January 6, 2014 by David K. Sutton
Smoke The Wrong Plant, Go To Jail: The Indefensible Prohibition Of Marijuana
There is no defensible argument in favor of continued marijuana prohibition. This country tried prohibition of alcohol, a drug (and yes, it is a drug) consumed by many people. We know how well that worked out. Marijuana too is a drug consumed by many people, and yet this particular drug remains illegal.
It Is Immoral to Cage Humans for Smoking Marijuana – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic — Under the law in 48 states, here’s what can happen when an adult is thought to possess marijuana: Men with guns can go to his home, kick down his door, force him to lay face down on the floor, restrain him with handcuffs, drive him to a police station, and lock him in a cage. If he is then convicted of possessing marijuana, a judge can order that he be locked in a different cage, perhaps for years.
People attempt to put forth their half-baked arguments on the grounds of morality of drug use, or protecting children, or that society simply should not tolerate people getting high on a substance. And you are certainly free to agree with any of these reasons to oppose marijuana use, and that still wouldn’t justify keeping it criminal. We are talking about regulating human behavior that some find unsavory and doing so with punitive measures. We should never tolerate such an abuse of our judicial system.
There are times when locking human beings in cages is morally defensible. If, for example, a person commits murder, rape, or assault, transgressing against the rights of others, then forcibly removing him from society is the most just course of action. In contrast, it is immoral to lock people in cages for possessing or ingesting a plant that is smoked by millions every year with no significant harm done, especially when the vast majority of any harm actually done is borne by the smoker.
In America, if you smoke one plant (tobacco), nothing happens, well other than lung cancer. But if you smoke another plant (cannabis), you go to jail.