I am just disgusted by this Tommy Chong bong nonsense: not only is the War on Drugs – marijuana in particular – stupid, counterproductive, polarizing, wasteful, and just plain retarded, but the War on Drug Paraphernalia is even more removed from sanity.
How can it even be constitutional to arrest people and throw them in jail for manufacturing and selling glass and plastic objects? Besides the civil liberties affront, couldn’t federal law enforcement be spending its limited time and resources on more important matters, like preventing Americans from being blown up? These assholes are going to make me hate government again.
Steve Chapman also thinks our marijuana laws are asinine:
- Among American officeholders, there are two points of view about the drug war. Some are for it, while others are really, really for it. In Canada, though, Prime Minister Jean Chretien has said something no American politician would ever say: Marijuana users should no longer be treated like criminals.
….John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, expressed deep disappointment: “You expect your friends to stop the movement of poison to your neighborhood.”
….U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci warned that decriminalization might force American customs agents to spend more time checking out Canadians entering the U.S.
….But decriminalization in Canada wouldn’t have much effect on drug use in America. How do I know? Because decriminalization in America hasn’t had much effect on drug use in America.
Yes, it has been tried here–and not, as you might expect, in just a few locales that are still stuck in the ’60s. According to The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 12 states no longer make a habit of putting people in jail for smoking a joint, including such funky places as Nebraska and Mississippi.
What happens when a state decriminalizes marijuana? People immediately seize the opportunity to go on behaving exactly as they had behaved before. A 1999 study commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences found that marijuana use in states that relaxed their laws was no different from states that didn’t.
….In their 2001 book “Drug War Heresies,” Robert MacCoun of the University of California at Berkeley and Peter Reuter of the University of Maryland noted that by effectively legalizing pot, “the Dutch have significantly reduced the monetary and human costs of incarcerating cannabis offenders with no apparent effects on levels of use.”
….Maybe the Canadians understand that. Or maybe they’re just quicker to recognize the stupidity of giving someone a criminal record for doing something that an awful lot of people have done without hurting anyone else. Nearly 80 million Americans have tried marijuana–including the last president of the United States and, apparently, the current one, who doesn’t deny youthful drug use. Only the unlucky ones get collared.
….For that matter, the dangers of pot are mostly imaginary. The respected medical journal The Lancet concluded a few years ago, “The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health.” Not all experts are quite so sanguine, especially when adolescents are involved, but the health hazards of getting arrested are clearly much greater than the health hazards of getting high.
Everyone knows that marijuana is not a menace to public health or morals. The marvel is not that Canadians may finally act on that knowledge, but that Americans still tolerate the waste of police time and tax money arresting people for an innocent vice. What are we smoking? [Chicago Tribune]
I’m not even calling smoking pot “an innocent vice”: there are real dangers, especially to kids, and smoking anything isn’t good for you, but it’s a matter of perspective and the War on Drugs is a hypocritical sham that has none. Surely moderate marijuana smoking by adults is more benign than immoderate drinking or tobacco smoking, and the War on Paraphernalia is beyond comprehension: it’s like arresting people for making beer mugs or ashtrays – goddamn, I am pissed off about this.
It is time politicians show some semblance of balls and confront this stupidity and call a spade a spade – this marginalization must end. Free Tommy Chong!!