Marijuana is now legal for recreational purposes in both Colorado and Washington. It will be regulated like liquor. This is a great step toward liberty and freedom. Marijuana is mostly like alcohol, but its use is unjustly discriminated against by government.
What if police burst into your house and found a six pack of beer – and arrested you – and made you attend rehab classes – and your “criminal record” made it much more difficult for you to get a job? Why is marijuana so different from alcohol? The voters of two states said it is not that different.
It is a proper role of government to create and enforce regulations to reasonably protect the general safety of citizens. Driving while intoxicated, whether by alcohol or marijuana, should be a crime. But if an activity does no harm to others, it is not a proper role of government to prohibit that activity.
The new state laws will likely be tested in the Supreme Court. I hope the Supreme Court finds it is not a proper role for the federal government to regulate the recreational use of marijuana. Alcohol and tobacco are mostly regulated by the States. Marijuana should be no different.
We should not try to create a society with zero tolerance for risk taking. If a particular risky behavior may endangers others, then we, as a society, must decide how much risk we will allow. Zero risk should not be the goal. Whenever anyone drives a boat, a car or even a bicycle, they risk hurting other people. Zero tolerance for risk would demand a ban on all vehicles. In the specific case of boating and drinking, just as The Register has shown on its pages, many people tie up boats in party coves and drink. That activity poses almost no risk to anyone else. If people in a boat have a designated driver, then drinking by others poses no significant risk to others. We have a law which makes if a criminal offense to drive a boat with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more. The Register’s call for an end to drinking while boating takes away the liberty of everyone in order to stop the irresponsible few. If there is a problem with driving a boat while drunk, then we need more boat police to monitor the situation, not a zero tolerance policy.