Have you ever wondered ‘why are we legalizing cannabis?’ More importantly, “Why does it matter if it’s legal or not?”
These are questions that most people don’t contemplate – ever. That’s because these aren’t ‘easy questions’ to answer. Rather, they require a nuanced approach and a suspension of personal beliefs in order to reach a valid conclusion.
This means effort. People don’t like effort too much.
Nonetheless, it’s important to at least consider the implications of what it means to “legalize” something or to “prohibit” something else. I for starters welcome the idea of “legalization” to a certain degree, but I also believe that as a society – this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of reform.
Why does legal cannabis matter?
To understand why legal cannabis matters one must first understand why it was made illegal. “Officially” the story why drugs are illegal is because of “public safety”.
This ethos says, “Society cannot govern their own consumption habits and certain elements within government should have a legal right to dictate which drugs are good and bad. If a drug is bad, then it is prohibited.”
This was sold under the guise that scientists and health experts would be the ones safeguarding which drugs are deemed good and bad. What wasn’t told to us that these “experts” were in fact funded by drug companies and that the “bad drugs” – upon further investigation – turned out to be ‘better’ than the good drugs at remedying a variety of health issues.
Legal Cannabis would mean that we’re taking away the power of the state to control these plants – that by default is your human right to have access to because “if government can make a plant illegal, can they outlaw hurricanes or tornadoes too?”
I mean – if they have the power to legislate nature, then why stop at cannabis!
Keeping Us Safe or Government Overreach?
While I jest about hurricanes the real issue lies at the fact that the government believes it has a right to legislate certain behaviors that ‘they deem’ to be harmful to society. However – many of the policies we have today are based on the philosophies of the 1900s.
The idea that drug use is pathological stems from the belief that there is a “pure state” of being. If you continue to pull on the thread, you’ll eventually realize that “drug use is bad” derives from a puritanical world view that considers the Judeo-Christian value set as the absolute ‘Law of Man’.
However – is the Judeo-Christian worldview the correct one? Ancient cultures such as the Mayans and Egyptians were known to use psychedelics. Vision Quests, Shamanic Journeys and intra-dimensional insight were praised by earlier societies – and it stands to reason that the “goodness or badness” of any particular subject is relative to the dominating “value-system” adopted by the masses.
Under this premise – what is the government keeping us safe from? From ourselves? Is it even their responsibility to ensure that you don’t kill yourself? If it is their responsibility and they fail – what’s the compensation plan like? At what point do their responsibilities end? Sugar is technically a drug – wouldn’t the premise of “protecting ourselves from ourselves” warrant government intervention in people with pre-disposition to diabetes and buying junk food?
If Diabetic Dan wants to buy a Milky Way and a cop happens to be eating a doughnut at the same time, the cop should have the right to inquire whether Dan is a diabetic or not. If he is, the cop has a right to arrest him for possession of a high-sucrose bar, which would inevitably cause damage to Dan. Good Job Officer!
But now we’re only talking about consumption? What about other things like sex or death? For example; New Zealand is on the verge of voting on euthanasia. As of now there are only a handful of places in the world where this is legal.
Should the individual have a right to terminate their own life? If not, who has the right to dictate when and if no-one, what is the justification for this position? Is it because of your eternal soul? Just asking…
And sex? If you can have sex for free with as many people as you want with no legal consequence – yet the moment you charge, the state will throw you in jail. Why is that? You can do physical labor without government intervention like mowing someone’s lawn – yet munching someone’s carpet suddenly makes you a prostitute.
What I’m getting at is that these legislations are far more than simply “getting stoned” or being able to pay for sex, or simply choosing when you want to die…these are laws that guarantee individual rights.
It clearly establishes where the authority of the government ends and where your sovereignty begins. When it comes to you – the individual, you should be the Alpha and Omega of your own decisions.