doesn’t distract from my actual point.

      The asbestos thing: Ultimately: the legality of asbestos use – so long as notice is given by the builder in question – is up to the consumer. Consumers have become very well informed on the dangers of asbestos, but if the consumer does not think it’s a big deal, then he will take responsibility for such a choice.

      Furthermore, let’s not be convinced that government is the institution which always has our safety in mind. It can also be said that government restricts new innovations – citing safety problems – but in reality, attempting to protect well established special interests which would be affected negatively by the hypothetical innovation.

      I simply don’t think I, or government, be able to make determinations for someone else’s life. Nor do I think a little legal weed use shakes the foundation of a free society, nor threatens liberty, no more than people smoking cigarettes or having a beer does. And don’t forget, the founders made mistakes too, or, like Hamilton and his camp, were just plain wrong.

      With Greetings, and always, willing to discuss this further – !

  3. It is fair enough that you only said that so as to avoid irrational attack from legalizers; just for future reference you should try to frame it a little better.

    In regards to asbestos, I simply disagree; its not just a choice issue, its a public health issue (as is weed, which in a larger debate I would give many reason health wise how is affects society and other people, and thus even violates the Libertarian standard, but that is not for this thread), and lets put it this way; even if the owner of the business or the home owner approved of the use of asbestos, the simple fact that due to the health hazard it is, the owner and operator of said building or house is now under the moral obligation to warn anyone who wishes to enter the building or house that their health is now at risk; and if they choose not to, then they risk the health of countless helpless individuals which is simply unacceptable. Think further, what if the owner of the house decided to raise his kids in that asbestos house, or sold it to a family with children (that is borderline child abuse I’d say). My entire point to say; sometimes there are plants or chemicals or whatever (especially considering that pot is much more than a plant) that the government has the authority to make rules on.

    Certainly the government doesn’t always have our safety in mind, but that problem is with those who we elect, not the government and its duties itself. The solution is to elect the correct, moral, (and I’d argue) God-fearing people that would make the right decisions.

    My only problem with the statement “I simply don’t think I, or government, be able to make determinations for someone else’s life.” is that I don’t think it applies here; people act as if pot legalization would only affect the users life, which is not true. I argue it effects the entire society and freedom itself (especially considering what freedom is based on (for more on freedom’s foundation, I again point to the Founders). I also do think weed legalization helps put cracks in, and weakens freedom’s foundation, along with many other things Liberals and Libertarians pursue, and the more I read the Founders, the more I am convinced of this.Oh and please don’t compare weed to beer and cigarettes, it is so much worse (though again that is a different topic of debate)

    Finally, I understand that the Founders were not perfect, I understand that they made mistakes, but that is simply not the issue here. If anyone knows that limited government, governmental power and duty, and freedom really are, it is the Founders; and the simple fact remains that if you want to understand governmental power in this country, it is best to look at what our Founders did, as they operated within the understanding of what governmental power in this country should be. And so again I say, considering what the Founding Fathers banned/punished (in almost unanimous fashion in many cases), I hardly think it is outside governmental power to ban weed (and before anyone reading this tries to yell about me about how the Founders loved Hemp, let me just beg intellectual honesty, as we all know weed and hemp are NOT the same thing, not even close; and personally I have no problem with hemp, as there is nothing immoral or dangerous about it)

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