Domino’s Falling

January 1st, 2014 – The first legal recreational marijuana sale in Colorado occurred. The sale, like the vast majority of legal sales, was peaceful and mutually beneficial. That can’t be said about marijuana sales in the past.

I have strong opinions about the failed War on Drugs and it always surprises people when I tell them I don’t really smoke weed. It just isn’t my drug of choice, but I don’t think my personal tastes and preferences should be used to restrict the actions of others. The War on Drugs isn’t important to me because I want to get high, it is important to me because I truly believe it is the greatest civil rights issue of our time and we are winning.

To outlaw a peaceful activity (and using drugs is a peaceful activity with no victims) is to claim dominion over the bodies and minds of another person. It is to claim that their vice makes you superior to them, so superior that you are somehow morally authorized to use violence against them to prevent this peaceful action. It is the mindset of a tyrant. Many drug warriors will fall behind cliches like “protecting children”, “family stability”, or other such nonsense but they never want to compare whether prohibition causes more harm than good. What destroys more families, allowing people to smoke weed or using the drug war to give America the highest prison population in the world? What protects children better, allowing people to smoke weed or prohibiting a teenager from getting college support because he got caught with a joint? 

The War on Drugs is not about getting high. It is about the type of society that we want to be. Do we want to treat sick people with medicine or jails? Do we want to provide education and harm reduction or do we want to use lies and scare tactics to discourage behavior? As alcohol prohibition and abstinence only sex education have shown time and time again, prohibition leads to unsafe use and violence. We now have real world examples of a better way, a way that treats people equally with respect regardless of their chosen vice. A society that puts love, compassion, and peace above paternalism. The War on Drugs has been a total failure, it has cost billions of dollars, lead the unknown number of deaths across the globe, has militarized the police, and destroyed communities.

And it is coming to an end… finally. The Drug Warriors won’t give up easily, they have invested their lives into it. Entire industries exist because of it, but like civil rights issues of the past the birthing pains we are going to go through are worth it in the end. Thank you Colorado and congratulations to all the freedom fighters out there (NORML, SSDP, etc), you have done the right thing and I look forward to more communities following your example. 

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Interesting Things – Tuesday (11/12/13)

Here is today’s collection of things I found interesting online. I often get Facebook messages from friends and strangers that say they enjoy the variety of things I post so I figured I would share it with the few people who follow me on here as well. As you probably expect it will lean pretty heavily towards science, sex, and anarchy.

Cute: Here is a link to something adorable (http://www.sanger.dk/)

Students For Liberty: This last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Students For Liberty Southern California Regional Conference. One of the speakers was Conor Friersdorff from The Atlantic. Here is his talk (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/11/how-to-safeguard-liberty-through-discourse/281376/).

War On Drugs: The War on (Some) Drugs has devastated countless lives through death and incarceration. It has also had an incredibly high economic impact by preventing collection of taxes on the nation’s largest cash crop, marijuana. (http://www.policymic.com/articles/72497/this-is-the-first-map-to-prove-how-valuable-legalizing-marijuana-would-be-for-america)

Social Norms: When you are done with a party to you just jet or do you make it a point to say good-bye to everyone? I am someone who just leaves (or ghosts). I wonder if there is a Myers-Briggs correlation between those who leave and those who hang around to formally say good-bye. (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fine_whine/2013/07/ghosting_the_irish_goodbye_the_french_leave_stop_saying_goodbye_at_parties.html)

LGBT Rights: I don’t think the government should be involved permitting or licensing businesses at all, all that does is prohibit people from freely working and contracting and it disproportionately harms the poorest and least educated in our communities; but, if licensing must happen governments shouldn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation like this town in Mississippi. (http://thoughtsonliberty.com/mississippi-woman-sues-town-for-refusing-to-allow-gay-bar)

PTSD: As a veteran and open user of MDMA I hope people will recognize this as legitimate and effective medicine that has huge potential. Check out this video if you have a chance (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/healing-trauma-in-veterans-with-mdma-assisted-psychotherapy)

Police Brutality: There have been several high-profile cases lately of police officers forcing anal searches and probes on people without any real justification (thank you Drug War), but as this article points out it is unlikely that any individuals will face any consequences. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/anal-probes-and-the-drug-_n_4254600.html)

Best Thing I Read Today: “Rarely has man been more cruel against man than in the condemnation and punishment of those accused of so-called sexual perversions. The penalties have included imprisonment, torture, the loss of life or limb, banishment, blackmail, social ostracism, the loss of social prestige, renunciation by friends and families, the loss of position in a school or business, severe penalties meted out for conviction of men serving in the armed forces, public condemnation by emotionally insecure and vindictive judges on the bench and the torture endured by those who live in fear that their nonconformist sexual behavior will be exposed to public view. These are the penalties which have been imposed on and against persons who have done no damage to the property or physical odies of others, but who have failed to adhere to the mandated custom. Such cruelties have not often been matched, except in religious or racial persecutions.” – Alfred Kinsey

Photo Of My Day:
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