Saturday, September 19, 2009

A follow-up to yesterday's hypothetical question

Well, yesterday's hypothetical question about "would you vote for a presidential candidate who had once been arrested for shoplifting?" generated lots of traffic, and even got Twittered/Tweeted by someone who felt a vague hypothetical question was worthy of a wide audience.

But it only got one response. Uncle Fester, who I think is affiliated with the LP of Colorado, said that he wouldn't/didn't vote for Clinton, Bush, or Obama.

So lemme back up a minute.

I don't remember where I first read this, and I can't find it with Google, but most voters wouldn't support a candidate who had shoplifted something during his young adulthood. A shoplifting conviction, in effect, bars someone from the presidency. And perhaps it should.

So here's the kicker. Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama have all smoked marijuana. Bush and Obama admit inhaling. Al Gore and John Kerry have smoked marijuana. Obama has even admitted to a youthful experimentation with Bolivian Marching Powder.

Think of what this implies about some of the recent elections.... If you voted for a Republicrat of a Demoblican in 2000 or 2004, you voted for a recreational drug user.

Chances are, you wouldn't elect a shoplifter to the Oval Office. But you probably gave your enthusiastic support to someone who once did some serious tokin' Back In The Day.
So why, in most cases, does marijuana possession merit a legal penalty that is ten times worse than that of shoplifting?
Presidential Party Pics came from here and here and here.


Fester said...

Maybe it is that with stealing, the punishment is normally commensurate with the crime and shop lifting is normally not a high dollar theft (an eye for an eye and all that).

However, something like marijuana possession is completely arbitrary and has no basis for punishment, except what the governments whims are at that moment in time.

BTW: I used to be more of an LP activist than I am these days. These days I just post to the LPCO blog. I am more of a voluntaryist than a Libertarian at this point.

Just call me Tim said...

Theft is a crime of offense with an actual victim. Use of marijuana is a personal choice to abuse (or amuse) one's self, without any impact on others. Thus, the laws regarding shoplifting are generally recognized as relevant and necessary for a civil society, whereas those such as the ones regarding marijuana possession and use are actually counter-productive to society, as they create lawbreakers unnecessarily, thereby effecting a reduction in respect for the law that is needed to maintain some semblance of social order.

Suzette Watkins said...

Because we have ignorant lawmakers with no courage to face the issue.