The debate over marijuana legalization has clearly shown the divide between hardline Republicans who sound like the bitter prohibitionists who sought to shove their idea of morality and purity down the throats of Americans by force of law during the early 20th Century, and true liberty-minded thinkers like Rand Paul.
While an article in the Huffington Post insists that Senator Paul “got it wrong” on marijuana legalization, the reality is that he’s closer to being correct than any other presidential candidate. While statists and big government supporters insist that harsh regulation is the only real solution, Paul wants to stop locking people up over a bit of dried plant that is probably no more socially harmful than alcohol, and possibly less destructive on some levels.
While in South Carolina, Paul talked to students at USC about criminal justice reform, including lighter sentences for illegal marijuana use, as well as the problems of dealing with modern big government Republicans. And therein lies the rub. As Dr. Sabet in the HuffPo so gleefully ranted about the need to regulate marijuana, and brought us back to the halcyon days of Prohibition, armed gangsters and a meshwork of increasingly violent Federal and local law enforcement, Paul wants to end the whole mess once and for all.
The solution is as always leave the matter up to the states. The success of legalization in Colorado and Oregon, and now other states jumping in, proves that not only do individual citizens increasingly not want government telling them they can’t have pot, but that as even Hillary Clinton put it: “States are laboratories of democracy.” When Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton both agree on something, you know that perhaps it’s time to investigate that matter closer.
Marijuana is no longer the horrifying moral bogeyman of the Reefer Madness days. We know that it doesn’t turn people into raving drug fiends, and that untold millions of Americans have safely used it. Sure, there are people who abuse it, but there are people who abuse alcohol, yet you can drive down to Costco and come back with gallons of hard liquor and at a discount to boot.
It’s time to seriously discuss marijuana legalization. The writing is on the wall, and the children and grandchildren of the flower power generation have spoken. Just as over eighty years ago, Americans proclaimed they wanted beer, now we want marijuana. Rand Paul has the solution, the question is, how long must we suffer under the tyranny of those who would use government to force their outmoded and fear driven ideas on us? Is it time to pass the fat one of freedom around and let America light up at the lamp of liberty? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter.
Written by Steve Coffman; Edited by staff
(Photo courtesy of David Shankbone, Flickr CC BY 2.0)
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