THERE’S A DOG-BITES-MAN headline if ya ever heard one.
In this case, folks — a lot on the Left — have their panties in a wad over the Feds’ persecution of users of medical marijuana. People are using this stuff to relieve pain from [politically correct diseases –ed] HIV and AIDS they say. The cost of enforcement is too high.
And, of course, the prohibitionists have the comebacks: Marijuana has no demonstrated medical use and If it saves one life, it’s worth it.
Isn’t that your line?
Which is what happens when you argue details and — scorn quotes — “practical” points rather than principle.
Because, you see, the principle is that the Federal government does not have the authority to exercise over this matter. Those who started the long march to prohibition knew this, which is why they started it as a tax. But, over time, they abandoned that (although I bet the tax laws are still on the books — the law enforcement efforts simply no longer focus on them).
Yes, it’s true that the government’s position on the medical benefits may or may not be correct; yes, it’s true that the government-created black markets in drugs may or may not be responsible for most if not all of the social pathologies blamed on illegal drug abuse; yes, it’s true that the vicissitudes of enforcement contribute to the corruption of police departments across the land; yes, it’s true that the commensurate statute and case law to prohibition have or have not led to a deprecation of civil liberty as an absolute social good.
All of the arguments pro and con have two or more sides to them, and men of good will or bad faith can argue all sides all day. It. Doesn’t.
The slam-dunk argument — as it always is (or should be) with would-be tyrants — is that the government ain’t allowed to do this.
Now: make that argument and make it stick.
Cross-posted at Eternity Road.