Iowa marijuana law makes criminals out of peaceful people.

I was disappointed to learn that, according to the Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll,  67% of Iowa adults think is is best to continue to criminalize the personal use of marijuana.  People continue to be imprisoned, fined, and given permanent criminal records because they engaged in a voluntary peaceful activity.   Whether or not to legalize the recreational use of marijuana is not the correct question.  The correct question is whether or not to continue to make criminals out of adults who have done no harm to anyone else.  Many people have been greatly harmed because of our unjust marijuana prohibition laws.   We now have a situation where the remedy is worse than the disease.  The situation clearly conflicts with our state motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.

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4 thoughts on “Iowa marijuana law makes criminals out of peaceful people.

  1. Kurt, your libertarian worldview has never made me more angry than I am right now after reading your blog. You describe marijuana users as people engaged in a “voluntary peaceful activity.” SO WHAT!! That fact is entirely meaningless. Smoking grass might be voluntary, peaceful, and an activity, but unfortunately, it is often not harmless. Colorado, for example, has already documented a spike in auto accidents attributable to the legalizing of marijuana sales and usage. I doubt that you’d maintain your position for long if one of your family members was seriously injured or killed in an auto accident caused by one of these “peaceful” folks who “have done no harm to anyone else.” Additionally, much current research indicates that your view about the short- and long-term effects on the individual of smoking grass is just plain wrong, largely, perhaps, because the potency of grass is so much greater today than it was in years gone by. If you think there are nothing but poor, innocent victims in this story, think again. In the meantime, kumbaya!

  2. John, First, to the extent that smoking pot hurts the smoker, it is not the proper role of government to protect us from ourselves. We start our as free individuals. Governments are properly created to help us protect ourselves against those who would use force or fraud to take our lives, liberty or justly obtained property. Second, to the extent that it hurts others, there is a proper role for government to regulate it. For example, it is proper for government to prohibit driving while intoxicated, including intoxication from marijuana. I think it is a proper role of government to help us protect our children and others who cannot protect themselves. So, prohibition on the sale of pot to minors is proper. But, for example, adults who use marijuana on their own private property should not be subject to criminal prosecution. Many people who have hurt no one else, and disproportionately young black men, have had their lives significantly damaged much more by our immoral drug laws than by their use of marijuana. Thanks for your comment, John.

    • First of all, Kurt, is your thanking me for my comment your way of saying, “Thaaanks, John”?
      Second, when you speak about the proper role of government, I happen to agree with a lot of what you say. Nevertheless, it is still only your opinion, so I think you’d be well advised to not be so dogmatic.
      Third, what point are you trying to make when you state that we start out as free individuals? I suppose that even that is questionable. But even if you’re correct, so what? To me, that sounds more like sloganeering than anything.
      Finally, and this is just my very strong belief, atheists should refrain from moralizing. It isn’t that atheists can’t possess many good moral qualities. (I’ve learned this, first and foremost, from knowing you, my friend.) However, they have no foundation, other than their own whimsical opinions, to speak of morality or immorality. Were we both able to live another 100 years, your current “moral” beliefs would likely change a number of times, whereas mine would remain largely as they now are. You apparently view morality as something that is right for the moment, or the times. I see it as something that never changes — only man changes, and rarely for the better. Can you honestly say that this world is better than the one we grew up in? I hope not.
      Thaaanks for your reply, Kurt.

  3. John, since I am an atheist, I cannot point to an objective basis for my beliefs. I could say that all beliefs are subjective. Maybe that is true. I have written in the past that a new form of money, Bitcoin, has no real value, like gold or silver. It was pointed out to me that nothing has real value, if by real value one means something other than the subjective value that humans assign to all things. Things like gold and silver have just had a long history of sustained subjective value both as a form of money and a useful commodity. I suppose the same applies to morality. Christianity has a long history of acceptance by humans as a basis for determining what is good or bad, what is right or wrong, what is moral or immoral. Atheism does not have that same long consistent history of acceptance. Nevertheless, I do look for a basis for morality that seems naturally acceptable to most people, and that is internally consistent, and that is sustainable or workable if it were to be accepted by a large group of people, or even if accepted by all people. For me, that basis starts with the idea that we are all born free in nature, and that each of us should be free to find our own way in the world, that we should not be restricted or limited in our activities as long as we don’t use force or fraud against anyone, except in self-defense, and respect the same right of others. Then we get into all of the messy details. People with good and honest intentions can disagree on those details. A proper role of government is to resolve disputes. To the extent that people do not agree with the morality or subjective fairness of how disputes are resolved, there will be civil strife. Hopefully, that civil strife will not be so great as to cause a complete breakdown of society.

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