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Opponents of Marijuana Reform Can't Keep Their Story Straight

Submitted by smorgan on
If there's one thing we can count on in the marijuana debate, it is the ceaseless propensity of our opposition to say the first thing that pops into their head. This effect becomes particularly pronounced when state-level reform initiatives threaten to deprive entrenched drug enforcement professionals of their cherished authority over petty marijuana offenders.

The latest examples come from Massachusetts, where a November ballot initiative aims to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Local law enforcement personnel are sharply opposed to dropping the criminal penalties for possession, saying that dealers who travel with more than an ounce of marijuana can simply carry around less, to avoid criminal charges.

District Attorney David Capeless said decriminalizing marijuana will mean a proliferation of use, as dealers pick up more customers. [Berkshire Eagle]

So dealers will carry less, but sell more? David Capeless's enthusiasm for ruining young lives over marijuana is already well-documented, but is this really the best he can come up with?

It is exactly these sorts of plainly ridiculous protestations that lead one to wonder what the hell these people even want. And solving that riddle becomes a greater challenge the longer you listen to them:

[William] Breault, an activist who heads up the Main South Alliance for Public Safety, said citizens have an obligation to get educated about the issue. He accuses the decriminalization advocates of using "deceptive tactics" to gain voter support.

… he claimed that few, if any, inmates in the state's jails are sent there for minor marijuana possession alone; in local courts, it's not uncommon for first-time possession offenders to receive an eventual dismissal of the charges, with no criminal record resulting.

Huh? That's frickin' great, but if you're cool with it then why are you arguing with us? The whole point of the initiative is to stop running people through the gauntlet over petty marijuana offenses. If some people are already beating their charges without society coming to a crashing halt, then obviously we're onto something with this. Our opponents are literally going around exclaiming that we absolutely must vigorously prosecute marijuana offenders, then two seconds later they're boasting about how that's not what we're doing now anyway.

Of course, observing, as we often do, that our opponents' arguments are just transparently silly and disingenuous brings us to the question of why they even bother. There will always be better things to do with billions of dollars than investigate and bust marijuana users, so it's tempting to ponder how anyone struggling to grasp that concept nonetheless manages to put pants on in the morning.

Personally, I don't think it's just greed or meanness, although there's plenty of that to go around. Really, I think they're just scared of what a post-drug war America might look like. I can't wait to show them.

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