IPFS Brock Lorber

More About: Drug War

Your Cannabis Use is Not My Problem

If you tease the facts on cannabis from the propaganda, and if, after a rational examination of those facts, you decide to use cannabis, be my guest.  Smoke up.  However, when your use crowds in on my living space, you and I have a problem.

Right now, under prohibition, growers, distributors, and users of cannabis do not threaten me and mine.  The threat to me from marijuana prohibition comes from law enforcement.  The closest I've ever come to even seeing cannabis is feral hemp in an Iowa ditch; yet, with just an anonymous tip to law enforcement alleging cannabis cultivation on my property, it is subject to a raid.  With my dog dead, my front door hanging off its hinges, my possessions confiscated, and my bank accounts frozen, the court may grant me an opportunity (but not the ability) to clear my good name.

Under prohibition, if I travel with more than $200 in my pocket, it can be seized with no opportunity to recover it.  If a traffic officer doesn't like my attitude, he can seize my vehicle using suspicion from a accuser that I cannot confront – his dog.  Marijuana prohibition is a game played purely to keep law enforcement, which profits off the possessions seized, on the side of the prohibitionists.

If every illicit drug user quit today, the threats I've described do not go away.  Although prohibitionists spread the propaganda that American demand is the problem, that is simply not true.  If demand went to zero, the prohibition enforcement apparatus would still be in place and quickly turned to whatever other vice they thought would extract the highest revenues.

It is estimated that 54% of Americans 12 and older have never used cannabis.  Over half the population's lives and property are under constant threat of prohibition's ills for doing nothing wrong.  I am constantly amazed that that majority does not rise up and demand removal of that threat.

Ending the war on drugs, so-called, is not the only step that must be taken.  The prohibitionists' apparatus must also be dismantled.  Otherwise, the threat to non-users remains and the only benefits of ending prohibition are accrued by users.  It is absolutely true that ending the drug war, so-called, also ends the drug war violence; but if that violence is replaced by “new vice war” violence, the net benefit to non-illicit drug users is zero.

Please Beat Me Harder
At a point in American history where bureaucrats are scrambling to retain their significance and the money which fuels their violent dominions, marijuana law reformers are pushing the “tax and regulate” angle very hard.  And, it is having some success; every week there are new reports of bureaucrats entertaining the idea (as happened with alcohol prohibition during the great depression).

I seriously question, though, whether the tax and regulate crowd knows what it is asking for.

First, as to regulation, the power to regulate must be backed by law.  I cannot think of a single law, in the long and sordid history of government, that has ever survived legislation and implementation and, in the end, remotely resembled the original conception of the law without serious, unintended consequences on one group or another.  If anyone has knowledge of such a law, please let me know; I am more than interested in learning the specifics.

Certainly, in the United States beginning in the 20th century, drug laws in particular have a track record that can best be described as disastrous.  What possible good faith argument can one make that reform and resulting regulation will have any better results?

Assume for a moment, though, that the perfect laws and regulations could be crafted.  As I said before, if the prohibition apparatus is not dismantled, it will be turned to the “new vice war” and result in “new vice war” violence.  However, now the prohibition apparatus will be enhanced by the tax revenues from the retail sale of drugs.  The net result to me, the non-illicit drug user, is an increase in vice war violence.

All that violence is heaped on top of the philosophical problem of new-found legitimacy afforded to government bureaucrats by the tax and regulate crowd.  No, thank you.

It's Your Problem, You Fix It
There is a way to end the problem without dumping it on my shoulders.  It's a radical solution where you take responsibility for your own actions.

You made the choice to grow, manufacture, purchase, transport, and/or use illicit drugs.  Unless there was a literal gun pointed at your head, that choice was yours and yours alone.  Now, when you stand in a courtroom on a drug charge, you take responsibility for that choice, man-up and proudly declare yourself “NOT GUILTY!

If every person charged with a drug crime this weekend stood up and declared themselves “not guilty” tomorrow morning, by tomorrow afternoon the courts, prosecutors, and public defenders would be overwhelmed and screaming, “No mas!  No mas.”

Every time you plea, every time you roll over like a cur and pay your fine, every time you are too cowardly to demand a jury trial, you perpetuate the situation where it is politically correct to punish a human being for a non-violent act of their own free will.  Your unwillingness to take responsibility for your own actions results in an unjustified threat to me and my property.

I am not the enemy, the prohibitionists are.  When you stop pleading to drug charges, you will clog the prohibitionists' apparatus with far better results for both of us than reforming laws that shouldn't even be there.

If you want my support, quit trying to foist your problems off on me.