Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some common sense from the Captain on THC

It's hard to agree with Ed Morrissey on most things, but here's a conservative who's asking what most progressives and liberals have been asking for years -- is the so-called "War on Drugs" really worth it? To my surprise, he actually said that: "Any rational look at the costs and benefits demonstrate that it simply hasn't come close."

Of course it hasn't. The States punishes people (other than celebrities) with 93 year jail sentences for having a single joint; while executives who steal $93 million from their employees' pension plans get away with 93 days of probation -- and zero restitution. Meanwhile, the taxpayer has to pick up the burden both for overcrowded prisons and plundered retirement accounts.

Where are America's priorities? And here in Canada, it looks as though we're going in the same direction -- rewarding kingpins more while punishing casual users more.

Maybe it's just time we taxed the stuff and regulated its THC content. We have, after all, safety regulations for alcohol and tobacco while taxing them. And the government takes a huge commission off the top from lotteries and casinos and racetracks -- the other major vices in our society. For one thing, it'd put a huge hole in the black market if not eliminating it all together.

Maybe it's time we went one step further, and reformed our sex trade laws to protect the prostitutes and punish the pimps -- and also make street walking legal. The drug issue and the red light districts often get entangled in messy ways and we need to ensure safety and common sense there.

For the record, I'll say it again: I've never toked. Never even considered it. I've never gotten the appeal. But both my parents inhaled -- they admitted it to me. And that was in a then communist country. While I'm still not entirely certain about the medical efficacy of marijuana, I wonder where Canada's priorities are when simple possession of a joint in the privacy of one's home can net a harsher criminal sanction than driving under the influence of THC (the latter of which, of course, should remain illegal). Who's the greater threat?

Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.


BoredTech said...

I came across this 30 mins after you posted it... Great read! Thats coming from a smoker.

What do you think of the photo petition idea?

Catherine Roy said...

Indeed, I totally agree with your post. But unfortunately, I do not see that happening until we stop being afraid, and I mean really, about what those crazy americans think. And somehow, I doubt that will ever really be the case.

BlastFurnace said...

UBMS: No I haven't heard of it till you mentioned it. But it's a great idea!

Zara: If it's not the government, it's the media. I just find it frightening they have all these "wars": The War against Terror, the war on drug, the war against the poor, etc.

A lot of people don't realize that the world (thanks to some ceasefires being negotiated) was en route to being totally conflict free by the end of 2001. Then 9/11 happened. Coincidence? I'll let you and my other readers be the judge of that.