I don’t look at marijuana the same way as I do homosexual “marriage” or abortion. When I see the widespread acceptance of homosexuality and the murder of unborn babies, I see a culture in a downward spiral and these things as symptoms.
The laws that we enact, the people for whom we vote to represent us, are the painful results of a quickly dying culture. Christians in this country simply don’t have the numbers that we used to have to have a substantial amount of influence in cultural, social and political circles. And that’s not just the liberals’ fault.
The Church in our culture have become so fragmented, apathetic and complacent, and it’s no one’s fault but our own. This doesn’t at all absolve the liberals and other greedy politicians for doing their part to destroy the Church and her numerous causes. They will answer on the Day of Judgment. However, I don’t believe, as many conservatives would argue, that marijuana should be lumped into the same category as legalizing homosexual “marriage” and abortion.
Being in favor of decriminalization of marijuana is not the same as wanting to smoke it to get high. They did that sort of thing to Ron Paul when he stated he was in favor of ending the federal war on drugs and returning drug laws to the states. After he said that, the media went crazy and claimed he must want 12-year-olds to shoot up heroin.
Needless to say, I don’t smoke marijuana, I never have, and I don’t ever plan on it. I have no personal, vested interest in decriminalizing the stuff. I don’t even smoke cigarettes. On a side note, however, I did go through a period of about 2 weeks (a long time ago, before I was married) where I tried to smoke cigarettes, but I couldn’t keep it up. It made me light-headed and it burned my throat. I know I probably would’ve grown accustomed to those things had I kept it up, but I wasn’t willing give it a try.
Public Policy Polling released a poll recently showing that a majority of those Georgians surveyed were in favor of decriminalizing marijuana:
A newly released poll found that over half of Georgia voters support a marijuana legalization policy similar to that of Colorado and Washington (54%), however that same report found that even larger majority supports decriminalization. 62% of respondents believe that the state should remove criminal penalties for possession of less than one ounce of pot, and replace it with a $100 civil fine, without the possibility of jail time. Only 32% were opposed. Interestingly, 56% of seniors, and republicans respectively, were among that nearly two-thirds majority.
Many libertarian types talk about the failure of the war on drugs, the number of innocent people killed or maimed in “wrong house” drug raids, the number of nonviolent drug users populating our prisons, police using marijuana as a pretext for searching someone’s car or person unconstitutionally, etc. as reason we should legalize or at least decriminalize the possession of this plant. While I wholeheartedly agree that those things are atrocious and should be dealt with, I don’t think those incidents necessarily, in and of themselves, point to decriminalization. There’s a more fundamental question to be asked. Should a civil government (a federal one at that) be in the business of regulating, banning, licensing, or criminalizing a natural substance like cannabis at all? It is a plant after all, and yes, it, like scores of other herbs, has certain effects on us when we ingest it or smoke it.
Tobacco has different effects on us, as does alcohol. Both of those things are dangerous, but legal (with age restrictions). I don’t see why marijuana should be any different.
They claim it’s a “gateway drug” to other really bad drugs. I would argue that there’s nothing in marijuana that makes you crave meth or heroin or crack. It’s the fact that it’s illegal and often lumped together with other illegal substances. If (tobacco) cigarettes were illegal, they’d claim that those were the “gateway drug” to other, harder drugs.
They say that marijuana makes you apathetic and causes you to have little or no drive in life. As if this is a very good and legitimate reason for the federal government to keep marijuana illegal. Come on. There are plenty of legal drugs currently on the market and advertised constantly on TV that are designed to make you apathetic, complacent, and docile. And they sometimes have other extremely dangerous side effects. (Think James Holmes and Adam Lanza.) But those are OK.
I don’t doubt that cannabis has bad effects on people who choose to misuse it. Just like when people choose to misuse alcohol or tobacco. It kind of makes you wonder what the real reason is that our government wants this plant kept illegal.
I think anytime our government wants to ban or prohibit something for “safety” reasons, we should be cognizant of ulterior motives. Remember, this is the same government that wants to ban guns, because some people choose to misuse them, and because they’re dangerous. (But we know that’s not the real reason.)
As conservatives, we shouldn’t appeal to a nanny state to keep people from making their own decisions and mistakes. We get on to Bloomberg not only for his efforts in gun control, but also in trying to ban large soda containers and salt. We get on to de Blasio for vowing to ban horse carriages. We don’t like local laws that ban raw milk. I’m sure you can think of many more.
Yes, marijuana can be misused. But it can also be valuable. I know this, because God created this plant and declared it good. This doesn’t mean we should all get high together. Just like we shouldn’t all get drunk on beer and wine (although the Bible does say that wine gladdens the heart). But we should be good stewards with His creation. We should study this herb as we’re allowed to do with most other herbs and find out what all it’s capable of, beyond the apathetic stupor it causes, which has defined the pothead stereotype. It can be used to treat epilepsy, brain cancer, leukemia, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many other ailments. I think Big Pharma just wants to keep their competition as nonexistent as possible.
The bottom line is that the federal government has no constitutional authority to pick and choose which plants are permissible for human use, and which are not.