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View Diary: Supporting medical pot is like supporting civil unions (219 comments)

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  •  ....mmmm.... (0+ / 0-)

    And, that's what we call "authoritarianism".

    I don't want to be protected from myself.   I want factual information, and choices.   I might even want certifications and advisory warnings to guide me.   And then, I want to make my own choice.

    You are making an assumption that the government actually can protect you from yourself.   I am not convinced, and the evidence is shaky.   How long has the "Drug War" been going on?    Have you seen the news?  The gangs are more sophisticated now.  The urban drug centers are spreading to the suburbs.    Has our strategy of "protecting people from themselves" actually working?    I don't think we can call the Drug War, the strategy of attempting to restrict people's choose about what they put into their bodies, a success.   I've asked my kids, and they know the kids in school who do drugs, and know how to get some if they want it.    Just like thirty years ago.    So, what have we accomplished?  How much money did we spend?   How much money have we diverted from public coffers to criminal gangs because we are too moral to let it flow through the legitimate market?  

    Enabling people to make better choices, rather than attempting to constrain their choices, is a much more effective strategy.    If we can offer free education, we can offer free rehab.   It would be cheaper than all the prisons and the SWAT teams.

    •  Speed limits? Safety regulations? (0+ / 0-)

      So speed limits are out?  Seatbelt laws?  Helmet laws?

      We accept all manner of government restrictions on stupid.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:00:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are some differences (1+ / 0-)
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        Speed limits involve protecting people from other people.   I didn't say it's not a function of government to protect people from other people.  I belive that is a valid and necessary function.   It is only protecting people from themselves that I object to.  It is a fundamentally different proposition.      I agree that we should have a right that people shouldn't just run right over us, that we have to have some rules to make our transportation system work for everyone.    However, in the case of drug use, I don't necessarily agree that we have a right to demand that other people won't use drugs because we think it's immoral or we just don't like them doing that or even that it's a danger to them, no more than we have a right to tell them they can't skydive, or rappel, or downhill ski, or any of the other activities people do that are potentially dangerous, or tell them they have to go to church because we think that's healthier for them.        And, we have already recognized this, in allowing cigarettes and alcohol, which are both  scientifically proven to cause death.  How much more dangerous can something be?!!!!

        Seatbelt and helmet laws are regulations relating to a shared transportation system, and can be justified in reducing the disruption of our transportation system that impacts all of us. When someone dies due to improper use of a regulated transportation device -- i.e., a car or motorcycle --  it disrupts the flow of traffic to greater degree than a simple collision with no casualties, and we have to send paid public workers to go scrape their remains off our roadways.      Regulating use of vehicles on public roads in a way that keeps the roads operating efficiently for all is more of an argument for the use of seatbelts or helmets than protecting people from themselves.  

        I can justify restrictions on drugs to keep them away from kids.  And, to keep them out of public areas.   And, to keep them from being imposed on others who do not want to participate or be exposed to them.   But, I have a much harder time justifying interfering with privacy and freedom of individuals in their own homes.  And, I think that the history of various attempts at Prohibition backs that up.   A large chunk of our population, so large that it is unmanageable, do not consent to having this area of their lives governed, and they have demonstrated that fact, over and over and over again.

        One issue that does exist, however, is how crazy a person has to be, in order for his rights to be constrained, and for the government to move into a caretaking role, and what do we do when that happens.    While I support the right of people to use drugs, I recognize that drugs can render some of them incompetent, and then we have to have a plan for what to do with them.   However, I object to a "futurecrime" justice system, that takes away the freedoms of everyone, because some people misuse those freedoms.

        There are trade-offs.   We err on the side of constraining freedom in this country, and I think it's a mistake.   The Drug War, and Prohibition, demonstrate very effectively how this approach does not work.  

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