On January 15,
2014 1934, speaking out against the United States' ongoing national decriminalization of cannabis recent repeal of Prohibition through ratification of the 21st amendment, as well as the enactment of restricted legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington the Cullen-Harrison act, the DEA operations chief unofficial spokesman for the Anti-Saloon League James Capra appeared before the US Senate. Public opinion having long ago turned against him and his ideological allies, he sought to persuade lawmakers of the alleged mistake we as a nation had made in entertaining the relaxation of cannabis law repealing Prohibition.
His words were fearful, animated, and he spoke heatedly of the doom waiting for us if this state of affairs isn't changed.
I have to say this… going down the path to
legalizationProhibition repeal in this country is reckless and irresponsible. I’m talking about the long-term impact of legalizationrepeal in the United States. It scares us.
There are more
dispensariesbars in Denver than there are Starbuckssoda fountains. The idea somehow… that this is somehow good for us as a nation, that this is good for the next generation coming up is wrong. It’s a bad thing, and this body will get its door knocked on ten years from now and say, ‘How did we get where we got?'
This is a bad experiment. It’s going to cost us in terms of social costs.In his fear he forgot a few things.
First and foremost Mr Capra forgot that putting human beings in cages is generally a bad thing and something which societies, and the human beings who build them, would seem to want to avoid.
He forgot the social costs of ruining countless lives for such a relatively benign vice, its exceedingly easy instigation, and its outrageously lucrative facilitation. He forgot that society itself has ways of mitigating "social costs", and that losers are still losers whether or not they are breaking the law. He forgot that the next generation, while they should be strongly dissuaded and prevented from partaking in that vice, will likely find doing so more difficult with this change in its status. He forgot that businesspeople tend to follow laws and regulations while criminals scoff at them by definition. He forgot that strict laws prohibiting such vices and their accompanying infrastructures have in reality had questionable positive effect over time, although they have spawned entire underground industries; lawless enterprises which are extremely far-reaching, powerful and lucrative, along with being totally unregulated and answering to no one but themselves. Such people wielding such power is apparently not scary enough by comparison.
Mr Capra also forgot that much of the so-called "evidence" put forward to justify continued criminalization is based on bad science, fear-mongering and fabrications, and he forgot that many Americans realize the falsity of that evidence and are then left with shaken trust in their government. Or at least, with that last, he forgot that people losing trust in their government is a bad thing.
Interestingly, he also forgot to include precisely what scares him so much. Change, I think, and the loss of status that will follow him through that change. Scary stuff for a fear-mongering man.
The thing that scares me is government action which is based on fear, lies and zealotry.