March 20, 2013

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The Weednesday Post: You Want the UN Deciding Your State’s Laws?

The United Nations wants our federal government to negate the laws of Colorado and Washington regarding marijuana. Attorney General Eric Holder mulls it over.


Americans Believe In Federalism

In polls, Americans are consistent: the US government must not impose its morals on states regarding marijuana. After ballot measures in Colorado and Washington approved legalization of pot, Gallup asked whether the United States should honor the will of the people.

On this issue, Americans believe in federalism:

Sixty-four percent of Americans are against the federal government’s taking steps to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states where marijuana is legal. Americans who personally believe that marijuana should be legal overwhelmingly say the federal government should not get involved at the state level, along with four in 10 of those who are opposed to legalized marijuana.

I don’t need a poll to tell me that Americans will not change their minds because the United Nations told them to. And if there’s any hope of left and right holding hands in protest, federal prosecution of a United Nations mandate could be the trigger.

The United Nations Believes In Central Control

The UN relies on the 1961 U.N. Convention on Narcotics, of which the United States were a signatory. According to the head of the UN’s international drug control agency,we’re a bunch immoral degenerates even for holding a vote.  In his words, ballot initiatives on legalization or decriminalization, even for medical purposes,  “undermine the humanitarian aims of the drug control system and are a threat to public health and well-being [via Reason Magazine]”


Besides its salute to federalism, that Gallup gave us a party ID breakdown on marijuana prohibition sentiment.  Democrats favor legalization, Independents are evenly split, Republicans favor continued prohibition.

The Party of Individual Liberty Should Mellow About Marijuana

I have long argued that Republicans are on the wrong of this issue, and it makes them look hypocritical to many, especially the young. If we are the party of individual liberty, why do we make smoking a legal issue?

I don’t know if I’ve changed any minds with my weekly Weednesday Posts, but A. Barton HInkle of Reason thinks the UN might.

Here in the U.S., United Nations disapproval can only help the cause of legalization where it needs help the most: on the right . . . Republicans favor continued prohibition, by a 2-1 margin.

They might favor it less if they knew the U.N. were, implicitly, telling states what to do. Just look at the conservative reaction to Agenda 21 – a voluntary U.N. program that encourages bike paths and urban planning. Conservatives see it as nothing less than the first step on the road to serfdom.

(Well, perhaps the thousandth step on the road to serfdom, but why quibble?)

I hope conservatives will realize that, to many, they sound a lot like the UN on the issue. Gallup found that 18- to 29-year-olds favor legalization 60 percent to 39 percent. Those young voters might ask, “what’s the difference whether the UN imposes its views on us or if the Republican Party does?”

That’s a tough question to answer to the satisfaction of young voters. (Satisfying yourself with an answer doesn’t really do any good.)

America is in danger of extinction as a free society. Fighting to hold onto old laws that make us less free, just because they’re old, is bad policy and terrible strategy.

The Republican Party would be smart to champion decriminalization or legalization wherever it’s on the ballot or in the legislature. Get this issue off the table. Trust people to do the right thing. Trust the research that shows decriminalization doesn’t lead to significant increases in usage. And get on with the next item on the agenda.

Now go read my original post on The War on Weed

Then check out The Weednesday Post archives