Old 04-08-2013, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by homers brother View Post
In a libertarian utopia, legalization of recreational pharmaceuticals might certainly be practical. However, most ideologically-pure libertarians I know are fervently opposed to what, in the end, amounts to the governmental assumption of the consequences of one's behaviors.
It's hard to disagree with this logic. I think this exact issue is why a lot of people (conservatives included) oppose legalizing drugs. Yes, many of us don't like the idea of a person damaging themselves but in the end, we can't honestly control that self-destructive behavior (just look at how many people do risk jail or prison for it). Bigbuck and just about every other person advocating legalization of drugs never seem to answer this crucial question of who pays for the financial consequences.


On the other hand, you have the liberals and the conservatives. Neither seem to be very consistent in how they view the concepts of "liberty" or "choice." Both are about control - just in different directions. Conservatives want to save the babies but kill the adults if they grow up to be mass murderers. Liberals want to kill the babies but save the adults even if they grow up to be mass murderers.
"Control" may have some application in these competing beliefs but I don't think it's the most precise way of describing the opposing viewpoints. Besides, not all liberals or conservatives fall neatly within these parameters. It's more helpful to look at the basic reasoning employed in the positions at each end of life.

Proponents of the death penalty for "mass murderers" believe that such murderers are not likely to change their hideous ways, have committed the most egregious of crimes and should be held accountable for these crimes. In short, people supporting the death penalty believe the person should be punished with death.

Opponents of the death penalty obviously oppose the death penalty but oft times have differing viewpoints on what is a suitable punishment for murder.
Some are willing to support life without parole sentences but most are not. Some are willing to support life with the possibility of parole but many still are not. Some are willing to support a lengthy prison sentence (20-25 years or so) but there are still quite a few people who don't.

Some favor even more lenient sentences and many states have laws that do just that.
Between juvenile laws that limit the length of a sentence (even for murder) and adult laws that water down murders with plea bargains and other circumstances that change the crime to manslaughter, etc., many people who kill another human being end up serving less than 10 years and sometimes even less than 5 years.

I'm sure it happens (somewhere possibly) but it's pretty rare to hear a death penalty opponent decry such short sentences.

Liberals want to ban guns but legalize pot. Conservatives want to ban pot but are against further restrictions on firearms ownership. A difficult place to find one's position within, and it's not uncommon that liberals and conservatives cross over. Some liberals believe that firearms ownership cannot be infringed. Some conservatives believe that abortion is a woman's choice. It's difficult to be entirely true to a "party platform."

It's going to be difficult for the "legalize pot" crowd to ever overcome the stigma that they're "slackers." Even if they're "successful" in a career, that they couldn't have become even moreso. I've seen example brain activity scans of MJ, meth, cocaine, alcohol, and non-users. There IS a difference, although the impacts vary in severity and duration. All this chatter about veterans, PTSD and TBI? Similiarities exist in terms of brain effect. Stress and shock "light up" the brain, which in turn "dulls", during which time veterans do nutty things, drive too fast on motorcycles, think they're invincible, make bad choices, commit suicide, etc.
Thank you. Pot smokers always claim there's no effect but that really isn't correct.

Does that mean that pot users should be entitled to disability should they have problems at work? All of this stuff seems to start small and then snowballs into something we hadn't even imagined.
Disability is a program that is often abused (no pun intended).

While the first-order effect of pot use is probably infinitissimally small, and its legalization might somewhat mitigate the second-order effect of "drug dealers", and be most seen in the third-order effect and impact on the "drug economy" that exists in Mexico and in other countries, we're not considering in this discussion anything beyond that. We have to consider eventualities beyond what's immediately apparent, and assume that (unless we can achieve that libertarian utopia) the foundation exists for "legalization" to bring with it bills that our children's taxes may not be able to afford.
Something the pro-drug people never bring up and dismiss or deride whenever anybody broaches the topic.

Aside from the "Pot Libertarians", who are really just Democrats pandering for the Libertarian vote, I can't say that I don't see some merit in Libertarian ideals. Practically speaking, though - I couldn't support legalization of pot UNLESS the consequences of its use (and I'd like the same for alcohol and others) be ISOLATED to the user and no longer any of the rest of our financial responsibilities.

Today's reality doesn't quite measure up to that possibility. .
Agreed. Your post is an incredibly lucid statement of the problem and resulting issues. Kudos!!!
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