Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wednesday morning libertarian metaphor 

"The Flower."

Discuss among yourselves.


By Blogger antithaca, at Wed Aug 04, 09:23:00 AM:

Well done. Simple minded in my opinion in the sense that the assumption is that the [il]legality of the "flower" has created the violence.

The value of the "flower" created the violence. This might be amplified by the "flower" being made illegal...but it's value exists regardless of its legal status. The video admits as much.

Valuable things are sought by law abiding citizens and criminals alike.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Aug 04, 11:40:00 AM:

While the cartoon is wildly simplistic and naive, it does raise the issue of our selective tolerance of mind-altering substances.

As a child of the 60's, I recall marijuana being relatively safe and tolerated...a reasonable drug despite a faulty system of delivery.

Now, it has become enhanced, often adulterated and socially unacceptable for use by an adult professional.

So forking over a couple of hundred bucks for a bottle of Opus One gets a wink and a nod, but getting caught with a joint in your pocket lands one on the evening news?

So, although I am lately leaning toward Libertarian ideals (after being disappointed by Republicans), this little cartoon remians a silly sister to "The Story of Stuff".

However, the basic concept of letting certain chemicals (beside alchohol and codeine) have some rational controlled use is reasonable.

The BIG problem with Libertarians is the concept of uncontrolled drug legalization. There simply is no good way to make heroin, Fentanyl, Droperidol and cocaine safe for use in the home..at any price or with any law.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 04, 01:42:00 PM:

I'd like to see the Tea Party support the Founding Fathers in their attitude toward marijuana.

Many of the founding fathers notated in letters their pleasure in smoking marijuana, Including Washington, Madison, Jefferson...


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 04, 04:55:00 PM:

"The BIG problem with Libertarians is the concept of uncontrolled drug legalization."

Libertarians come in all flavors. You can build a lot of political consensus around the idea of cutting the federal government back to necessary core competencies with the Constitution as our guide -- that's little "l" libertarianism.

Once upon a time -- before the commerce clause got stretched beyond all recognition -- the feds had to use the tax code to gin up jurisdiction over marijuana. That was a bad precedent then and now.

Presently there's pending legislation -- The Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs Act -- that would double and triple criminal penalties for controlled substances that are combined with a candy or "modified by flavoring." Supposedly this is over concern with candy flavored meth -- an urban myth. Depending on final wording -- and how aggressive prosecutors are -- it could apply to pot brownies.  

By Blogger Chris, at Wed Aug 04, 09:34:00 PM:

This comment has been removed by the author.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Aug 05, 12:02:00 AM:

"The Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs Act ..."

Heh...and Bailey's Irish Creme, Choco-Vine, Wine Coolers and Sex-On-the-Beach all gets a free ride!!  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Thu Aug 05, 11:59:00 AM:

Pot is pretty easy to grow. I'm pretty sure we had some growing in the house when I was in college. I don't really remember, but then I was there.

Here in Oakland our elected officials have sanctioned growing and distribution of pot. Not because they are load outs, they're normal. They have embraced the regulation of the production and distribution for the purposes of making revenue high.

In the course of my life we've gone from, "It's a cop! Don't look stoned" to, "It's the mayor! Look stoned!"

I'm still pretty ambivalent about the whole question and I don't know how I'll vote on this question this November.


By Anonymous tyree, at Thu Aug 05, 08:23:00 PM:

I'll support illegal drug legalization as soon as illegal drug users start acting responsibly.

Paying for a product that leads to a a massive death toll due to criminal activity is not acting responsibly.  

By Anonymous daniel noe, at Thu Aug 05, 09:16:00 PM:

I was trying to figure out what this was about right up to the end.  

By Blogger Cas, at Thu Aug 05, 10:57:00 PM:

tyree: I'll support illegal drug legalization as soon as illegal drug users start acting responsibly.
Paying for a product that leads to a a massive death toll due to criminal activity is not acting responsibly.

The film makes the point that any "death toll" linked to cannabis is NOT due the actual substance itself, but making it illegal.
As to "paying for a product," unless you know how to process cannabis, and have the time to do it, you will pay someone else to do it. Do you operate your own still? You could, as long as you didn't sell any of the product. ("bathtub beer," anyone?)
Isn't this an example of allowing the invisible hand of specialization and free-markets to work properly?
Of course, I believe it is the Statists who want to tax the hell out of such production in order to bring down the national debt (NOT the deficit!)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 06, 10:39:00 AM:

Marijuana isn't contributing to any death toll. It's the harder drugs that do. You can make a better argument that alcohol belongs in the hard drug category.

The troublesome recreational hard drugs are unfortunate by-products of science. You can't close Pandora's box now that habits have been formed and gangs make too much money. So we can't decriminalize these. But we do need a better approach.

It's a demand problem -- so to that to extent I agree with Tyree. I don't agree with his framing it as a moral issue though. Using hard drugs may be immoral, but using laws to define morality doesn't always work well. It doesn't even work well for most of the Ten Commandments.

Attacking it as a supply problem -- with more interdiction and tougher penalties -- has proven not to work. All we've done is ensure high street prices, which is why it became such a good criminal enterprise. We've also greatly expanded our prisons, at great cost.

Repealing prohibition back in the Depression got support from those in government who realized that they could use the tax revenue. When government was smaller, taxing booze made a meaningful contribution. History echoes today.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 06, 01:56:00 PM:

Weed ruined my life. Seriously. I was addicted to it for years. It ruined my grades, and my career. Thirty years later, still paying for it.  

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