Today we’re kicking off a weekly column by Mike Firesmith. Mike lives in rural Georgia with his three dogs and describes himself as… A writer. My writing reflects the things I see, think, and experience, and those things in my past that have led me to be me. It is not always pretty, it is not always funny, and no one has ever made mention of my life as a Disney Movie. Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
Going to Pot
The problem with behavior laws is not all people behave the same way. Let’s take a law that makes sense to everyone, and work our way down. It ought to be against the law for someone to break into your house in the middle of the night and steal things you’ve worked hard for, or managed to win playing poker with your drunk friends. I believe, and so do many others, that a person has a right to own a gun, in the event of such an occurrence. The problem is the same people you were playing poker with while they were lit up doing tequila shots might pull a gun on the local McDonald’s drive through window operator when they refuse to supersize an order of fries at six in the morning. While we would all like to think drinking and gun ownership are god given rights the truth of the matter is the two are nearly almost always a very bad idea when they come together at the same time after three in the morning.
Now, if your friend Dave gets drunk, loses all his money playing poker, goes out and pulls a gun on some minimum wage drive through operator and then wrecks his pick-up truck trying to get away from some mop wielding college freshman who was cleaning up at McDonald’s, is the fault of the gun, the truck, the tequila, the poker, or the food at McDonald’s?
Laws can be passed against all the above, have been passed to stop all of the above, and all of these laws have pretty much failed and failed miserably. Okay, there are no laws against pick-up trucks yet, but I do see that coming.
So we agree there ought to be against stealing and killing and breaking into other people’s houses, but we can see where those laws trying to keep us from drinking, playing poker, or eating bad food might be a little too much to really do well if at all. In fact, if there is a law passed to prevent people from behaving in a certain way, someone is going to find some way to make money off of the law, and that’s the real reason a lot of these laws exist today.
Think about it; if you have a drug that basically mellows people out, causes them to laugh uncontrollably at Adam Sandler movies, and eat French Fries, what real harm is coming of this, except to encourage more Adam Sandler movies? Sure, there ought to be a law against those things, honestly, but is that the real reason pot is illegal? Why is pot illegal? Few people realize this drug was outlawed in the 1930’s because someone figured out how to make paper out of hemp, which is what pot is, at one third the cost of wood pulp. The paper industry, and the tree industry, made a big fuss out of how dangerous smoking pot could be, and the next thing you know pot is a bigger sell than timber, which by the way, is also not an accident. The people selling pot can claim the price is so high because it’s illegal and who is going to sue them? Illegal also means unregulated and that war down in Mexico is capitalism on meth, literally.
Those who tell you the government can keep you sober, skinny, and away from both Adam Sandler and cannabis, educate your kids, and regulate Wall Street, have been smoking some truly good stuff, mon. Look at the things the government has done well, does well, and is likely to do well, and then ask yourself if you feel good about any new law about to be passed. Your friend Dave is less dangerous than your local representative to the Senate. No one is going to bribe Dave into starting a war so someone can sell bullets and bombs.
Pot isn’t as dangerous as laws against it have proved to be. Guns laws have proved to be laughable except they are a slippery slope. Food laws, in trying to make restaurants change their menu so that fat people who refuse to exercise and eat right are protected from themselves are just plain weird. The laws are stupid when they are telling me I can’t own a pit bull dog because some moron is keeping one in an apartment the size of a closet with three kids and no back yard.
Personal responsibility and accountability cannot be written into code but they can be taught. When we set the government up to tell us when we are bad for ourselves they are writing into code personal irresponsibility and a nation of sheeple. I have a gun, three large dogs, a pick-up truck, and I don’t smoke pot. Laws countering any of this, or allowing any of this, are not going to affect me one damn bit.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.