“Virtually every part of the constitution is about expanding human freedom, except prohibition, in which human freedom is being limited, when people cross the line between our essential character as americans, and some other, superseding vision of what we should be, then we get in trouble.” - Pete Hamill
As a free nation, at our core, we’ve always believed that government has no right to control what we do or do not choose to do with our own bodies (as long as we are not causing harm to others). After all this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. So, what happened? Where did we get lost? and in 2016, why the hell is Cannabis still illegal in this county? Those are the questions I will not attempt to answer in this short introductory blog post, but I will address them in future posts. In this short post, I would like to address the following concept: freedom is to the legalization of cannabis.
At the center of the marijuana legalization “debate”, lies a simple truthful tension, between those who believe in freedom of choice, to those who believe in government control of adult people. Wether or not you consume pot is truthfully irrelevant. What matters here is how you feel about the following simple question: should you be able to do whatever you want (for better or for worse) with your own body, or should government regulate that choice for you?
Now, I understand that many people are afraid of what drugs can do to pubic health, after all addiction and drug abuse are real and dangerous things. However, as the son of a PHD in social work, I feel confined in stating the fact that addiction and drug abuse are public health problems, not to be confused with crimes. In order to properly address people who are suffering from addictions for example, the only effective (and ethical) approach stems from a place of compassion, not fear and punishment.
So, the bottom line is this, government cannot protect individuals from themselves, otherwise they become a tyrannical state. Personal habits are personal habits. There’s no stopping it with regulation and a 'war on drugs'. When it comes to Marijuana prohibition, the people have already chosen freedom, and the government is scrambling to catch up, but now I’m already starting to segway into a different blog post. So, I will leave you to contemplate this topic by ending with a somewhat ironic yet fitting quote by President Dwight D. Eisenhower (the war hero): “ We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom”.