There is much talk about the legalization of marijuana these days, and the legalization of all sorts of “drugs” that grow in nature. Usually, people lean hard one way or the other without ever really dealing with the substance (no pun intended) of what the argument for legalization is. One thing we do know is that the “War on Drugs” doesn’t benefit the citizens of our country and often infringes on the rights of citizens, along with keeping those who have found help from such things as cannabis, from obtaining the remedies they need.
My Marine friend Jeremy Knauff took up the issue of marijuana legalization and explained why he went from being against it to supporting it.
“I used to stand firmly against legalization because of the obvious health and social risks,” he wrote. “Sure, I had tried marijuana in high school, just like at least 38% of Americans had, and even though I knew some smart people who smoked quite often, I always assumed that most people still using it as an adult were probably deadbeats who sat around in their PJs all day playing Call of Duty and eating Cheetos.”
He then provided some silly arguments, which are nothing but fearmongering concerning marijuana legalization.
How about ESPN NFL analyst Mark Brunell’s recent comments. Side note: You really have to appreciate the irony of an NFL employee worried about brain damage, when football has directly resulted in the brain damage of 1 in 3 players!
There’s really no place for marijuana in the NFL,” Brunell said. “It is harmful. It hurts brain function. It hurts brain development. Marijuana can ruin lives. I’m very much against it.
Not only that, but Knauff does admit that there are legitimate reasons for not using marijuana, but those are often not cited. Instead, he points out some of those reasons, but then also points out why they are irrelevant:
- Marijuana makes people lazy. It might or it might not, but even if it does, that’s their problem, not yours.
- Marijuana is unhealthy. So is fast food, soda, and a sedentary lifestyle. Are you clamoring to make those illegal too? They have far more impact on health in America than all drugs, legal and illegal, combined.
- Marijuana leads to harder drugs. Correlation is not causation. Some use marijuana and move on to other drugs, while some don’t. On the other hand, some people who drank orange juice eventually went on to smoke crack, but that doesn’t mean one had anything to do with the other.
- Marijuana is addictive. It can be in about 9% of users—just like alcohol, sex, and junk food.
- Marijuana is not moral. According to who? If it doesn’t harm you or infringe on your rights, your opinion really doesn’t mean sh*t.
Indeed, as with Prohibition, it was really an unlawful law and people rebelled against it to the point that it was repealed. The same people that argue against the legalization of alcohol and things like marijuana do so from the perspective of what people might do if such things were legalized. They fail to argue against banning food though, which people are abusing daily in our culture, bringing on obesity and health problems.
Furthermore, if the issue is dealt with morally, then we might want to ban women because men might lust in their hearts and thus may commit adultery, but that kind of thinking doesn’t make sense. In fact, it was the great reformer Martin Luther who pointed out such thinking as ridiculous.
“Again, wine and women bring many a man to misery and make a fool of him; so we kill all the women and pour out all the wine.”
Of course, Luther was attempting to make a point in a sermon that neither wine nor women were bad in and of themselves, but it is the heart of man that is sinful.
Indeed, we are not talking about engaging in criminal activity such as the murder of the unborn or sodomy. The majority of substances that come from nature such as marijuana are considered to be illegal and in many cases people go to jail (something that is seriously unjust) for possessing, smoking or selling the substances.
However, consider the strangle hold it has on the people.
For instance, the War on Drugs has led to innocent people being killed and hurt in the process of unconstitutional no-knock raids on their homes. Here are a few examples:
- 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh was critically injured when militarized police threw a flashbang grenade in his crib during no-knock raid for drugs (They found none).
- 2-year-old Justin Salinas was hospitalized when militarized police threw a smoke bomb in his room, even though they were told a 2-year-old was in the room, during a no-knock raid on the wrong home for drugs. Parents sued the City of Oxford.
- A Minnesota family was terrorized and their pets killed in a SWAT team raid on their home for marijuana
- A cop was killed during a no-knock raid on a family that had small marijuana plants, who were a threat to no one; and a jury refused to indict the homeowner in the death of the officer due to the homeowner acting in self-defense.
- A 61-year-old man was shot and killed in a drug raid on his home. He was merely attempting to defend his wife with his gun as police were targeting the wrong house!
I could make a very long list of raid like these. In many cases, police are acting unlawfully with no-knock raids, endangering themselves and those they are targeting. In several of these cases, they aren’t even at the right address!
And don’t think that the War on Drugs hasn’t become big business. It has, especially in the prison system! America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, has the world’s largest prison population. At 716 per 100,000 members of the population, the United States has the highest incarceration rate on the entire planet by a very wide margin. Approximately one-fourth of the entire global prison population is in the United States. Many of those in prison are there for a variety of drug charges.
The War on Drugs has been a failure for the people of the united States, but it’s been a huge success for tyranny as it has eroded the rights of the people, allowed for unconstitutional taking of property and money, and resulted in unjust imprisonment, injuries and deaths.
Knauff also agrees with this conclusion.
“The War on Drugs has produced no measurable benefit to anyone except the government and owners of the prison systems,” he writes. “In fact, the only thing the War on Drugs has produced is more criminals.”
“Our current drug laws serve one purpose—to collect revenue for the government and turn a profit for the prisons,” he continues. “If legislators really wanted to reduce drug use, they would focus on treatment and recovery. Sending someone to jail or prison does not remove their addiction problem, it only makes it harder to get on the right track when they get back out.”
Meanwhile, the double standard of our government to protect and see to the redistribution of the opium crop in Afghanistan is a glaring hypocrisy, just as much as their involvement with the drug trade coming up from Central America.
Finally, consider drug testing. I think it is perfectly acceptable, even if substances such as marijuana were made legal, for employers to be assured that their employees were not using those substances on the job. An employer has a right to know if his employee is using on the job and so many will utilize the services of companies like USA Mobile Drug Testing to conduct random drug tests for them. In fact, they do it even in states where marijuana is already legal and that business will grow along with legalization despite what pro-marijuana supporters say about it.
Knauff also points out that drug testing welfare recipients would be a good thing and provides a simple solution, but adds that it should also be applied to those who serve in public office, as well as all government employees. I agree, but I think the root that should be dealt with is welfare. Government is given authority to be charitable. That is the role of the Church and the individual. I say we deal with the root, not the branches.
Unlike Bill Clinton and others, I admit that I not only used marijuana in the past, like over two decades ago, but also inhaled and engaged in the distribution of it, along with other substances. I’m not proud of what I did, but it was a part of my life. I was converted to Christ through the Gospel and have left that life behind. In stating that, I want to be transparent. I am not advocating widespread use of marijuana, cocaine or any other naturally grown substance. I’m merely questioning the sanity of making that which is natural illegal.
After all, there was a time in our country where marijuana, heroin and a variety of substances were perfectly legal for anyone to obtain without threat of a raid on their home or being imprisoned. What was the difference in our culture then and now? I’d say if you go back and take a look, people’s morality was grounded in the words of the Bible and their lives were bound up in each other’s rather than isolating themselves for their own pleasures. I think it’s time that we return to God and to laws that are based on His Word and get rid of man-made laws that are used by tyrants to infringe on the rights of the people.
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