Absolutely fascinating article by Emily Bazelon for Slate Magazine explores the state attempts to surmount federal law with regard to marijuana use and guns. Her thesis: Are liberals hypocrites when they cheer states that have circumvented federal law against the use of marijuana while booing states that have tried to do the same regarding guns?
I consider myself a liberal. I have never, in my entire life, ever used marijuana (or, for that matter, any illegal drug). Yet I feel that the laws against marijuana are way too stringent and support legalization (and taxation) of the product. Why? Because 1920’s era prohibition never accomplish eliminating the use of alcohol and I don’t believe these laws against the use of marijuana will do the same.
And yet, I’m alarmed by states attempting to remove all federal laws regarding the use of firearms.
Am I a hypocrite? I don’t believe so.
Marijuana is a drug that from what I’ve read is considered relatively harmless versus so many other, stronger and addictive drugs. One of the claims often made against marijuana is that it is “gateway” drug, a means by which people start using the “harder stuff”. If that’s the case, then wouldn’t alcohol be a gateway drug as well? And what about cancer patients (among others) who suffer crippling pain and low to non-existent appetites who claim the use of marijuana helps them ease both conditions over prescription pills? Why deny them the use of a potential day to day aid?
Guns, on the other hand, were designed and created for one use and one use only: To kill. And guns, unlike marijuana, are not illegal to own and purchase. What the gun lobby/nullification cause is trying to do is kick down whatever laws there are regarding federal regulation of firearms. Laws that, let’s face it, are fairly weak to begin with.
The article discusses in much more depth the legal issues regarding both gun and marijuana regulation and the pros and cons of each. As I said before, a fascinating read.