Thursday, July 31, 2008

Smoking and Pot, or Is It Smoking Pot?

There were two absolutely contradictory "news" stories yesterday.  One was about the House passing a bill that would give the FDA authority to act even further as a "super nanny" by regulating pot smoking so that there is not much marijuana in a joint.  No, wait.  I got that wrong. Congress has messed with my brain so much here that I am totally confused.
Notw let me see.  mmmm.  Wasn't Congress worried about evil drug lords using marijuana to "hook" people on the harder stuff?  No, that can't be right.  Congress doesn't worry much about evil Mexican or Columbian drug lords, except when it is looking for an excuse to oppose beneficial free trade agreements with Coilumbia.  I have it.  Congress is more interested in the EVIL tobacco companies (even though they have a legal product), and the Nazi like campaign against smoking.  ("Pro-choice.  Nuts. You don't need no stinking CHOICE.  What do you think this is, a free country?  Bars and restaurants can't exercise any stinking CHOICE of what to offer customers.  They are, after all, agentts/arms of the STATE.  Pro-choice is only for MURDER of unborn children.  We don't really mean it anywhere else.").
Yep.  I've got it straight now.  The House passed a stupid law giving the FDA "authority" to regulate TOBACCO (cigarettes, cigars, etc.).  Presumably, that means the FDA would  have the authority to regulate the AMOUNT of nicotine, as well as other ingredients.  Of course this is STUPID.  If the FDA is supposed to make cigarettes SAFE, that can't be done.  So the FDA is supposed to decide what is a "safe" formulation for an UNSAFE product?  Give me a break.  This is Federal regulation run amok.  (Nope, I do not smoke, and never have). 
Should the FDA regulate the amount of alcohol in alcoholic products?  How about the amount of caffeine in Cokes and other soft drings?  How about the amount of SUGAR in soft drinks and cereal?  How about the amount of FAT in foods?    Most of these are, of course, being PROPOSED by various wannabe nannies/Nazis out there.
It is not the government's job to "protect" us from ourselves.  The FDA should be regulating food and drug compounds (if that).  Food should be regulated as to CONTAMINANTS, and so that it does not produce disease or poisoning--NOT for the "healthiness" of the food itself, and the natural ingredients in the food.  Similarly. SOME (nanny wannabes) want to regulate HERBS, and "natural" medicine formulations.  Pox on them all is my attitude, even though I think most "natural" "cures" for disease are bunk.  The FDA should be dealing with actual DRUGS formulated for health.  Tobacco is NOT such a drug.  It is, like marijuana, a natural substance USED FOR RECREATIION.  Now I would have no problem with LABELING requirements as to ingredients/nicotine level.  But the idea that the FDA should have a mandate to regulate everything that goes into our mouths for overall "healthiness" is ARROGANTLY stupid.  Again, it should not be the job of the Federal Government to protect us from ourselves.
That brings me to the insane disconnect in yesterday's "news".  Barney Franks, and what the AP calls a "group of lawmakers"--meaning that the "Anti-American Despicable AP APPROVES of the action--proposed yesterday to decriminalize pot (marijuana).  Read the above again, and EXPLAN to me how it makes sense to , ON THE SAME DAY, propose MORE Federal control of tobacco and LESS Federal control of marijuana?  It does NOT make any sense, unless you realize that leftists consider tobacco companies more evil than drug lords, while the PUBLIC is perfectly willing to accept the idea of being protected from itself--the idea that the Federal Government is THERE to take care of every person in this country from the cradle to the grave.  That is why conservatives are now exiled to the wilderness.
Okay, you say, what about you?  Do you favor legalizing recreational drugs?   Well, I am certainly open to the idea of decriminalizing marijuana.  But you know what?  I am NOT interested in going down that road at the same time that people are pushing for MORE Federal regulation of tobacco and everything else.  I am only open to decriminalizing marijuana as PART of a general acceptance of the idea that people should not be protected from themselves.  NOT otherwise.  I consider marijuana AT LEAST as dangerous as cigarettes, with the added problem that using it tends to support the scum of the Earth (drug dealers). 
Even though I am open to the argument, I am not yet convinced we can AFFORD to legalize cocaine, heroin, and all of the rest.  This is NOT because I think people should not be allowed to kill themselves with such products.  I just think that society has a right to protect itself, and those drugs have shown themselves to be DESTRUCTIVE of society.  If you worry about children and cigarettes, you should REALLY worry about children and cocaine, etc.  So I don't really accept the idea of legalizing all recreational drugs, and I consider marijuana as a "nose under the tent" start in that direction--while remaining open to the idea that people should not go to prison for possessing small amounts--even though that contributes to the DISTRIBUTION and sale of large amounts (in aggregate, with money going primarily to scumbag drug dealers).
Should the FDA have the "right' to DENY people drugs that those people think might keep them ALIVE (surely more important than denying people RECREATIONAL drugs)?  Yes, I am talking abut SCAM "cancer cures" like Laetrile (big issue in the 60's).  "Natural" medicine promotes a number of such things today, but not as drugs.  WHY should the government have the power to DENY people something that people may WANT, with their eyes wide open as to the government not approving it? 
Yes, I have MORE qualms about the FDA "mission" in general than I do about the more powerful recreational drugs being banned.  Is society at risk if we allow people to die because they are being scammed, or die after having money scammed from them for "cures" that are not real (even though they were going to die anyway)?  Maybe.  But I am much MORE reluctant to come to that conclusion as to the FDA regulating every aspect of what we are "allowed" to eat, drink, smoke, and take for health than I am to the conclusion that powerful, recreational drugs are a danger to us all.
WHY do leftists, especially, seem to take the opposite view, and WHY id there more pressure to "legalize" recreational drugs than there is to take the FDA off our backs as far as access to drugs we may NEED to stay alive, or off our backs as to food and drink we may just happen to LIKE, but which is not good for us? 
The answer is obvious.  People are willing to FIGHT for the "right" to use recreational drugs that they think give them a LOT of pleasure, while not too many people are that passionate about, say, sugar in Coke, or tobacco when it has become unfashionable to the hip crowd.  Why else is liquor legal, other than there was a revolt against making it illegal by people who wanted the PLEASURE of drinking.  Alcohol is, objectively, MUCH more destructive than cigarettes.
In other words, leftists are willing to make up WORDS to justify indulging in their appetites, but leftists are not either CONSISTENT or intellectually honest.  Leftists favor choices that allow them to do what they want to do.  They do not favor choices, or democracy, when the choices are not those that leftists want for themselves.  Too many ,of course, who are not really "leftists" are buying into the same idea that the Federal Government needs to control every detail of our lives for our own good.
Yesterday was a very constructive day  In microcosm, it told you everything that is wrong with our present approach to policy.  Smokers are out, unless they are smokng pot. Then they are in (maybe).
P.S.  Even though I drink alcohol, and would prefer to keep that freedom, OJECTIVELY the Prohibitionists may have the best of the argument (as I have said before).  In fact, they were never out-argued.  They simply lost because too many people refused to give up the pleasure of drinking--hardly the noblest of "victories".  Prohibitionists lost merely because people whould not obey the law--not for "noble" reasons but for the most selfish of reasons.  Alcohol has killed MANY more people than cigarettes (or marijuana)--especially young.  Further, alcohol kills OTHERS besides the person getting drunk.  It amuses me when leftists argue that marijuana is not as bad as alcohol.  Very FEW things are as bad as alcohol, and if it were not already established, the case for making it illegal is VERY strong. 


slapinions said...

I didn't have time to read the full post (I'm at work) but I think the legalization of weed is the only sane way to handle what is obviously a flawed drug policy. I wrote about this some time ago; when I get home and remember to do so, I'll drop a link to it here.


slapinions said...

After reading the post, good points abound. as promised here's my legalization post