Friday, June 22, 2007

Rhode Island

Has once again overridden the governor's veto of medical marijuana use. This is another issue on which I come out on the wrong side of the Republican Party (though I still wont succumb to the siren call of the Libertarian party, or as I call it, political irrelevance).

I have to admit the couple of times I have been around people who, um, self-medicate their "glaucoma," I have been pretty uncomfortable. Not because I care what people do to their bodies (as a law student, I am required by the rules of professional conduct to drink a minimum of one liter of liquor or four bottles of wine per week--why do you think our professional association is called the bar?), but because I don't want to be involved in the mindless enforcement of a ridiculous law. Gay Republicans tend to prefer to stay out of jail, unless it's tennis prison for some barely illegal offense like embezzlement or insider trading.

Sure the medical use exception is a narrow one, but it's a welcome, if small, retreat of the government (in only a few states) from our private lives. I wonder why no Republican is willing to say that our limited (were it only so!) tax dollars might be better spent not on the war on drugs, but the war on terror. Heck, I'll say it.


andronicus said...

Dear Pink:

1. Today's Republicans don't think there are limits on spending, only limits on taxes, hence our 1.3 trillion annual (using corporate accounting) deficit. Research has shown time and time again that money spent on treatment rather than fighting the 'drug' war results in lower drug usage.

2. Today's Republicans think bigger government is better, hence a huge bureaucracy devoted to 'fighting' drugs.

3. It is easier for all politicians to look good 'fighting' drugs than it is to actually solve the problem of addiction.

We have lost the drug war; time to give the libertarian view a chance.

Lewd & Lascivious said...

I'm a big fan of libertarianism in general, and I've gone back and forth on legalizing some drugs (emphasis on the word "some," meaning pot). But the problem of addiction: first,it will always be with us. It can't be "solved" like a difficult math problem.
Second, the numbers of people addicted to drugs rises in direct proportion to the availability of truly addictive drugs. Look at the meth epidemic: meth addiction has eclipsed that of all other drugs,largely because meth is available to anyone anywhere and gets people high as hell. Any half-wit can cook it up in their own home. It's the poor man's cocaine, and waaaaaay more addictive.
The reality of drug addiction (even alcohol addiction) is not a political matter. As any AA or NA can tell you, most addicts do not recover even when they are treated and struggle to stay clean.
We're all kidding ourselves if we think it's an either-or question (i.e., either we fight drugs or "fix" addicted people). People are always going to want to get high. Is it really a good idea to let cocaine,crack,meth,heroin, etc. float freely around in society? How would we regulate the availability of such deadly substances WITHOUT a concerted,massive governmental effort? Even with the one we have, it's like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dam.
It's just not as easy as bringing in the "live and let live" party.