invisiblesun wrote:IMO the government should err on the side of increased freedom, so the burden of justification should be placed on those wanting to outlaw something, not those wanting to legalize it. Marijuana prohibition was not in effect for the majority of human history, and marijuana was a widely used drug historically (largely for painkiller/anti-anxiety purposes). It was also outlawed for pretty poor reasons. A justifiable reason to outlaw a drug is that access to the drug causes substantial harm to the individual and/or causes substantial negative externalities, either of which outweigh any benefit derived from allowing people access to the drug. It's a perfectly reasonable and "intellectually forceful" argument to compare the harm/externalities of a drug to other drugs that our government has chosen to allow. Since research has shown that marijuana is inherently less harmful and has fewer negative externalities than both tobacco and alcohol, the onus to provide a justification is on those who want to keep it illegal.
Unfortunately, that's not how our legal system works. The onus is always on the proponents of changing the law. And since marijuana is illegal according to federal law and a majority of states' laws, we have a major burden to overcome. Those who favor prohibition of marijuana have no burden whatsoever since the status quo means they win. The arguments presented here have achieved only limited success in decriminalizing marijuana, which is why I think we need more intellectually forceful arguments. We not only have to convince the legislatures that we're right, but we also have to convince them that this issue is important enough to take action. A simple comparison of the harms of marijuana and other legal drugs will not suffice. We have to go the extra step of showing that the current policy violates civil rights. Thus, I propose targeted law suits on behalf of sympathetic plaintiffs attacking the constitutionality of the current ban on marijuana. A comparison of marijuana's dangers might be a part of that argument, but the comparison alone cannot achieve the goal we desire.
Where do you find sympathetic plaintiffs? Lol. That's the problem. This worked with overturning laws that supported segregation because the plaintiffs were sympathetic. It's a shame that a judge should need to see someone who evokes "sympathy" before they just come out and acknowledge they're trampling our rights. Their never should have needed to be a "sympathetic plaintiff" to overturn laws supporting segregation and it represents a systemic flaw that we would need appeals to emotion to pursue a legal framework which is objectively more just. It needs to go on state ballots and enough states need to pass it so that the executive branch won't use the DEA to strong-arm the states' out of their rights. The federal government really doesn't give a shit about state's rights though and would do anything to try and usurp a little more power from them, so it may take a decent handful of states.
The only explanation as to why my natural rights are being taken away is because our rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle to our superstition, faith, opinion and orthodox, and the routine cowardice of our elected leaders and appointed judges actively work against our natural rights when it is politically expedient to do so, even if it means taking a leap backwards intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief in which values supersede rights.
I wish that there were sympathetic plaintiffs but there never will be to this establishment. This establishment is bent on marginalizing the very same libertarian views we were founded on in favor of expanded government. Our own constitutional law scholar president has signed multiple constitutionally dubious laws, some which are tantamount to tea-bagging the constitution after a slick boom head shot, some which are tantamount to wiping his ass with it after filling the shitter with a bad case of mud butt. The states and the people need to take their rights back. If the DEA goes after people, their needs to just be enough people doing it so that you can't arrest them all. And there pretty much already are.