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June 13, 2019

The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition

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The War On DrugsTM has failed; of that we can be certain. Uncounted billions of dollars, thousands of lives, jails stuffed to capacity, and the result is that drugs are easily available everywhere, and business is booming.

And all of those no-knock raids and civil forfeitures and horrible violations of our civil rights and an insane increase in police power has gotten us to the point where we are legalizing marijuana while simultaneously criminalizing tobacco in some insane rush toward increasing tax revenues, placating the libertarian stoners (is there any other kind?) in our midst, and sticking it to the Man! After all, marijuana is cool and harmless and everybody involved is just so mellow!

Marijuana's Black Market 2.0

Legal-pot states are attracting international criminal cartels. Mexican drug gangs have smuggled illegals into Colorado to set up growing operations, former U.S. prosecutor Bob Troyer wrote last September, explaining why his office was stepping up enforcement. Rather than smuggle pot from Mexico, the cartels grow it in Colorado and smuggle it elsewhere—spurring violence. In 2017, seven homicides in Denver were directly connected to marijuana growers. “I would love to be able to shift some of my resources away from marijuana to other things,” Denver lieutenant Andrew Howard said last year. “But right now, the violence is marijuana or marijuana-related.”
I have been thinking about the drug problem in America for a very long time. I lived in student housing that was the home of several marijuana dealers and at least one who also dabbled in heroin. I have seen first-hand the violence that drug dealers unleash in their neighborhoods, and have a more-than-passing acquaintance with a few people who have significant addictions.

It is easy to equate alcohol use with drug use, but society has been exposed to alcohol for a very long time, and while it causes problems, the vast majority of people use it responsibly, in spite of what those lunatics at MADD say. I'll take the known dangers of alcohol any day over the headlong rush to legalize marijuana and undoubtedly other drugs.

"Chesterton's Fence" is a fine thing. Perhaps the good people of Colorado and the other states rushing to legalize marijuana should have considered the unintended consequences of legalization. Government control and taxation tends to distort free markets, and in Colorado's case we got an increase in criminal activity!

In a perfect world, anyone could use anything their little addicted hearts desire. But I don't want to pay for their poor choices, their horrid health, their car accidents, their criminal behavior (separate from drug commerce), and their drag on the economy and society. So insulate the normals from the true costs of drug use and I will sign on to legalizing everything, but short of that, I have no idea.

[Hat Tip: Jay Guevara]


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posted by CBD at 11:00 AM

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