Monday, December 28, 2009

Cannabis will Destroy our Civilisation - Another Dumb Prohibition Argument

Mary Grabar, over at Pyjamas Media is warning us that in order to maintain heritage and values, cannabis must remain illegal. Mary must have hit the Eggnog early this year, as her prose appears to have been written under a confused, alcoholic state.

Mary. Cannabis has a 6000 year association with humans. Cannabis has been illegal for only 70 odd years.

Mary, 15% of new alcohol users become addicted to the drink, whereas only 9% of new cannabis users develop any type of dependence. In Great Britain alone, in over 60% of suicides, alcohol abuse was a contributing factor.

But then, maybe the joke is on me. I'm sure Mary *must* have had her tongue firmly in cheek when she penned this article...if not, she needs to research her subject some more.

The sanction for alcohol use goes back to the Bible. In the New Testament, references to its use in ceremonies like the Last Supper and the wedding at Cana appear. But Jesus also warns about excessive use. In the Old Testament, alcohol is shown to cloud the judgment of Lot. The Bible, in this way, tells us when and how we can use alcohol.

This means very little, though, in the arid moral climate of today’s libertarianism.
But I would argue that it should, not only from my position as a Christian, but from my position as a citizen of a country whose foundational values spring from the Judeo-Christian heritage. The sanction for alcohol use has lasted for millennia. It has become part of our rituals at meals, celebrations, and religious services. That is a large part of why Prohibition failed.
Marijuana, in contrast, has always been counter-cultural in the West. Every toke symbolizes a thumb in the eye of Western values. So it follows that in order to maintain our culture, we need to criminalize this drug.

The prohibition against marijuana is one brick in the foundation of our society. On a practical level the use of marijuana also works to knock out other bricks, like the work ethic, emotional engagement, sexual inhibition, and the ability to reason. For example, when one of my college students leads off in defense of the legalization of marijuana, he invariably does so in a disjointed manner, unable to muster the resources of reason and conviction to his argument. (He also does this in his essays.) One caller, “Dave,” to the Doc Washburn program displayed the same apathetic, but friendly, attitude.