I posed a question of opinion (rather than objective measurable fact) to a user of BallisticXLR (Timothy) during an email conversation. It struck me as one of the best discussions of the topic I’d ever read and not only reinforced many of my own opinions on the topic but also caused me to step back and think to make sure I wasn’t guilty of any internal intellectual shenanigans. It’s not just that what he wrote was an actual answer to my question or that it contained a brillian discussion of some of the points I’d brought up but also because it’s well written, easy to read and completely free of any of the vitriol or failures of logic that so often accompany such things.
My question to Timothy had to do with his opinion on marijuana legalization and was spawned by his telling to me of how things have been in his neck of the woods over the years much of which can be directly attributed to international marijuana trafficking.
Without further ado:
In one line; remove the profit and you remove the incentive of a specific focus.
That said, and because you have raised the issue of opinion, there are many lines to consider.
There are the issues of politics, control, morality, health, revenue, liberalism, substance abuse, and most damaging, misinformation.
Because a strong factor of human personal and social behavior is to varying degrees drug acceptance and often drug dependency, we have and will always indulge in relief from pressure through substance interaction. From comfort foods to a cold beer after a hard day of work, to fancy dinner and wine, the drug alcohol has been accepted world wide. Thousands of years of development, use, research, and political intervention has solidified its presence in human lifestyle. It is naturally occurring under certain conditions and we have learned how to harvest it for a multitude of valid uses. There are many more naturally occurring substances that can be beneficial or harmful depending on use. In comes marijuana and that brings us to control.
Control can be at the personal use level or at the mass population through manufacturing, and distribution. This brings us to the politics of government which includes revenue, health, morality, liberalism and other issues that determine the direction of political intervention. All of which can only be correctly determined and facilitated through honest and comprehensive research and evaluation. When politics of control are biased by faulty agenda and misinformation, nothing about the issue can be correctly surmised and benefitted from.
That was a long winded dissertation of generality that can now be applied to cannabis sativa.
The hemp plant has many industrial and medical uses but because of political agenda it was the subject of a monumental misinformation act designed to vilify it in the eyes of the populace. It became the scapegoat of corrupt agents who then classified it where it currently stands as a class one narcotic under strict control of the corrupted government. That means an end to valuable research in the public domain ending the possible benefits of “legal” development and use. As always, when you take something away from someone that they want, they will find ways to have it anyway. For cannabis, that made it very profitable for the black markets. Geography, climate, substandard living conditions, corrupt officials made Central and South America ideal cultivation models for the newly created American supply problem of a long term substance use. Cartels formed to supply the demand and it was/is unbelievably profitable.
The more evil it is labelled, the more illegal it will be regarded, and the more profit will be realized.
One problem of our governing body is their ignorance based arrogance. As a whole, they focus on personal advancement over the quest for truth and knowledge. Long standing misinformation designed to pacify the simpleminded populace remains their justification for not seeking and acting in the interest of their constituents. They ride the political winds of job security. Then there are the few brave souls of the underground movements that discretely perform the illegal research and development that will eventually come to light through liberal activism in a country based on freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The will of the people eventually overcomes the restrictions of the government. When the control is lifted, the misinformation is revealed and the truth can manifest in the just rewards.
This spells doom for that finite focus of the black market, but not for the black market itself. Another misconception is that the Cartels are just mindless , ignorant criminals. I can assure you that they are quite the contrary. They are ruthless businessmen and women with more cunning and disregard for humanity than any Wall Street broker or Fortune Five Hundred CEO. They use any means to develop and market their product that will assure their continued wealth and power. History gives us models to observe if we only take the time. One example is the Cosa Nostra that moved from Italy to the U.S. and through their efforts eventually converted their illegal activities into socially and governmentally accepted venues of legitimate business resulting in Las Vegas, and the Powerball Lottery. As long as there is a market, they will supply it.
You can change the product but you will not stop the Cartel as they are already infiltrating communities and businesses, banking, transportation, law enforcement, and government.
The current American movement to legalize cannabis will simply shift the Cartel behavior into legitimate business efforts in cannabis and also open new opportunities for substitute contraband within their current black market enterprise. Heroin is making a comeback, meth is being shipped by the tonnage, new designer drugs are entering the vile concoction of destructive substances to feed the never ending craving of American substance use and abuse.
The market is here to stay and so are the illegal enterprise organizations.
The legalization of cannabis will free it from the false stigma and allow legitimate research and development of its true great potentials in medicine and industry and of course there will be those that choose to abuse it as a social drug. That is the way of a free nation as long as there are those of us that are willing to fight to keep America free.
“Count your bullets so you can count your blessings”
If everyone took the sort of tack that Timothy does with their political and social views, that of objective fact over fallacy|opinion|politics|emotion, we might achieve some real progress with the problems we have in the world. Things like terrorism, drugs, violence, corruption, environment, healthcare, economics and more could be approached not with a preconception that solutions must exist but with a preconception that IF solutions do exist and they’re not worse than the disease that we might be able to agree that some problems don’t have useful solutions and we have to deal with that reality rather than spin dreams. Also, that other problems we’ve been unable to solve might be best solved with a completely different approach.
In short: Rights never need to be trampled on to solve a problem. If they are, then the solution is itself now a problem. Also, civil discourse is possible on any topic as long as people do not get emotions in front of thought. We have huge brains for our body mass. We need to get back to a place where the we all think and consider without being constrained by politics, emotionalism or any other evil, necessary or not. We need to seek to know which are necessary evils and which are just evils. Politics, for instance, is a necessary evil. People are the problem politics is meant to solve. Emotionalism is a necessary part of the human condition but it is not necessary in the pursuit of knowledge of truth. The two can be separated and should be.
Above all a civil discussion of any hot-button issue requires a willingness to self-criticize. If you can’t be in the wrong and admit it to yourself then how can you ever know when you’re not in the wrong? Timothy doesn’t seem to suffer from subjective blinders and I have to not only point that out but celebrate the fact. I try in my daily life to do the same and even if I occasionally fail, at least I’m trying. Let’s all follow Tim’s example and try. All you have to do is do something 10 times in a row and it’ll become a habit. This seems like a good one to develop.