March 25, 2011

Drugs Taxed School Zone

Justin Katz

Some folks have been astonished that I could be ambivalent about the movement to legalize marijuana. A large item on the negative side of the ledger is my suspicion of the manner in which it's being approached, particularly the necessary involvement of the government.

On that note, and without striking for highfalutin waters on a Friday afternoon, I have to remark how amusing I find it to picture a large pot greenhouse over on East Main in Middletown, just a block from the high school. Again, I'm not arguing that there's any reason for it not to be there, but I just remember the implementation of the Drug Free School Zone initiative back in my high school days. We all thought it very unfair that a dealer living a block from the school would face harsher penalties than one who lived another block or two away.

When the government's getting a slice of the action, though, the rationale for particular regulations begins to slip. It'll be interesting to see how far it all goes. I know I experienced an injury or two during high school athletics that might have been palliated with marijuana... not to mention the emotional distress of being a teenager.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Marijuana is exactly like alcohol was in the 1920s. Legalize and tax it, and all the profit disappears for the criminal elements.

As a matter of social justice, we would at the same time need to allow employers to refuse to hire anyone who uses it, allow insurers to refuse to provide coverage for marijuana-caused illnesses and accidents, and make driving under its influence a crime equal to drunk driving.

Posted by: BobN at March 25, 2011 1:28 PM

What disturbs me is that the path we're on shifts only a minority of the market to legalized means of production and consumption. For the benefits of legalization to be realized, we'll need to allow much more than 'medical users'. Legal means of production and distribution need to meet real demand.

Posted by: mangeek at March 25, 2011 2:55 PM

The illegality of marijuana is a fascinating case study in authoritarianism and the full gamut of human responses to authoritarianism.

We are presented with an almost perfect malum prohibitum situation in which government decrees, "X is bad. Do not do X or we will hurt you. Why? Because we said so." Where X is a completely arbitrary and harmless activity.

Some engage in civil disobedience.
Some continue in secret.
Some comply to avoid retaliation but speak out against the injustice.
And some actually ally themselves with the authoritarians and support the enforcement.

I do honestly wonder sometimes- if standing on one leg were criminalized, how many of our fellow citizens would support throwing those who stand on one leg in prison? "The law is the law." Does the democractic process rmagically solve everything in these victimless crime situations, or is there a place for civil disobedience in society?

Posted by: Dan at March 25, 2011 4:21 PM


It depends what you mean by "benefits." By keeping the drug illegal for recreational users, the state government will keep the price up, as well as maintain the pretense of filtering all such revenue through its hand-picked distributors. And that doesn't even mention whatever profit the state (and connected lawyers) make by dabbling in the Drug War.

Posted by: Justin Katz at March 25, 2011 5:34 PM

Everything should be legal and sold over the counter; heroin, oxycontin, whatever these losers want. I rather have them doped up then listening to progressive nonsense-and voting for it. Because the kind of morons who do dope are the very ones who are most susceptible to the pied piper inanity of the progressives.
Me-I like a tall Makers Mark on the rocks.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at March 25, 2011 7:39 PM

Anyone who drinks bourbon is a down on his luck, lying in the gutter, stealing, degenerate who usually walked out on his wife and kids for some floozy that eventually ditched his old ass for some meathead closer to her own age. Meanwhile the bourbon drinker spends his last dollar down at the lodge all afternoon playing Keno and repeating, "just another one before I head out for the early buffet, Jimmy!"

Posted by: Patrick at March 25, 2011 8:58 PM

I think we cling to the War on Drugs because it is so fantasticly lucrative for the public sector, sort of like Homeland Security. If you are "fighting drugs", anything goes.

One of my favorites was a small town in Maine which received three Land Rovers to patrol the woods for drugs. I think the "back story" was that a small, impoverished, town received three ratehr deluxe olice cruisers at no cost to them. Who would eliminate this as a source of funding?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 26, 2011 12:21 PM

Alcohol, which is legal, is more difficult for underage people to obtain than pot. Legalizing and regulating marijuana in the same manner as alcohol will make it more difficult for kids to smoke pot as well. So all of the people that are worried about children should consider that right now it is much simpler for a teen to get marijuana than it would be if marijuana were legal. There were several liquor stores within a short walk or bus ride from my high school (Classical) but much to our dismay no one would sell liquor to us. Seventeen years later, it seems that things are pretty much the same. Parents should worry most about the pain meds they might have laying around for easy access in their medicine cabinets. Do you keep a count of the Vicodin pills left over from your last surgery?

Posted by: Tabetha at March 26, 2011 2:32 PM

"Do you keep a count of the Vicodin pills left over from your last surgery?"

Or do you even know for sure what a vicodin pill looks like? Maybe it looks a lot like an aspirin...funny how the whole bottle of vicodin now looks like it's filled with aspirin. Hmm.

Posted by: Patrick at March 26, 2011 2:41 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.