March 15, 2016—As a Libertarian, I believe that the government has as much right to control what I, as an adult, put into my body as it does what I put into my mind. It is none of the government’s business. But if I drive a motor vehicle under the influence of—you name it—cocaine, methamphetamines, alcohol (my drug of choice) or marijuana, that is—and should be—a crime.
What is the difference? Because now by my actions I am putting your safety at risk. The criminal justice system is designed to control people’s actions, thus protecting us from each other, but it is not designed to protect us from ourselves. And not only is it ineffective at doing so, it is mostly inappropriate for it even to try. So not only have these attempts damaged us philosophically, they have inflicted huge and needless harms upon us from a practical standpoint as well.
For example, there were about 32,000 arrests in the State of Georgia alone for marijuana-related offenses in 2015. Not only did this take an enormous amount of criminal justice resources away from actually keeping us safe, it needlessly made criminals of many otherwise law-abiding people. In addition, it also took laboratory resources away from such things as processing rape kits, thus needlessly delaying the detection and prosecution of rapists. Furthermore, it has deprived farmers, manufacturers and consumers of the benefits from industrial hemp and beneficial uses of medical marijuana—of which there are many—and also from conducting further research and study of all of the above.
So, once again, liberty yields far better results than big government and its interference in our lives.
Is it time to finally decriminalize marijuana nationwide? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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