measure on the ballot Nov. 5 (2002) would make Nevada the first state to allow adults to possess marijuana up to 3 ounces,
enough for maybe 100 joints.
over 21 would be allowed to smoke it in their homes but not in cars or public places. Pot would be sold in state-licensed
smoke shops and taxed like cigarettes.
initiative will allow the police to spend more time going after murderers, rapists and other violent criminals," said Billy
Rogers, leader of the group that is pushing the measure.
The above is quoted from
"Nevada Voters May Legalize Marijuana," (September 13, 2002 article) by Brendan Riley, Associated Press writer. The quote from Billy Rogers, head of Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement, sums up the key reason why
we need fewer victimless crime laws. In a poll from a couple of weeks ago, something
like 65% of law enforcement officers, both active and retired, said that they support the initiative. It would free up their time to enforce the real crimes that are committed, make less paperwork and time
spent on busting casual users, and free up a huge amount of jail space.
Jails are overcrowded,
and spending for bigger and better facilities for incarceration continues to rise. Is
it because there are more criminals? Are more people knocking over 7-11s and
getting caught? Has the number of little old ladies getting mugged for their
Social Insecurity checks skyrocketed?
No. The reason that crime appears to be on the rise (while violent crime is on the decline) is that laws are
being passed that criminalize acts that were maybe not completely legal 20 years ago, but that weren't bad enough to justify
harsh penalties for. The penalties for the infractions have become more strict
over the last 20 years, as well. When I was in high school, parties were broken
up and people were told to leave if they got too rowdy. The people who were under
18 may have been cited, but it wasnt a heavy punishment. Now, the law demands
that anyone caught drinking under the age of 21 will be raked over the coals. Classes,
community service, jail time, fines, and a criminal record face the kids who are just being kids. I could understand it if property damage was involved. Or
if more than just cutting loose with friends and peers was going on. But if someone
under 21 has even a trace of alcohol in their system for any reason, their lives will be changed forever. Even if it's cough syrup, the fact that they had alcohol in their system before they turned 21 remains. And they'll be punished for it severely.
Think about what happens
if a parent gives their sick teen an alcohol-based cold remedy, and that teen gets busted for possession. Who is the party responsible for that possession? The parent. Not only are they contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but theyre also facing
possible charges of child abuse. That might sound like an extreme scenario, but
thats the direction the legal system is headed.
Its good, though, that
the government has taken such an interest in the health and welfare of our children.
Parents, obviously, can't take care of their children properly. Otherwise,
there wouldn't be a need for the State to step in and discipline the youth. The
government is making sure that the kids are safe, even from themselves.
Isn't that the rationale
behind the drug and alcohol laws as they apply to adults, as well? Isn't the
lowered blood-alcohol content limit designed to keep people from harming themselves?
(I've had people within the injustice system tell me that it's for my own good, that they're worried about me. Not that there was any remote threat of harm to any property or person. That my behavior was unhealthy and I could do damage to myself. That
conclusion was drawn from a personality test. So was the sentence that I was
given. It wasn't about the law; it was about my health. I thought that laws were in place to protect citizens and their property from other citizens, not to punish
otherwise legal behavior because of potential health problems.) That is the rallying
cry of pure Fabian Socialism, "Give up all of your rights, because you dont know whats best for you. Give your life to the State, and well keep you free from harm." Its
about power, and keeping it away from the unwashed masses.
Look at the "War on Drugs." The federal government poured billions of dollars into fighting the drug problem by
carrying out arrests and tightening the laws. Drugs are still on the streets. One: arresting people and putting them
in cages doesn't solve anything. Especially when the people being incarcerated
are the users (remember-- use is not abuse) and the nickel-and-dime sellers. The
real threat wasn't being addressed. Which brings me to Two: it wasn't the major drug cartels that were importing most of the drugs.
It was the United States government. During the Regan and Bush the First
administrations, US intelligence agencies were bringing in massive amounts of drugs through small-town airports and other
shipping venues. There was no need for them to be sneaky about it. If asked, they were "transporting evidence." I've heard reports
from witnesses who claimed to see agents distributing duffle bags filled with drugs to street suppliers. (The one that stands out in my mind is the Mena, Arkansas airport.
Only because Clinton was governor when that took place.) Here's a site that I found that has a bunch of good
documentation of what happened in that sleepy little Arkansas town: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/MENA/mena.html
Wouldn't it have been more
effective to spend money on education, rehabilitation and other deterrents? Wouldn't
it be cheaper (both financially and in lives lost) to legalize the lesser drugs? It
would be, but then what great social evil could the government use to keep the citizens fearful of incarceration? What internal war could be waged for the same revenue that the drug war has? Hollywood has too much clout. They've tried that approach,
and got laughed at.
Another argument is, "If
drugs were legal, everyone would be using them." First off, not everyone that
I know smokes. Cigarettes are legal. Second,
decriminalization might raise the percentage of users at first, but the number wouldn't change that much in the long run. Drugs aren't for everyone. Third, the
tax revenue could pay off the national debt. Fourth, the quality of product could
be regulated, which would reduce the number of overdose casualties. Fifth, its
damn near impossible to OD on marijuana, unless there's an allergic reaction. I
don't use illegal drugs. I've tried pot and mushrooms. I wasnt impressed enough to continue using them. It was a
matter of choice, not because they were illegal. Chances are, I wouldn't use
them if they were legal. But, I'm against people going to jail because they choose
to use them.
At some point, we need
to put aside our narrow-minded morals and look at how the laws are really affecting society and the non-violent criminals. It seems to me that a victimless crime is not a crime at all, but a moral judgment. It's the persecution of an individual because he or she has a different outlook on
life than the majority.
What's next? Outlawing Islam because of a few extremists? It makes the
same amount of sense.
"As of right now,"
(Jeff Oakes, a North Las
Vegas resident) said, "the most dangerous
effect of marijuana possession and use is jail."