By Doug Newman
November 7, 2009
Concerning the ongoing debate about the war on drugs in general and medical marijuana in particular, some observations:
1. Those who would continue to keep marijuana illegal often claim that it is a “gateway drug", the use of which leads to stronger drugs. Why do we arbitrarily draw the line here? Didn’t everyone who smoked a joint consume alcohol prior to that? Why not declare alcohol a “gateway drug” and criminalize it? Not only did our experience with alcohol prohibition not work, but we learned nothing from it.
2. Marijuana is a plant that grows wild all over the planet. It medicinal value has been well-known for centuries. If you would enlist the power of government to forcibly restrict people’s access to it for whatever reason, you do not believe in a free market in medicine.
3. The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids federal intrusion in any area not expressly authorized elsewhere in the Constitution. Hence, any federal attempt to forbid states such as Colorado from allowing medical marijuana is unconstitutional. Moreover, the Ninth Amendment protects the right of the people to engage in activities that others might not approve of.
4. If you would deny sick people access to medicinal marijuana, imagine yourself in the following predicament: you are suffering excruciating pain and have exhausted all conventional remedies including synthetic marijuana. Would you still be so holy in your opposition to medical marijuana? Nothing is easier than demanding that the government “do something”, until one’s own interests are at stake.
The great Christian author C.S. Lewis once remarked that “Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” The war on drugs is a prime example of such a tyranny.
Douglas F. Newman
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Another excellent article!!
I am the most enraged by the ending of the Lewis quote "...This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be 'cured' against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals...".
There is nothing that makes me madder than for someone "most so-called Christians" who well might never attain the "age of reason" to suggest I haven't by attempting to treat me like a child. -- TH in Arkansas
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman