My friend Ben Cole writes for Associated Baptist Press. He lives in Washington, D.C. and works on public policy issues. His recent post is sure to stir some conversation especially among those who know him as a former Souther Baptist pastor. I suspect there will be some knee-jerk responses as their were to a recent piece by Jonathan Merritt among some Southern Baptists. What will surely be missed is the need to think carefully moving forward. An apptitude that is viewed like kryptonite to some. Here is a link to the piece – unholy smoke. Let the fun, er uh, conversation begin.
3 comments on “Controversial Conversations Not to be Avoided”
Thanks for linking to this article, Todd. Interesting. I’m all for the legalization of marijuana. After all, I have enough competition as it is. The more people smoke pot, the more stupid people will be, and suddenly, I’m a lot smarter in comparison. Also, when they start the food rationing, who do you think is going to be fastest to get in line? Not the ones smoking dope. No sir. As a non-pot smoker, I’m going to be well-fed. I would think it would be a lot easier to lift someone’s wallet who is stoned. More money for me. Better jobs, better opportunities, more cash, more food. I’m for that. Bring it!
Yes, hard to believe that we are even debating this issue in 2009, after nearly two generations of abysmal failure trying to prevent people from self-medicating in a non-governmentally prescribed manner.
No lessons were learned from Prohibition, apparently, when U.S. cities were turned into shooting galleries between rival gangs whose very existence depended on the illegality of booze. And did it cut down on consumption? Hardly.
And one has to be wearing 360-degree blinders not to recognise that Americans are the world’s largest consumers of OTC (and UTC) drugs, happily prescribed by the family physician and cranked out in the billions of doses by Big Pharma.
Yet, our prisons are filled with people serving time for possession and/or distribution of marijuana, people whose lives and families are ruined because they chose to smoke something without a health warning on the package.
Naturally, since I’m not constrained by ecclesiastical considerations, I favour the decriminalisation of all drugs (and of prostitution, for that matter). The recent experience of Portugal, which decriminalised drugs a few years ago, should convince even the most righteous moralist that our society will not collapse as a result of taking similar steps. What will collapse is the entire hemispheric criminal subculture that controls the drug trade and is responsible for the chronic violence that IS unraveling the social fabric of Mexico and Colombia. Deprived of drug profits, the murderous cartels will be forced to find some other business in which to pursue their criminal tendencies… like banking or managing a hedge fund.
Never thought I would see the legalization of marijuana argued as a means to get ahead of others. Certainly there is a measure of sarcasm there, but this hardly addresses the points Ben contributes to the discussion.
I will have to do some reading on Portugal. For the moment, I will agree that it hardly makes sense to promote consumption of drugs, often gratuitously, benefiting Big Pharma and other boutique industries and at the same time not think of alternatives to our trouble.