Drug legalisation
Drug legalisation

No wonder Obama and Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard get on so well. They are cut from the same cloth:

Obama’s War on Pot: In a shocking about-face, the administration has launched a government-wide crackdown on medical marijuana.

Back when he was running for president in 2008, Barack Obama insisted that medical marijuana was an issue best left to state and local governments. “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue,” he vowed, promising an end to the Bush administration’s high-profile raids on providers of medical pot, which is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

But over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. Those two could not lie straight in bed. It is hard to know which of them of more cavalier with the truth. They embody the left’s postmodernist “there is no such thing as truth” perspective on honesty.

What’s the implications of overreach of this magnitude for the federal compact at the heart of the US constitution? Still at least it ought to help keep contributions from pharmaceutical companies flowing in. I wonder which of these weighs more heavily on Obama?

Still unlike bank fraud at least the administration can claim to be applying the rule of law in this area. Even if it is perhaps being a little to enthusiastic. OK, totally over the top. But clearly drug prohibition is being enforced at least as vigorously as was the prohibition on alcohol before it:

Cop spends weeks to trick an 18-year-old into possession and sale of a gram of pot: More fun from the self-loathing society: This American Life had a show about how young female undercover cops infiltrated a high school and flirted with boys to entrap them into selling pot, so they could charge them with felonies and destroy their lives at an early age.

Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other.

One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn’t smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn’t want the money — he got it for her as a present.

A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students — including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.

Phew, I’ll sleep safer at night knowing our police are flirting with our school kids and enticing them into selling marijuana. It’s good to know that in these fiscally strained times governments are making good use of every tax dollar.

Even if the kid is found innocent, can you imagine the psychological damage? Yeah, the first girl I fell in love with turned out to be a cop trying to entrap me. She got me arrested and charged.  That will do wonders for trust.

Trust is central to our civilization, in fact it is probably a prerequisite for any civilization. Without trust I suspect there can only be barbarism. Yet we are killing trust in so many ways. The whole issue of the centrality of trust to our system warrants a post of its own.

Whatever damage is being done to individuals and society as a whole, it is important not to lose sight of the big picture:

Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal. It’s only one data point, but interesting none the less. This is also worth bearing in mind:

(UK) Number of illegal drug users falls, survey shows: Drop in number of adults and children using illegal drugs to lowest level since records began in mid-90s welcomed by charities and government.

 



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