Saturday, October 08, 2005

Irrational Legislation

Somebody brought up pot smoking again. In all the forums in all the World, pot and it's prohibition will always serve as one of the dependable "go to" subjects when the threads start wearing thin. But like many of the "go to" subjects, Marijuana has been beaten to death. Every last bit of opinion has been posted. Nothing new, but rehashing the same old crap.

I usually do not participate anymore. But tonight I was sucked in. A poster whom I respect but rarely agree with based his defense of pot laws on some obscure study done by some obscure doctor using obtuse and ambiguous statements. This poster listed about 15 medical reasons not to use pot. Nevermind that there are probably an infinite number of medical reasons to not do almost anything, the point is not health related. The point is rights and how we distribute them.

We allow the consumption of all kinds of substances that can and do hurt us. The Man even makes money in the form of taxes on these items. Tobacco and alcohol have killed and ruined more lives than all the other drugs combined. The periphial crime associated with them have at times in the past been as evil and nasty as any today. So why the prohibition of some drugs while allowing the worst of the bunch free rein?

Many contend that there is just too much money at risk to make them legal. On both sides of the law. The criminals like it this way. Their profits stay up as long as they can keep us illegally high. The government can support a huge bureaucratic industry made up of drug enforcers, penal institutions, and huge judicial organizations. They stay in power by instilling fear and loathing for the drugged and stoned.

Legal business concerns from banks to lumber conglomerates have a vested interest in keeping pot and the other drugs in the black market. Money always ends up in banks, no matter how it is made. Cutting trees down is so much more expensive and profitable than farming hemp for paper pulp. Can you imagine the whining in the pulp boardrooms whenever it is mentioned that an acre of hemp produces a higher quality pulp and more of it than an acre of forest. They know it does, but it is not in their interest to broadcast this energy saving, money saving, and sensible alternative to the waste we seem to love creating.

No, there is no logical reason other than greed for the laws we have against certain drugs when the worst ones are legally accessed and reasonably priced. Play to irrational fears by emphasizing and exaggerating the effects of some drugs on society. At the same time, give a free pass with mild warnings on the really bad ones. This is so hypocritical and so wrong I can no longer take any law seriously. I have come to the conclusion that most of the legislation passed since the boys in white wigs got all this going have hidden agendas. No law since the Constitution is really for the public good. They are more for the privileged few.

Rationally, I know that is not completely true. Nor is it completely false. Just look at the drug laws in this country for proof.