Monday, June 10, 2013

Why Marijuana Users Tend To Be Economic Libertarians

I just spent a pleasant weekend at the DFW/NORML Regional Conference in downtown Fort Worth. 
Video will shortly follow, I'm sure, since Director Shaun McAlister rarely even eats breakfast without rolling tape. 

After my rant (in which I also had the honor of introducing the Libertarian Party's Vice-Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray to the crowd), we spent a lot of time at our booth handing out LP literature, and encouraging a large crowd of marijuana consumers to take the Nolan Quiz. 

Here are Tarrant County LP Executive Committee members Jeff Lippincott and Michael Coyne with Judge Gray at our propaganda table. 

The stereotype would be for most of the marijuana consumers to be Left/Liberal.  Wrong!  That turns out to be a false impression leftover from growing up in the 1960's and 1970's.  As Jeff put it to me, "That test is gold." 

If you've never taken the Nolan Quiz before, go here.  It's just ten questions, and gives you a snapshot of your political leanings on a chart that looks like this:

Perhaps 80% of the attendees tested out as Libertarian.  Amazing.  (Yeah, the test is ever so slightly biased.  We wouldn't hand it out otherwise.) 
But it amazed me that the crowd of old tokers and Generation X activists tested out as LARGE FREAKIN' "L" LIBERTARIAN on economic issues.   

Here's a theory....

For the most part, marijuana users believe in the "I own me/You own you" concept.  They don't care how many of The Sheeple and The Shepherds get together and vote and make motions and condemn their consumption of a plant.  If marijuana is around, and they're in the mood, they're going to spark up. 

They believe that they own their own bodies. 

Once someone has internalized that core belief, it's not much of a jump to realize that you should also own the fruits of your own labor.  Working for someone else - like the taxman, at gunpoint, for the five months out of the year shouldn't be part of the bargain.  Or, "I own my labor/You own your labor".  You have no right to my body, or to a percentage of my labor and effort.  Yeah, we'll help each other, but we don't need to use force to make it happen.  As I heard someone at the conference say "Contract?  Social Contract?  I didn't sign no stinkin' contract !!"

It's even less of a leap for marijuana users to adapt the Libertarian Party's position on Foreign Policy issues.  Just as marijuana consumption is none of Bush or Barack's business, the oil reserves owned by Muslim countries are none of Bush or Barack's business.  "I own me.  You own the oil.  Give me enough oil to light my bong, and I'll let you have a hit, and we'll both be happier.  Free trade.  Herb's The Word." 

Or something like that. 

It was a great weekend.  I've had several requests for my charts and graphs showing debt level, spending levels, etc.  Will post them all later. 

And seeing this up on the screen at the marijuana legalization conference was a fine, fine moment. 

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