Monday, November 17, 2008

Making A Problem Out of No Problem

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (the "Drug Czar") has claimed that my fair city of San Francisco has 98 medical marijuana dispensaries, and only 71 Starbucks.

As it turns out, the number "98" is grossly exaggerated. At best, this happened as a result of sloppy research. At worst it was deliberate distortion of the facts to suit the agency's agenda. Am I naive, or do I remember a time when US government agencies actually reported facts, and you didn't have to filter them for political bias? Even if I'm dreaming, any patriot should still demand and expect objectivity from United States government agencies.

For the sake of argument, let's say that the Feds (this subspecies of them) are right, and that medical marijuana dispensaries are really just a sham undertaken by sneering leftists, and for years they've been pumping weed into our streets. Even then, why would that be a problem?

The answer is that nothing has happened, so it's obviously not a problem. I can tell you that on several occasions, a "friend of mine" has in fact recreationally partaken of said medical supplies, and many friends of his have done the same. These are productive career- and family-people relaxing at the occasional party, not lice-bitten hippies squatting in communes. Indeed, medical marijuana IS on the streets in large amounts. And what happened? Has civilization collapsed? Crime sky-rocketed? Reefer-addled zombies roaming the city? No. Responsible adults use it recreationally just like alcohol. And it hasn't caused any problems that I'm aware of. On the list of Californians' complaints about human-created problems, I see things like "property values too high" and "immigration reform" and "state and school budget woes", not "availability of medical marijuana wrecking our economy". Why does the Federal Government feel the need to save citizens from problems that only the Feds can see? And what's more, how do you feel about them spending your tax dollars to do it?

The Drug Czar's office is just one more self-justifying Federal agency, and one more reason to legalize marijuana. Otherwise we keep playing these administrative games that cost us all money and strip adult citizens of the right to choose how to responsibly enjoy themselves on their own time.


mjlijewski said...

Will Obama be brave enough to stop the drug war?

Thomas Paine Jr. said...

I doubt it. I don't have high hopes that efforts to stop this waste of money will originate at the Federal level. It's too much of a political football, and the risk:benefit for softening drug policy at the national level is very bad. What I think will happen is increased mainstreaming (legalization, decriminalization, use as medicine, etc.) in large blocks of states. This will lead to people getting used to the idea that smarter policies can decrease government spending and people being arrested for victimless crimes WITHOUT a spike in other crimes. Then there will be legal challenges, and eventually a tug of war between states and the Feds. Because the drug war exists largely out of inertia, I think the Feds will be the ones who blink, eventually.