Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Weekly Radley - Another warm and fuzzy drug war moment

From the incomparable Radley Balko comes this video of one of the drug war's latest casualties:

For the love of God, why can't they let the poor guy fire one up? Do the pharmaceutical companies not make any money on weed? Do we need to give them some patents?
Or is The War On Drugs as profitable for certain government entities as The War On Terror is for others?
I remember hearing about a huge banner at Fort Worth's General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin military aircraft plant. It was put up soon after the Cold War "ended", and it said "PEACE SUCKS". I dunno if it really existed, but the story reflects the job losses that Fort Worth went through as a result of not having Commies to bomb.
Overall, though, the short-lived peace was very good for us.

Can you imagine the job losses in law enforcement if marijuana was suddenly legal?
Can you imagine the income loss to Drug Lords all over the world?
Can you imagine peace and quiet breaking out along the Texas-Mexico border?

When the U.S. got a wild hair and decided to prohibit alcohol, we experienced a crime wave no one had ever seen before. Bootleggers like Capone and (ahem) Kennedy grew filthy rich by meeting the demands of ordinary citizens. Little old ladies started making bathtub gin. Speakeasies abounded. Since the enterprise fell outside the law, organized crime swarmed in to fill the gap. It got ugly.
Fortunately, people could remember what it was like before Prohibition, and the insane experiment was abandoned after a decade or so.

There aren't many people around who remember marijuana being legal. But they would assure us there was very little drug-related violence associated with the weed.
Because there was no money in it.

My friend John Spivey has a good argument for those who worry about "what would happen to the kids" if marijuana use was de-criminalized, or legalized. Spivey and I can't remember a time when weed wasn't available for sale at our respective High Schools. We agree that the same situation exists in our kids' schools. The demand is there, the penalties for selling to minors are severe, but the profit is massive.

Legalize it. The demand will still be there, the penalties for selling to minors will still be severe, but the huge profit margin will go away.

Which system will most effectively keep marijuana away from the kids?


Dana said...

Touche! It seems pretty easy to understand, huh? Gov't has no place in legislating morality anyway. That's totally up to the person. But I guess they DO want to legislate commerce.

Cedric Katesby said...

Those of you who click my name-tag will notice that it links to the site of one of my heros: James Randi.

James Randi is a skeptic.
The genuine article.
The Big Cheese.
The Numero Uno.
He has many engrossing and provocative videos available on his site and on youtube.
Here's one that happens to connect with the topic at hand.
Hope you enjoy it.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

James Randi is greatness. Man, that video pissed me off. How, if after viewing, a person does not at least consider libertarian leanings is beyond me. Overreaching federal government is EXACTLY what we are fighting! Unfortunately, it's going to take [that word I dare not say, lest Big Brother come a knockin] to change things.