Marijuana Prohibition Will Die of 1,000 Cuts…So Look Out

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

Of the 50 tax farms that comprise America, 16 have governments that will allow prescribed medical marijuana for use by patients suffering from such conditions as glaucoma, anorexia, or cancer. The local rulers of the District of Criminals also recognize such provisions, benign repositories of wisdom that they are. In some of these arbitrary geographical locations, such as Marxachusetts, even non-medical offenders are fined, along with confiscation of their plant-of-choice, instead of time in a steel cage. Still tyranny, but with a softer, more politically-palatable edge to it.

Now in the wake of the 2012 bi-annual choice of whom shall issue us all orders, the tax farms of Washington and Colorado have gone further still in that a majority of people casting ballots inside those two sets of imaginary boundaries have decided they don’t want armed government thugs interfering with them in any way if they choose to use marijuana recreationally. Following this lead, the bureaucrats in both Maine and Rhode Island, perhaps not to be left out of a chance to enter a popularity contest, have filed legislation to emulate the same.

This is not a trend that seems likely to reverse. The horse is now out of the stable, and I doubt if any amount of obstinance from the federal goons is going to have much more effect than such an attitude did for their counterparts in Warsaw Pact eastern Europe in 1991. Relatively soon now, as I hinted at in an earlier essay, marijuana will no longer be considered illegal (or, perhaps more correctly, will be considered legal once again) by those who arrogantly claim the power to tell us what we may or may not do, use, have, sell, make, or be.

Or almost. Those same pernicious tyrants, now realizing the not-so-funny game of locking people up in the prison-industrial complex is nearing an end, will seek to do what their equally cynical forebears did in 1933 with alcohol re-legalization: They will tax its sale to death, license and tax its commercial producers, and restrict it to the 21 and over crowd. They will continue to jail and collect fines from those who violate these provisions, and be hailed for it as defenders of society – when in reality, we libertarians know that they are the filthiest, most opportunistic scum of the breed.

Yes, pot prohibition is on its inevitable way out, and good riddance. It is and will continue to happen through an incongruent amalgam of both statist (legislative) and non-statist (agorism, 4/20 civil disobedience, etc.) actions, but happen it will. It will die the proverbial death of 1,000 cuts. This means far fewer people will end up in jail, and it means less power for the police. But it also means those in government are going to try their damndest to garner public support for tight control over the terms and conditions under which marijuana becomes “allowable.” And if that isn’t fought and stopped, it will almost definitely prove – as with the myriad of laws and government-supporting taxes surrounding both booze and tobacco – to be the deepest, unkindest, and most completely hypocritical -- cut of all.

Better, I would say, to cut government out of everything summarily, once and for bloody all. Wouldn’t you?

7
Your rating: None Average: 7 (1 vote)
Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 112

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

Jim Davies's picture

Great, passionate stuff, Alex!
 
You mentioned "They will tax its sale to death, license and tax its commercial producers, and restrict it to the 21 and over crowd."  If I recall correctly, the recent election had the "Libertarian" candidate for President, Gary Johnson, proposing to legalize then tax it.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Thank you, Jim.  And yes, unfortunately, Gary Johnson was/is just further proof that "Libertarian Party" is an inherent oxymoron; it's like saying "Jewish Nazi," or as Tom de Lorenzo (whose new book, NEW WORLD RISING, I expect to receive via government postal monopoly next week) recently put things, "cubical sphere," or "vegetarian tiger."  :-)

Paul's picture

"They will tax its sale to death, license and tax its commercial producers, and restrict it to the 21 and over crowd."

That is the reasonable, cynical expectation. However the Colorado initiative graciously allowed the personal cultivation of 6 plants. I expect that to be "corrected" in the Colorado legislature shortly.

I was hugely amused to see an interview with a couple of Washingtonians after passage of the measure there. They were decrying the new measure. Who were they? Why, they were people working in the state's medical marijuana industry. They expressed their concern for the lowered quality of product their patients would now be forced to accept.

Never fear, fellow anarchists. Even after marijuana has been "legalized" all across the country, there will be plenty of opportunities to flout the law by using the stuff as you please.

Marc's picture

Yep, the privilege to grow six plants does seem like an overly generous gift in an era when absolutely nothing is allowed - particularly without the presence of lobbyists and the creation of new tax streams. I'm sure that other states won't make the same error.

Taxes can function like prohibitions if they're raised high enough. Thanks to the health- Nazis that's exactly what happened to tobacco in the state where I reside. They also pushed through a smoking ban in bars for good measure. During the last four or five years the shelf space in grocery stores that once harbored a wide range of tobacco products and smoking accessories has nearly disappeared. Although the plant can be legally grown, curing and processing the leaves takes time, effort, and considerable know-how. Many smokers have either cut down or quit altogether. I suspect that the occurrence of obesity and diabetes may be on the rise as a result.

Marc's picture

From Reason TV: "The governor also signed an executive order establishing
a task force of government officials and other stakeholders to make recommendations to the legislature about how to establish a legal market for business to cultivate and sell marijuana to adults."

My translation: Special interest groups with with ACCE$$ to government and their hired politicians will now decide how to best encumber the fledgling market with taxes and regulations to benefit stakeholders (special interest groups with ACCE$$ to government) while thoroughly screwing all other market participants big time.