About Prohibition…

First, let me be very, very clear on this.  I do NOT believe that marijuana is harmless.  It is not.  But harm or benefit is not what political prohibition is all about.

Short answer: Decriminalizing pot isn’t about pot; it’s about governing our government.

If you’d like to start discussing and finding the best ways to suppress bad behaviors and promote good behaviors, fantastic!  Let’s do it!

But that’d be pretty much the opposite of what we’re doing now.  The War On Drugs is not only counterproductive, it’s also unconstitutional, illegal and immoral.

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America couldn’t be more clear.  It’s just one sentence; and it was exhaustively explained at the time it was written and made a part of this nation’s fundamental law:

RememberThe powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So… powers not specifically granted, are specifically denied.  If the Constitution doesn’t clearly say our federal government can do something, it can’t do it.

Simple.

Of course, politicians hate that.  It’s a leash on their power.  It’s a limitation.  It’s a big NO to their inevitable desire to oppress their fellow humans.  It’s a restraint that makes them public servants instead of rulers.

And so, they’ve been fighting the 10th Amendment since the ink was wet.

But even with our first Prohibition, 126 years after the Tenth Amendment, our politicians were still restrained enough (and/or We The People were still wise and watchful enough, more likely), that they understood that in order to ban the sale of alcohol…or anything else, for that matter…they’d have to amend the constitution.

So they wrote, passed and ratified an amendment respectful of these fundamental principles and laws.

If you want to do something breathtakingly stupid, that is the correct way to do it.

But let’s be clear about this.  The 18th Amendment, while composed of three sentences instead of just one, was also written clearly enough that confusion would be inexcusable:

  1. The federal amendment would be null and void without concomitant and timely action from the states. “This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
  2. Enforcement was also understood to be a shared responsibility. “The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  3. Most importantly, this amendment was very specifically limited to only the manufacture and distribution of “intoxicating liquors.”  It did not grant any level of government any authority or power to limit the manufacture/distribution of anything else…and it did NOT take away anybody’s right to consume whatever they wanted. “After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

The 18th Amendment never granted any level of government any power or authority to tell you what you can, can’t or must consume.  It never granted any level of government any power or authority to even limit the manufacture, sale, or transportation of anything but “intoxicating liquors.”

So let’s clear up one more thing…and it’s The Biggy:

When the 18th was repealed by the 21st Amendment, it was replaced by …nothing!  There is no longer any amendment, there is no authority (see the 10th Amendment), no legal, just power to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or transportation of ANYTHING!

RememberAnd there never was, and still isn’t, any constitutional authority or just power to prohibit people from consuming whatever the heck they want.

In other words, all the no-knock raids, the expanded policing powers, the incarcerations, the lives ruined by a conviction record, and of course the insane loss of life with enforcement, and the politically corrupt nature of black market trade …is all unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, and otherwise totally wrong.

It’s frustrating we even use the word “decriminalize” since what we’re calling criminal was never legally made a crime.

Legally, constitutionally, none of this should be happening.

Whether people should be consuming high-fructose corn syrup or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine is a separate topic.  How to make people stop doing bad things is a separate topic.  And I would never argue that THC and the new strains of marijuana are harmless.  They are not

Right now, the item of urgent concern is that our government is corrupt and un-governed.

And that’s not just an inconvenience.  A violently corrupt, deceitful, off-the-rails ungoverned government is a civilization-destroying monster.  

Let’s fix that.  Pronto.

Then, if we’d like a legitimate Second Prohibition, we ought to do it in the proper way.

Until we follow the procedure for this, however, there is no legal, moral, or certainly any functional argument to keep doing what we’re doing to people, all over the world, with our illegal, immoral, costly and self-destructive “war on drugs.”

 

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