Sunday, November 29, 2009

George Will, Medical Marijuana, and Legalization

George Will writes an interesting column on medical marijuana. 

Will argues that a large fraction of "medical" marijuana purchases are in fact for recreational use, a claim no reasonable person disputes.  Will believes that widespread circumvention of the law's official intent undermines respsect for the rule of law, and I agree.

Will also suggests that estimates of the tax revenue states can collect from medical marijuana are probably inflated; my own estimates suggest he is right on this as well.

But the most intriguing issue is Will's last sentence:

By mocking the idea of lawful behavior, legalization of medical marijuana may be more socially destructive than full legalization.
This last sentence leaves us hanging: is Will advocating legalization, or arguing that legalization is undesirable and medicalization is even worse? 

If Will is true to his small government, individual responsibility ideals (which I share), he must surely advocate full legalization.  To the best of my knowledge, however, he has yet to do that in so many words. 

Now would be a good time.

15 comments:

LEAP said...

Not sure if you saw this from a few weeks ago or not, but FYI: http://copssaylegalize.blogspot.com/2009/10/george-will-legalize-marijuana-to-hurt.html

Anonymous said...

Easily I to but I contemplate the brief should have more info then it has.

drover said...

As George Will now jaywalks, there is no way he supports legalization of cannabis (my guess). He's too part of the machine, big or small government be damned. He may want states to enforce in state courts federal law where state laws have legalized (but federal authorities may already do so in federal court anywhere in the US). Hence, the "rule of law" crutch.

"Respect for the rule of law"? Those who tout the rule of law do so to hide their own or others' crimes, by deflection and drawing attention to improprieties elsewhere.

Is there a rule that the rule of law is the law? What is more important, the rule or the law? Is it the rule of all laws, any law, certain laws? Whatever happened to the Golden Rule, or law and order? Oops, cannabis use is not disorderly.

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