We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, July 15. 2009
Nor can we afford to have more political sand thrown in our eyes. We were told that the state lottery would ensure education funding, but it hasn’t. We were told that Indian gaming would boost state revenues, but the Indians have learned since they sold
The odds of winning the lottery are far worse than in any form of gambling, as the poor line up with false hope in their eyes to buy tickets. Ever walk through an Indian casino, particularly in the daytime, and see the seniors looking like tamed zombies from Night Of The Living Dead feed their retirement checks and savings into the slots. And, about all we get is some public service commercials, usually in the middle of the night, telling us not to smoke or to drink responsibly.
Just because there are many who do smoke marijuana, there is no justification that I can accept for making it easier for more to do so. The AP story says, “Marijuana use would likely increase by about 30 percent once the law took effect because legalization would lead to falling prices, the board said.” I’ll bet, taxed or untaxed, the increase in use would be higher.
Marijuana can lead to similar, and worse, unhealthy effects as tobacco. Particularly among teens, in their mentally formative and impressionable years, marijuana has been shown to impede maturing and dealing constructively with everyday life. But, don’t take my word for it. Below the fold are excerpts from the National Institutes for Health’s fact sheet, just updated this month.
Yes, I know many of us have smoked marijuana, and most have gone on to reasonably productive lives. But, think back and remember the many of fellow pot smokers we knew who didn’t. Think deep and honestly about your own experiences, and whether you may have made some better choices if not smoking marijuana. Think about why enlarging harmful behaviors is not justified by their smaller incidence already.
Then, think about our legislators, and I’ll take the bet that a larger proportion are still living in smoke dreams, avoiding the necessity to govern they were elected to do. Indeed, they probably hope that more of us will be so smoked.
Instead, we get such nonsense as this proposal, the “Governing? Don’t Bother Me, Man, I’m High” bill. Don’t give me any libertarian crap on this one, at least until we get legislators who stop being high on our excess taxes.
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Looks like somebody did take that late-night propaganda to heart. We even get to read a version of the “for the children!” nonsense.
Don’t give you any libertarian crap? Who are you, the new liberal fascist god? When your reasoning is weak, close your ears. Nice job.
Do have any argument outside reupholstered anti-viper hysteria from early last century? Stoners have made bad choices. Not a revelation, or even a salient point. Everyone has regrets, whether under the influence of food, chemicals, or charisma. All the “evils” you ascribe apply equally well to the general population.
Whatever fragments of truth the NIH exhaled, the government does not report the positive effects and evident value derived by those who choose to use cannabis. Life is risk. Some climb rocks, some drive motorcycles, some smoke. All because they have reason to.
Your argument appear to rest on a fear of negative health effects. Those risks are not yours. Limiting the ability of people to choose limits their essential humanity. God did not give you responsibility to manage anyone else's body or life.
Taxation is stupid on its own. You don't need to put on a righteous nanny suit to make a case against. At $50/oz, the benefit of compliance is insufficient. We're talking about tens of millions who already engage in free, informed transactions without “benefit” of legalization. Raising the cost of those transactions by 50-100% is not going to guarantee quality or provide worthwhile recourse in case of fraud.
You make some good points, and I'll overlook your "liberal fascist god" remark as debating hyperbole. -- First, however, it is legitimate for government to recognize the harms done by certain substances and behaviors. It's a matter of degree what we think should be done about them. In the case of marijuana, recognizing the excess costs and penalties falling upon small, casual users we have relaxed enforcement. Similarly, although the science is weak or opposing, we allow some use by those who are otherwise unhelped by science or who make that choice in grave illness. But, at the same time, sound science has determined deleterious health and social effects for others, and these do affect more than the user.
Second, excess taxes harm everyone, even those supposedly aided by what's left of government largesse after the skims of those profiting. And, legitimizing a substance and taxing its users which negatively affects them in order to feed that largesse and profits to others is even more perverse.
So, I return to my argument, some harm presently engaged in does not justify enlarging it, and because some pick their noses does not mean we should either encourage more to or to poke themselves in their eyes.
I disagree that “it is legitimate for government to recognize the harms done by certain substances and behaviors.”
This assumes an expansive role of government, to find and establish harm. If one is harmed, the common law provides the opportunity to seek redress. Some hippies in California blowing weed cannot, by that act alone, harm anyone in Maggie’s territory. If the state is charged with finding potential harm (as the NIH cites), it is at odds with both liberty and a presumption of innocence. Everything is a potential threat, and we are consigned to a tug-of-war over where we draw the line.
I challenge your ability, or the state's, (or my own) to properly identify harm unilaterally. What you call harm may be to another merely cost. Cannabis has cost and risk, but is it on net harmful? Is the harm as you see it a result of propaganda-clouded viewpoint? Can we fairly extend our judgment to all men in all cases? You have begun to concede by allowing cannabis to those sufficiently sick.
Removing an immoral restriction on human liberty is not encouraging vice. The state is not the arbiter of legitimacy. Moving something from the “criminal” category to the “taxable” category does not change its nature. It is perhaps a sign of our laziness that we have allowed legislatures to define what is moral. This is a religion of the state above god—fascism.
Your whole column is so wrong, that I don't know where to start.
"Just because there are many who do smoke marijuana, there is no justification that I can accept for making it easier for more to do so. "
Alcohol is illegal above a certain age, yet a huge majority of the US population drinks. Alcohol is certainly more damaging than marijuana. Why are not not arguing for increased controls on alcohol? or fatty foods?
It's all about choice. If I want to smoke marijuana because I think it's relaxing, why should the government stop me?
"Think about why enlarging harmful behaviors is not justified by their smaller incidence already."
We learn by experience. That includes harmful behaviors. Sometimes we avoid them, sometimes we learn during the recovery phase. If we are smart, we just don't do them, or at least understand the risks involved.
If you really wanted to reduce harmful behaviors, you would support a ban on younger drivers. Reduced speeds on highways and streets. The list goes on and on.
The Maggies Farm description at the top of the page includes "Freedom from ... government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for."
Your article contradicts this.
Dalifornia has problems???:
This assumes an expansive role of government, to find and establish harm. If one is harmed, the common law provides the opportunity to seek redress.