The liberals are picking themselves off of the floor at the realisation that Pat Robertson has come out in favour of the legalisation of marijuana. (He’s been working up to this for some time.) NORML, at this writing, hasn’t even gotten around to admitting it. Many others are in shock also.
His logic on this, however, is hard to fault:
- Our incarceration rate is too high. That includes all types of crime: white collar, blue collar, no collar and no shirt crime. Drug offences, however, top the list in the number of people actually put behind bars. This is a point I have made repeatedly over the years.
- The approach we have taken hasn’t slowed the use of this or many other controlled substances. This is the same problem we ran into with Prohibition, which was Protestant Christianity’s last really successful moral crusade in this country (in the sense that what was being crusaded for ended up enshrined in law.)
We as Americans have this insane idea that, if we pass a law against something, it disappears. It didn’t work with alcohol and it hasn’t worked with marijuana. We’ve actually had more success with dealing with the after-effects of alcohol than shutting off the supply, i.e. drunk driving laws, taxation, keeping fair trade laws in effect on alcoholic beverages (a lesson the Irish need to take to heart,) intoxication testing and so on.
A lesson more relevant on the power of regulation, taxation and public shaming is with tobacco. We have managed to run down our tobacco consumption via a half century long campaign against it. (And speaking of running things down with regulation and taxation, it worked with manufacturing, didn’t it?)
The whole war on drugs also speaks to the shameless Boomer hypocrisy on the whole subject of mind-altering substances. The Boomers have waged and continue to wage this war while at the same time being the generation defined by the use of these substances, all the while without any hint of a mea culpa about this or any of the other damage our generation has wrought on this country.
This doesn’t mean, however, that our churches need to change their idea on the subject of marijuana any more than they have on the subject of alcohol, and for pretty much the same reason. The standard of those called by the name of Jesus Christ and everyone else cannot and should not be the same, current theonomy notwithstanding.
And that leads to a warning: if I turn on the 700 Club and see an ad for “No stems, no seeds…” that’s it. But this is a big step in the right direction.