In response to Jake Adler’s Nov. 14 column, “Marijuana laws set stage for constitutional showdown.”
While I found Jake Adler’s op-ed to be right on the pulse of the marijuana debate in America, I believe he missed a critical detail that underlies the failure of current policy. Bluntly, it is the forfeiture by the federal government to recognize the morality of legalization. We know from history that prohibition is a counterintuitive measure for people to limit their desire to imbibe, let’s say, known substances that may modify their physiology. Prohibition, rather than altering human beings for the better, only serves to bring out their worst proclivities: the creation of black markets, ordinary citizens turned into criminals and, most perniciously, a complete obfuscation of an ethically centered policy.
Why does the government continue this quixotic farce? What good has been done by this misguided crusade? The New York Times ran a story earlier in the week describing the plight of a Montana man who was, by state law, legally operating a marijuana growing operation. The DEA raided his warehouse, destroyed his crop, and now the man has been convicted to a sentence that is harsher than Jerry Sandusky’s for child molestation. Can this truly be justice?
We need to stop kidding ourselves: The schizophrenic policies of the federal government with regards to marijuana have been nothing but an abject disaster. Countless resources have been wasted and many lives destroyed because the government does not have temerity to admit defeat and institute national legalization. For those who support legalization, it’s no longer about a financial windfall the crop will bring or a good way to unwind from a busy day. It’s about bringing a moral certitude for all, without repercussions or harassment from a justly immoral government policy.
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