The Conservative Pro-Pot Argument

Apr 22, 2013

If you want smaller gov­ern­ment and you want the gov­ern­ment out of people’s pri­vate lives, you need to sup­port the legal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana.  It’s the log­i­cally con­sis­tent view­point for a con­ser­v­a­tive. I write this in the leadup to the annual 4/20 mar­i­juana marches where oth­er­wise law-abiding cit­i­zens who con­sume, grow or trade the sub­stance will take to the streets nation­wide to show their love of pot. It’s absurd that we have laws mak­ing it manda­tory to toss some­one in jail for six months if they have six plants or more.  And that’s one of the lighter sen­tences. Let’s look at some of the data from QMI colum­nist Thane Burnett’s multi-part fea­ture on pot last Decem­ber.  The piece was inspired by Wash­ing­ton State and Col­orado vot­ing in sup­port of legal­iza­tion. In an Angus Reid poll done at the time, 57% of Cana­di­ans sup­ported legal­iza­tion.  Only 39% opposed it. Accord­ing to Health Canada, more than 40% of Cana­di­ans have used cannabis.  In a poll on the Sun web­sites – though not sci­en­tific, cer­tainly infor­ma­tive – 81% of read­ers voted for legal­iza­tion. Crim­i­nal My view is the law crim­i­nal­izes com­merce.  It crim­i­nal­izes gar­den­ing.  And it crim­i­nal­izes your right to do what you want with your body so long as you’re not vio­lat­ing any­one else’s lib­er­ties. All the argu­ments in favour of the sta­tus quo – or tighter laws – can be knocked aside with one hand tied behind your back. They’re mostly about how pot can ruin a per­son, their fam­ily or their wal­let.  Or they’re argu­ments about orga­nized crime. The first puts pot on par with booze, gam­bling, or any other sup­posed vice peo­ple can be obsessed with.  Should we make all those ille­gal? There are many things which, done to excess, can harm a per­son and their fam­ily.  But it’s up to indi­vid­u­als to mod­er­ate them­selves, not the state.  I believe in per­sonal respon­si­bil­ity, do you? Now, orga­nized crime argu­ments are all ter­tiary.  They’re all, “But if we legal­ize pot then this other bad thing might hap­pen…” Well guess what? After pot is legal­ized, drug-related gang fights in the streets will still be ille­gal.  All the spin­off crimes that the under­ground drug trade pro­duces will still be ille­gal.  In fact, they’ll likely decrease. Many peo­ple who smoke, grow and sell mar­i­juana do so in a com­pletely peace­able way.  It’s wrong to make them crim­i­nals. You can come up with all the tech­ni­cal argu­ments in the world to sup­port the sta­tus quo.  But ulti­mately all you’re say­ing is you want to infringe on people’s lib­er­ties because you don’t like what’s in their gar­den or pocket, or because they like a joint after a hard day at work instead of a beer. Don’t for­get, bil­lions of tax dol­lars have been wasted on big gov­ern­ment pot intru­sion.  It’s time to go from los­ing bil­lions on pot to gain­ing bil­lions via con­sump­tion taxes. Some try to argue most drug laws aren’t even enforced any­way so who cares? Two prob­lems with that. The first is it’s incor­rect.  Accord­ing to Sta­tis­tics Canada, of the more than 113,000 drug crimes across the coun­try in 2011, 54% were for cannabis pos­ses­sion.  The sec­ond prob­lem is we should always be striv­ing to get bad laws off the books. The NDP and Lib­er­als want to decrim­i­nal­ize, if not out­right legal­ize, the sub­stance.  But they’re not in power.  It’s time for small gov­ern­ment pro­po­nents to do the same.  Call­ing all con­ser­v­a­tives: Puff, puff, pass the leg­is­la­tion! Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Copy­right: 2013 Canoe Lim­ited Part­ner­ship Con­tact: ottsun.​oped@​sunmedia.​ca Web­site: http://​www​.ottawa​sun​.com/ Author: Anthony Furey, QMI Agency

9f67f0c59750x521.jpg 150x104 The Conservative Pro Pot Argument

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The Con­ser­v­a­tive Pro-Pot Argument

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