Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another spontaneous blog: quick comments on legalization

This essay originates from a comment I posted to a link/status update on Facebook by Wayne Allyn Root. He sent out a link to a slide show titled "Marijuana: by the numbers."

Among the comments preceding mine is one lamenting the notion of accepting decriminalization and likely taxation of marijuana if and when it does finally become legal in the United States. In fact, the CNBC piece mentions that recent estimates suggest marijuana could be a $40 billion-a-year industry based on current usage rates.

The other respondent's argument is of a purist perspective on libertarianism: that we ought not to partner our political and legislative efforts with those whose motivations are to trade one form of governmental control of personal behavior for another. In a sense, moving from prohibition to legalization purely for the sake of generating tax revenue qualifies as such. He is right on that point.

But, to argue the way he did against taking the pragmatic approach toward legalization that currently is underway is going to get little accomplished in the current political atmosphere in America. From here, my elaborated reply follows.

One thing that is going to prevent many Libertarian efforts from ever seeing the light of day is this "all or nothing" attitude on issues such as legalization.

I agree that people ought to be able to enjoy the right to choose whether or not they wish to ingest THC without taxes, a state-issued card (referring to medical marijuana access in some states), or other governmental apparatus attached to it.

However, with all the history of bias fueling a great deal of the resistance to legalization of marijuana, Libertarians are going to need to accept the one-step-at-a-time path: decriminalization; expanded acceptance for medical purposes; heavily regulated and taxed access upon legalization; and eventually taxed and monitored access under the same guidelines as alcohol.

For long-time purists of Libertarian ideology, I understand that these conditions are not acceptable to you. I think it stinks, too.

But, unfortunately, our society is one that will require easing into accepting the end of marijuana prohibition. What we need to do is, whenever this effort takes one step forward in terms of how federal and state laws approach possession and distribution of it, stand firm on the ground that has been gained and identify the next logical goal in terms of either court battles or influencing the next round of legislation aimed at further legalization/decriminalization.

Even Rand Paul managed to get Sean Hannity to see his perspective (to some extent) on the need for ending the war on drugs and dramatically scaling-back its myriad of penalties for simple possession. Now that is major step forward.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A moment to talk about Ron Paul...

I don't agree with him on foreign policy -- or anyone who uses simplistic arguments such as if we didn't bomb people over there or meddle in their affairs, they wouldn't be trying to blow us up.

But, I'd sure be happy to see the next president nominate Ron Paul for Secretary of the Treasury.

Or, better yet, have a president with real testicular fortitude nominate Paul for Secretary of Energy -- for the simple purpose of putting him in there for the job of dismantling the department and shutting it down once and for all, and then nominate him for Secretary of Labor for the same job function, and then systematically make him Secretary of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, and then Homeland Security.

After all that, then unleash him -- one at a time -- on the EPA, the IRS, the FTC, and the FCC.

Ron Paul could be the man who saved America nearly a trillion dollars every year!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A quick thought on entitlement society

America's entitlement mentality has been cultivated quite effectively via contemporary pop culture.

We're all supposed to be angry and have discontent with the older generations -- thus it follows that all the values and principles they have held dear must be dismissed as well.

I wonder how smart and original people such as what we see with the grunge generation hold-outs would feel if someone were to successfully make them aware that their rage-against-the-machine collective personal philosophy is little more than a rehash of the 60's antiwar movement, just effectively packaged and marketed to them in a nice neat, profitable strategy.