Tuesday, July 28, 2009

States' Rights and The Recession

"...Trinity County, on the brink of financial collapse, has cut the number of sheriff's officers from 20 to 13. Sometimes no one is available to patrol the 3,200 square miles of mostly forested countryside in Trinity County, where Sheriff Lorrac Craig said drug cartels are running rampant."

They're talking about marijuana cultivation in rural California:

"This year's multibillion-dollar crop is on pace to be the largest in history, said state officials...The illicit crops are believed to be hidden on ridges and in gullies in California's 31 million acres of forest, with most being grown in state and national parks."

Let's think about this. Billions of dollars worth of a plant are growing in counties too broke to enforce the law. People come from out of the country, grow it, and send the money back home. The substance is less harmful than alcohol. Could there be a more obvious solution? Legalize it, and tax it. The city of Oakland just passed a law to tax medical marijuana (which I voted for) and the world hasn't ended yet.

There are a lot of pretend conservatives willing to sacrifice individual liberty to the state - for example, a common objection is that if California legalizes marijuana, it will flow into other states. Yes! Just like Jack Daniels flows out of Tennessee and into your house - or not, if you don't want any. I would actually look forward to the fight that would happen with other states and the Federal government over this, so we could see who the real states' rights advocates are, and who just likes to pay lip service.

Speaking of lip service, Bill O'Reilly would have you believe that from drug legalization, it's one step to cannibalism. Check out some of the "work" that he's done on it, interspersed with clips of every day life in Amsterdam:

What a nightmare! As you can see, marijuana truly does erode the fabric of morality.

If O'Reilly wanted to look at the effects of drug decriminalization, he should have looked at Portugal, which has decriminalized, basically, all drugs. Yes. Really. And things have improved. Don't take my word for it - look at what the Cato Institute has to say.

No comments: