I haven’t really debated, blogged or even discussed the merits of the war on drugs before. The reason is that I really don’t enjoy talking about the drug culture in this country, probably because I believe it is a destructive behavior, just like alcoholism. Doug Wead, however, points out while many oppose the use of marijuana, few actually know why:
Canadian Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, who was chairman of a two year committee study on the subject, declared that ”scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue.”
Among the finding of the Senate report? Marijuana is not a gateway to the use of hard drugs. Marijuana use does not lead to the commission of crime. Marijuana users are unlikely to become dependent. Marijuana use has little impact on driving. Liberalizing marijuana laws is unlikely to lead to increased marijuana use. Marijuana prohibition poses a greater risk to health than marijuana use.
Ron Paul is right. We need to look at these laws and make some common sense decisions. “The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous,” says Ron Paul. “According to Aquinas, God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.”
A majority of Americans will probably say that they don’t like the idea of legalizing marijuana. I would agree with them. However, despite my personal feelings on the matter I cannot conclude that a) the Constitution provides the authority for the Federal Government to subvert the State’s authority on the matter or b) that the War on Drugs has even marginally lessened the drug culture in America or c) my feelings on the matter are somehow more lofty than the individual freedoms of those who choose to use it.
We saw that Prohibition did not cure America’s desire for alcohol. When will we see that criminalizing marijuana has done nothing to cure America’s penchant for it, but only incarcerate many of otherwise law abiding citizens.
Wead goes on to point out:
Ron Paul raises an issue that no other politician dare raise. The fact that the prisons are full of drug addicts who will be imprisoned for life, for no other reason than that they are mentally or emotionally addicted to Marijuana. He is referring to those laws we call “three strikes and you are out.”
Democrats like to talk about the “moral issues” of poverty, health care, and welfare (which are economic and social issues, not moral issues at all) yet here is a real moral issue and no one but Dr. Paul is talking about it.
The biggest problem is that the ruling classes, both Democrats and Republicans, actually agree on this issue. They are in favor of governmental control of your bodies. Imagine that… we finally found something they can agree on and it’s governmental interference. Go figure.
You can read Doug Wead’s entire blog entry here