Ding dong ding dong .. mmmkay

By now everyone knows that Denver residents approved Initiative 100, legalizing possession of up to one ounce of marijuana within the city limits. This is, of course, mostly symbolic since state laws against possession will still trump Initiative 100. We all know how the “Drugs are bad, mmmmkay” nanny statists will view this, so shock at continuing arrests and disregard for this message from the voters would be pointless. Remember, it’s all about the will of the people unless the will of the people don’t do what’s in their best interests. The people don’t get to offer input into what’s in their best interest, either, but no matter. “Drugs are bad, mmmmkay” continues.

Personally, I agree with the gist of the “Drugs are bad, mmmmkay” message, although I’d change it to reflect that I merely don’t get the fascination with drugs, or even alcohol. That doesn’t mean I expect to deny it to you. As long as you don’t endanger me, I don’t care, so I think drugs should be legal and would’ve voted for Initiative 100. With all the issues facing our society, prohibition laws make no sense. Possession of one ounce of marijuana is trivial when considering other dangers. Legalize all of it and end the nonsensical battle.

While in Blacksburg over the weekend, I read the student newspaper, The Collegiate Times, for a bit of nostalgia. I always do this and I’m always amused at how bad it is. It was awful when I was a student. A reporter interviewed me for a story on a student organization I was involved in at the time and misquoted me after I e-mailed my response to her questions. Seemingly everyone involved was some combination of lazy and/or incompetent. Now, more than seven years later, nothing has changed. From Friday’s edition, this editorial tackles the passage of Initiative 100 in Denver. Consider [sic’s everywhere]:

News of such a measure brings about issues of legalizing marijuana in general. Denver should not have allowed such a measure to pass, even its mayor and the state of Colorado agree with that. The new procedure essentially stops people in Denver from being punished for carrying small amounts of marijuana. State law still allows for fines and speaks nothing to buying, selling or smoking the drug that has been known as a gateway drug to other addictive ones.

By passing such a procedure, the city of Denver may have gotten more than it bargained for. Then again, perhaps they really are attempting to become the next Amsterdam. If possession of marijuana becomes legal, what is to stop arguments of legalization of prostitution, heroin or any other illegal drugs?

In a country full of people who cannot even handle alcohol, legalizing marijuana is ludicrous. The United States arguably has some of the strictest laws pertaining to alcohol; however, drunken driving statistics are higher than those of most other countries, if not all.

What all of this boils down to is this: Making a vice more accessible, even legal, only ensures that it will become more harmful. Allowing people in one city to carry less than an ounce of marijuana literally removes the deterrence of carrying drugs in general. Not only that but a measure such as the one that has just passed in Denver, push the movement of legalizing marijuana in general.

That seriously could be the only reason something such as this has happened. In Telluride, Colo., the same measure as in Denver was narrowly turned down. It seems as though the purpose of introducing these procedures in localities that are so close to one another can only be to eventually challenge the state law itself.

The United States simply isn’t ready for the legalization of marijuana. This country cannot handle the inhibitions that exist from alcohol, how can citizens expect to be able to handle marijuana? While it seems as though state law may trump the measures being taken in Denver, the overall effects of such things are the real problem. Legalizing possession in Denver pushes the movement towards general legalization in Colorado and basically paves the way for legalized marijuana all over the United States. Without a doubt the road the followers of this movement are headed on must be stopped.

I’m ashamed that poorly reasoned, grammatically ignorant screeds pass for thinking at Virginia Tech. There are so many lapses of logic that it’s hard to decide where to begin. Is it the ridiculous notion that government officials are a better arbiter of standards than the governed? Could it be that the editors invoked the “slippery slope” argument without providing any justification for how that would happen, or even why it’s a “bad” outcome?

No. It’s the low level of intelligence needed to believe that “strictest laws pertaining to alcohol/drunken driving statistics are higher than those of most other countries” forms a strong pretext to criminalize drugs more until the people finally get it that drugs. are. bad. and they can’t be trusted to make good decisions, so Thank God the government is looking out for them. The editors provide no support for their generalizations. No statistics, no theories, no anecdotal evidence. They offer nanny statism at its core: if we give you freedom, you’ll only fuck it up, so trust us that we know better. No, thanks.

Yet, the editors don’t stop there. Somehow America cannot handle the inhibitions that exist from alcohol, so how can citizens be able to handle marijuana? First, prove that Americans can’t handle alcohol. I might agree generically, although I come to the conclusion that allowing Americans to drink earlier, where parents and society can teach moderation, would be more effective than “protecting” them from themselves with strict laws. I don’t agree, though, that a blanket statement of fact is sufficient in this argument. Prove it with at least one fact. Surely one is available.

More importantly, the editors failed to prove that marijuana is worse than alcohol. Again, prove it. State at least one fact indicating that legalization of alcohol is reasonable but legalization of marijuana is not. It can’t be the gateway drug nonsense, either, unless you prove that, too. Wishing it so doesn’t it make it true. Cause and effect.

Finally, what kind of government do the editors believe we have? Granted, that’s mostly rhetorical because the clear implication in that editorial is that the federal government mandates best. But consider the federal part of federal government. Isn’t it reasonable to allow a locality to decide that it wants to try this experiment? If it doesn’t work, it’ll stop and presumably won’t spread to other places. If it succeeds, the next locality has proof that it can be done without destroying society. In that regard, the editors are correct in assuming that it could spread all over America, but that’s not a bad outcome if the experiment proves a success. But that’s just my crazy notion that I’ll err on the side of freedom unless the facts reveal that as unwise.