Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Today, I noticed a man wearing a black t-shirt with "Legalize It" written in bold white font. (We're talking about Marijuana here.)
To be clear, I personally think there's nothing wrong or dangerous about using pot. It's a weed. It has medical benefits. And, most importantly, I don't really care what others choose to do.
I have smoked it, and I have enjoyed every occasion.
I have known pot dealers, growers, and users. There was nothing extraordinary about any of these people that would have given an indication as to what they did in their free time.
With all that said, I can't get behind the whole "legalize it" movement. Not because I don't support one's right to use marijuana. In fact, it's just the opposite.
When does something even BECOME illegal? When the government declares it punishable by their law...which, in case you missed the memo, not EVERYONE signed up for.
To make something 'Legal' is to regulate something into accordance with the State. Legalizing pot would hardly mean free and ready access to everyone who desired it. Rather, it would mean, thousands of dollars paid annually to the State for the RIGHT to buy and sell. It would mean licensure in accordance with strict regulations. It would mean age limits, quantity limits, and quality specifications.
Right now, there's a threat of force against my person hovering over my head, but I CAN walk next door and buy some quality pot off the guy who's growing in his backyard...for one fee. No questions asked. No papers filed. No paper trail as to what I do with my time.
It's a tiny bit like freedom.
There's a really excellent essay by Emma Goldman that always comes to mind whenever I overhear people ardently in favor of legalizing or regulating something. Emma Goldman is not quite a hero of mine (I think she's a bit of socialist) but this particular essay always struck me as rather important.
Back in her day, women were pushing for the right to vote. They wanted equal rights as their fellow men, and that meant having the right to cast a vote. Emma couldn't quite see eye to eye with her fellow feminists...not that she was AGAINST them having the right to vote, rather, she couldn't understand why they wanted to join up with the people she saw as enslavers to the entire human race! An anarchist by all definitions, Emma thought that women might do better to withhold themselves from the State.
At first it boggles the mind.
It takes some thought.
When women joined to the State through the right to vote, they lost their right to exist outside of the State. We welcomed the State into our lives thinking it preferable to living as the chattel of Man. Instead of a husband or father telling us what we might and might not do, we welcomed a much more demanding master. Government is not something you can lightly shake off...or run away from, or dissuade.
Nowdays when people talk excitedly about getting something legalized or regulated, it makes me cringe. Isn't something like that going on right now?...Obama's healthcare plan that 'regulates' insurance companies and makes it 'illegal' to go without a healthcare plan...under THREAT OF FORCE.
There are movements all over the country to make homeschooling a 'legal' option for parents. Where it is 'legal' there are massive amounts of paperwork and regulations that infringe upon the very freedom people think they have received.
The same is true of homebirthing. There are still states where it is illegal, and midwives operate under threat of fines and imprisonment. They hope for legalization and state regulation. This all means paying hard-earned money INTO the very State that has been punishing your actions for the RIGHT to NOW do those actions legally.
WITH more restrictions than when you were just going ahead and doing the damn thing illegally.
This happens ALL the time.
I just can't support it.
It's sort of like nursing-ins. I admire the women who go do these shows of force about breastfeeding, but I will probably never join one. If I want to breastfeed my child, I will. I will not wait for the State to approve my action. It might make a larger statement if everyone just did what they wanted to do anyway...without aiming for any sort of 'approval' or state sanction.
*sigh* Do you know that at the most recent nursing in, the woman running the thing actually went down the city office to file for AND receive a PERMIT for her protest.
Getting a STATE PERMIT to protest AGAINST the State????!!!!
That's another blog post ;-)
I have no idea what the law will be in whatever state we happen to be in when K reaches 'school age', but it just won't matter. He will be home with us no matter the law because it's absolutely within my right as a parent to require the best education possible for my child.
The next baby will be born at home. I don't care if it's illegal. It's my body, it's my child, it's not something anyone else can tell me is legal or illegal.
So, in conclusion, I DO wish that pot were legal...meaning, I wish there was no THREAT OF FORCE preventing me from buying some off of that guy down the street, but I can't get behind the "legalize it" movement...or any such moment really. I don't support the State...nor do I look to the State for support or permission to go about my life as I see fit.