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Good Idea, Bad Idea

In today's world, where thoughts are transmitted around the globe in milliseconds and people with no education or understanding of human reality are heard loud and clear in discussion forums for everything under the sun, it can be hard to distinguish good ideas from bad ones. The internet and 24 hour news channels have created an open forum for people to sell bad ideas to one another for profit or out of general ignorance. A person who hasn't been taught what a logical contradiction is likely won't recognize one when he sees it. If ideas could be grouped, conclusively, into two categories, then this wouldn't be an issue. The varying degree of "good" and "bad" in an idea can confuse even very intelligent people. For example, it's good to drill in the Gulf of Mexico because it provides cheap petroleum and reduces our dependence on middle Eastern oil. However, it is a bad idea to drill in the Gulf of Mexico because drilling for offshore oil seems to always end in an environmental disaster, and destroyed wetlands are much more costly than gasoline fiscally, emotionally, and culturally. So drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico is a (answer) idea. Here, there are two sides with arguments and potential solutions vying for our support. This is an issue that should be argued thoroughly, it should be taken seriously and both sides should be considered deeply before a decision is made. Cannabis legalization is NOT such an issue. There is one side speaking sensibly and logically, with solutions and ideas meant to benefit everyone. The other side is yelling into a bullhorn, loudly, jumbling their words and ideas and scaring the hell out of anyone who will listen. The loud, bully incumbent in this debate, prohibition proponents, are losing the debate though there are many holdouts and loyal subscribers to the war on drugs. Now we are back to talking about people without the education or mental power to distinguish a very bad idea from an obviously good one. The open forum for bad ideas I mentioned, the internet and 24 hour news programming, are where many people who are otherwise ignorant of the debate get their information. I wish that I could blame this bad information on ignorance, but the people giving bad information and the people believing it, in this case, have access to good information but do not use it. The reason for rejecting possible good information is the indicator that a person is lacking an understanding of the world. To reject good information or ideas because of political, religious, or cultural beliefs is dangerous and often disastrous. I feel cliché mentioning the Catholic Church campaigning against condoms in AIDS ridden Africa, but there you have it. Cannabis prohibition in the 1st world is caused by many of the same social conditions, and like condoms in Africa, a basic understanding of the whole situation by the affected population would pretty much clear things up overnight. Why priests and nuns and other mass murderers in white collars would do such a thing I can't imagine, but the motivation for their American bad idea spreading counterparts is much more clear. The prison system is a business with lobbyists in Washington. Chemical and logging companies have lobbyists in Washington. Paper and clothing manufacturers have lobbyists in Washington. The religious right, who will spread the ideas of big contributors, good or bad, has lobbyists in Washington. All of these groups, among many others I'm sure, will lose a great deal of money with the Federal legalization of cannabis. Hence the bullhorn, hence the fear tactics, hence the appeal to religious ideas. Some of these are the reasons cannabis was made illegal in the first place. In this blog, my plan is to explore the cultural, philosophical, religious, and financial angles to the cannabis legalization debate in the hope of furthering the cause of legalization and giving me something to do while I'm unemployed between semesters.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Interesting, I'd like to read about the philosophical paradox the religious right creates by damning one of gods creations. Do that one first.

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