Friday, March 09, 2007

Prohibition is to blame for child abuse

The video from Texas that came to light last week, showing seventeen- and fifteen-year old kids giving marijuana to a toddler is undeniably shocking and horrific, even to those of us who believe that the drug is relatively harmless. Undoubtedly, it is a tremendous blow to the anti-prohibition movement, as the prohibitionists are using the incident as propaganda further illustrating "the evils" of marijuana. Don't expect anybody in the media or politics to point out that the teenagers were in possession of marijuana precisely because it is illegal.
If marijuana were legal, it would be available only to people who have reached an age at which they have learned to be more responsible, say twenty-one, the same age at which it is legal to buy alcohol products. It is widely known that it is easier for an under-aged person to buy marijuana now than it is for that person to get alcohol. There are some people who would buy marijuana for an under-aged child, but there are those who buy alcohol or cigarettes for children. Such people are missing the sense of responsibility that most of us have--just because we can buy alcohol or cigarettes for ourselves doesn't mean we will abuse children by making these products available to them. It is the same innate responsibility that would prevent us from doing harm to others in any case. We don't steal from others, assault others, or falsely accuse others, because we know it is wrong to do so. Our psychological make up and our self-concept will not allow us to do such things.
Those who have made the choice to smoke marijuana have made that choice, just as those who choose not to smoke marijuana will not smoke marijuana just because it is legal--the same type of choice made with alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine.
Prohibition has done nothing but contribute to delinquency and crime. Law enforcement resources are misused to enforce victimless crimes, and criminals are often released early from prison to make room for those who have broken prohibition laws. So great is the underground economy created by prohibition that genuinely bad people--those with no morals, sense of responsibility, or value for human life--are heavily involved in the trafficking of marijuana, just as they were involved in alcohol trafficking during the prohibition against alcohol. They protect their territory with guns and violence, and hundreds of people--law enforcement officers, criminals, and innocent bystanders--are killed every year in the "war on drugs." Badly needed resources are stretched thin on our borders, as well-funded cartels use every means available to them to move their product. The best way to put these people out of business would be to end the prohibition.
Marijuana prohibition has been in effect for nearly eighty years, and it has made no difference in the use of marijuana. In fact, more people smoke marijuana now than when it was legal. There is no exit strategy in the war on drugs, and we spend way too much in money and human resources in trying to enforce laws against human nature. It isn't only "Secular Progressives" and Libertarians who are standing against prohibition. William F. Buckley, Jr., the founder and editor-at-large of the conservative magazine National Review has been speaking out against prohibition for nearly thirty years. There is also an organization called "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.)," founded by retired DEA super-cop Barry Cooper, that makes compelling arguments from the law enforcement officer's point of view for an end to the war on drugs.
As long as marijuana is illegal, we will see more atrocities involving children who have obtained the drug illegally. Legalization and regulation would reduce such incidences.

The following is the official L.E.A.P video on YouTube. It is very informative, and worth the thirteen+ minutes it takes to view.

Please click here if you are unable to see the video.

1 comment:

Blair J Anderson said...

The young folk imposing cannabis on even younger folk occured on the prohibitors watch, not that of reformers. Further, despite some degree of moral panic, and of course the lack of any consent one should consider the outcomes. Were it the legal drug alcohol the harms of giving a young child significant quantity could have been disasterous even life threatening. The outcomes of cannabis are probably about as long lasting as inhaling a cigarette for the first time... mind altering sensations of cannabis would in all lileyhood be no worse than roly-poly or any number of other child initiated altered states - 'we all fall down'. The writer is correct to observe that prohibition does not prevent ready access to cannabis - couple that to the lack of societal normative behavours and we yet again witness the matrix of dysfunction that is created by this unjust and injustice creating law.

Prohibition protects no one, least of all the innocent. Reform is the required precautionary principle.