Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« The government’s crime strategy makes no sense | Main | The consequence of the Conservative Party abandoning conservative economic theory: who will stand up for Hayek? »

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Redeeming Social Benefits of the Sunshine Girls

I try to avoid pot posting, if only because it is so very well trodden ground. Still, once in awhile, you read something that truly heartens you. Something inspirational. A simple confession of the intellectual bankruptcy of the anti-legalization forces in this country. In this case it is an Ottawa Sun anti-pot editorial that is so clumsy and ham-fisted, you wonder how it found its way into publication. All the prohibitionist tricks are there, the drug addled driver who killed someone's son, the cheap cracks about potheads (none of which have gotten any funnier since the Nixon-era) and the vague references to "social benefits." 

But just because alcohol is legal doesn’t mean Canada would benefit from decriminalizing marijuana. Turning the feds into a super drug dealer is no answer. Surely by that pretzel logic, we could solve all crime simply by legalizing all offences.

This is not actually a paragraph. It is three sentence strung together in sequence. If marijuana is as dangerous and addictive as alcohol - it isn't - wouldn't that be a salient point to argue for legalization? I quite agree that turning the Feds into a "super" drug dealer is not the answer, but who - aside from some misguided conservatives - is advocating for this? Legalization would mean the government would treat pot as it would any other consumer good. 

Surely by that pretzel logic, we could solve all crime simply by legalizing all offences.

I guess so, but that's not really the issue. If we made jay walking a criminal offence, we could also shoot up the crime rate. But that would be neither here nor there. The issue instead is that the criminalization of private acts, where neither force nor fraud is involved, is immoral. It is simply none of your business what I do with my money, on my property, by myself or with friends.

No, turning Canada into the new Holland is not the way to go.

Holland? Seriously? Since when is the spectre of turning Canada into Holland going to scare anyone? Oh, no! A nation of sensible, tolerant people with low tax rates! Someone save us from a fate worse that Dutch! 

Marijuana for medicinal use is proving to be a benefit to some people. We have no issue with that as long as it has the same tight control of any other drug your doctor might prescribe.

But for recreational purposes? Please, we see no redeeming social benefit to allowing people to smoke up whenever they want to.

And there are quite a few feminists who don't see a "redeeming social benefit" to allowing the Sun chain to run pictures of scantily clad young women. What is the social benefit of allowing men - well, mostly men - to spend their time ogling women? It objectifies them, it demeans them, it gives young women in particular an unrealistic body images to aspire toward. All to justify some primal male urge. 

When arguments like this have been made against the Sun chain, the papers have stood on their right to free speech. The girls are willing, the photographer is willing and the Sun readers are willing. So what business is it of the government? If the feminist don't like, then they shouldn't buy the Sun. Political correctness run amok. Quite right. But the editorial board then says that consenting adults can't smoke pot because it has no "redeeming social benefits." By whose standard? If our rights are to be decided in so collectivistic a manner, we will have no rights. Today the editorial board of the Sun declares pot should remain illegal, tomorrow a feminist lobby pressures the government to ban Sunshine girls, the day after perhaps the anti-homosexual lobby will have a crack at re-criminalization.

The editorial is eloquent in only one way, it expresses very clearly the mindset of the prohibitionists. They want pot banned not because it is dangerous, but because they personally disapprove of its use. They are attempting to pass off their own personal tastes as universal principles, and demanding they be enshrined in law. More than pot itself, it is the users of pot that the prohibitionists despise. The cliched image of the habitual pot smoker is of a middle aged, unwashed, inarticulate hippie, or a equally clueless young college student. These are people whom most prohibitionist hate for having different lifestyles and values. It is bigotry expressed in a socially acceptable manner. While not a single piece of genuine evidence is presented in the editorial, there are plenty of very old, and very tired, hippie jokes. The piece concludes:

Life is not a Cheech and Chong movie and we have to have sober discussions about making pot laws more lax. For now, we just can’t dig it, dude.

After decades of killing and jailing in the name of the Drug Wars, all they can come up with is a cheap joke? I know its summer, but allowing Conservative Party interns to write your editorials is never a good idea. A craven and tawdry appeal to unthinking prejudice. No life is not like a Cheech an Chong movie, it is also - thankfully - not like the authoritarian universe espouse by the editorial board of the Ottawa Sun. The more editorials, columns and political speeches like this, the better. They will discredit the prohibitionists at a far faster rate than even their best critics. 

Posted by Richard Anderson on August 8, 2010 | Permalink


"...They are attempting to pass off their own personal tastes as universal principles, and demanding they be enshrined in law..."

and when enough people vote in favour of one social direction over another it's called .. Democracy..the will of the majority prevails.
What part of counting the X's don't you understand ?

So far the crabby wipeheads are losing the numbers game in the local, national and international democracy playoffs regarding drug libneration. Maybe one day they will win, and pot will be legalized- and we will have to accept that, but then the day after, when thinking people look at the downside blowback and vote that novel public policy experiment out... Wipeheads will be back at zero, renovating the black market and blaming everybody else for the evils of prohibition.

Party Drug Prohibition was not installed by foreign invaders to keep you down & spoil all your fun: no- party drug prohibition was set into place by your own people, generations ago who had been sick of doped up stoner antics for centuries..

Democracy installed drug prohibition=
and they had heard these same old stoner excuses too. The world had endured 12,000 years of stoner crap before the majority said " enough is enough! "- good luck in undoing that knot of determnination

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-08 11:38:26 AM

Welcome to the new Asper-ized QMI chain, where the editorials are dictated from the politboro.

Posted by: Hans Blix | 2010-08-08 11:41:44 AM

"The world had endured 12,000 years of stoner crap..."

You know, even for a known troll, this is well below your usual propaganda. Evidence please?

Posted by: Hans Blix | 2010-08-08 11:42:58 AM

You would think Shane Matthews wrote that editorial.

Posted by: don b | 2010-08-08 11:58:12 AM

Hey Troll fighter Blix..

You're right-- maybe I was a little hasty on the 12,000 years of stoner crap figures. I concede -it was actually not much more than 11,950 years of stoner crap. I stand corrected.

Posted by: 419 | 2010-08-08 12:26:35 PM

Marijuana should NOT be legalized.

It should be decriminalized.

Legalizing it simply perpetuates government involvement in the issue, and in fact legitimizes this involement.

Why does marijuana or any other drug require any standing under law?

If you concede that government has any business "controlling" substances you invite a perpetual expansion of that control.

And what you wind up with is what we have now, under Harpo: people found dealing a couple of ounces of pot facing prison time.

Posted by: JC | 2010-08-08 1:22:52 PM

Excellent article Publius, especially the part about this being basically bigotry. Is it any wonder that the Sun chain keeps bleeding circulation numbers?

Posted by: Cytotoxic | 2010-08-08 2:29:28 PM

Excellent take-down of a truly embarrassing editorial.

I hope Sun-TV will not have the same editorial outlook on this issue as the newspaper chain -- it's not 1935 any more...

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2010-08-09 6:27:49 AM

"Surely by that pretzel logic, we could solve all crime simply by legalizing all offences."

You know, I've heard this argument from more than one person now. It's the most idiotic one I've ever heard, but there is a depressingly large number of people who use it. And I guess by that same "pretzel logic" we could justify making any transaction illegal simply by declaring it to be illegal.

Posted by: Charles | 2010-08-09 7:10:42 AM

I concur Jaworski, this really makes me worried about what a Sun TV would look like.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-08-09 7:51:00 AM

Sun TV News will not be as bad as the newspaper editorials.

It will be worse.

Posted by: JC | 2010-08-10 3:37:20 PM

Its no small coinkydink that the Western Standard does the bad girls.

Posted by: victor immature | 2010-08-18 10:42:05 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.