There are skirmishes, debates and position papers being scattered about the country in favor of or opposed to the legalization of “recreational” (some say medicinal) drugs. Especially Marijuana. This conundrum is similar to other arguments about how much government is too much and whether the preponderance of government should be at the local, state or federal level, and so forth. While we are not libertarians, us social conservatives in favor of the maximum amount of freedom possible cringe at some of the arguments and tactics involved in certain pushes to “get government out of our lives.”
A prime example is this item from the City of Detroit. Everyone who is awake knows about the dire straights that Detroit faces these days, due to the successful war on the internal combustion engine waged by the Progressives for the last 30-40 years and the corruption and co-option going on there by faux civil rights advocates and pandering politicians. So much so that we heard tell that Detroit may be turning off as many as half of it’s street lights in the near future. We weep for the Motor City.
Everything suffers in hard times like these, especially poorly run urban areas that have turned a blind eye to, or selectively managed criminal activity for decades, as Detroit has. For civic responsibility, as well as moral behavior, has suffered the most. Taking advantage of the city’s plight, liberal activists have begun a push to legalize possession and use of marijuana within the city. One, the substance is relatively innocuous (they say) and two, the city doesn’t have the policing and prosecuting resources to keep dealing with minor offenses, a position that fiscal conservatives can appreciate.
But rather than the City of Detroit, or the State of Michigan, taking a pro or con, yea or nay approach to the whole issue. instead of leadership or representative government, we have these little initiatives and referendums which amount to micromanaging a problem, ironically in the name of less government involvement in people’s lives.
Voters in the Aug. 7 primary election can expect to see the question — asking them to legalize possession and use of up to 1 ounce of the drug, on private property, by those 21 and older, said Tim Beck, a Detroiter who heads the referendum group Coalition for a Safer Detroit.
Now at first glance, that ballot proposal might seem simple and straightforward enough – one ounce of pot, private property, 21 or older. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. That’s one ounce per person, right? And for possession and use, not for sale. So you’ve got a house with sixteen people over twenty one living in it and there is a pound of pot on the premises, comprised of sixteen baggies. No problemo. Except who’s going to sort that out and why would anyone even attempt to sort it out unless there was a complaint and there probably wouldn’t have been involvement by the authorities anyway unless there was some other crime involved. But remember the sale of the stuff is still illegal. Where did these sixteen individuals get their dope? And other issues, ad infinitum. The definition of private property? The sound you hear is the sound of lawyers licking their chops.
So we have ballot initiatives going on, which in effect is citizens making laws, down to prescribing the dosage of the drug suitable for recreation. But that’s not the worst of it. To illustrate that Detroit is not the only People’s Democracy, in Kalamazoo another referendum was cooked up. This one is, maddeningly, if you think about it, a referendum on how authorities should, in essence, feel about their jobs, how they should perform their duties, what they should write in their daybooks:
A longtime advocate of legalizing the drug, Beck also backed passage in November of a referendum in Kalamazoo, which made arrests for pot possession that city’s lowest priority. “Voters are saying that we just can’t afford this type of policing anymore,” he said.
That’s right, Officer Krumpke is confronted with the dilemma of a murder being committed across the street and pot being consumed in the apartment on the sixteenth floor of a building two blocks down. How should he prioritize his day? Well, the citizens of Kalamazoo apparently have nothing better to do than write SOP manuals for the police department, so why not consult them? Apparently, no thought is given in Detroit or Kalamazoo to the notion of “we just can’t afford this type of holding elections on every issue under the sun anymore.“ What does “We hereby declare that pot should be low priority” even mean?
So, if it’s not an authoritarian dictatorship raging in New York City, with Mayor Bloomberg specifying the exact number of ounces of a legal substance that can be traded on the open market – soda – it’s the dictatorship of the proletariat going on in Detroit and Kalamazoo – with the rabble keeping a tight leash on the police and the prosecutors and flouting the laws of the State of Michigan. We weep not only for the Motor City, but for the rest of America as well.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
Author’s Note: You will notice I didn’t even mention the shenanigans going on up in Wisconsin. Way too easy.