Is there a lesson to be learned from all this?

Several. The first is that hate does not pay. It is ironic that the racism of the American people would end up hurting them this way — a sort of divine justice if you will. Because Americans were blinded by fear, hatred, and intolerance of other races, they allowed a prosperous future to slip between their fingers. Another thing this whole history tells us is that Americans need to take Democracy more seriously. If they had devoted more of their time to informing themselves about the world around them, they would have known what the real issues were. Instead they read the tabloids — look where that has gotten us. Finally, now that we have put marijuana prohibition into historical context, we can see clearly that it had nothing to do with public safety, or national security, or what have you. By all rights, marijuana should not have been made illegal in the first place. If today prohibition still has no rational basis to stand on, then let us repeal it.

One point which bears emphasizing is this: the laws which are passed in this country may not mean what they say on paper. Historically the United States has a long record of passing laws with ulterior motives. Even when there is no ulterior motive, though, passing laws which are not specific enough leads to abuse. Most of our tough drug laws are like this — enacted to fight drug kingpins, but enforced against casual drug users and small-time drug dealers. In fact, most of these laws never even get used against a real drug kingpin, and the first people prosecuted under the statutes are not what the legislators had in mind. If this upsets you, you should pay more attention to what goes on in your legislature.

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