Tag: legalize weed 2018

Agency is Libertarian. Marijuana and Alcohol Aren’t.

By Ryan Lau | @agorists

The time is ten past three, and John Doe is enjoying himself. A college student, some older friends invited him to a massive party for the first time. However, John is not likely to remember many of the events of the night, for at that party, he consumed a rather unsafe amount of alcohol. He also ingested some edibles and, without realizing a thing, fought his best friend.

A fictional character, of course, John represents the loss of agency that a mind-altering substance commonly brings. Too many in the real world fall victim to John’s same situations, whether at parties, at a formal social gathering, or crying alone at night. The many Johns of the world are victims of lost agency.

Naturally, agency in this sense of the word is considerably different than its common use. Essentially, agency is the capacity of an actor to act consciously in a certain situation. In other words, agency is a form of personal responsibility, a trait essential to libertarianism. Drugs and other mind-altering substances, on the other hand, are antithetical to the same doctrine. As they rob people of their sense of agency, they are detriments to a free society.

Commonly, supporters of libertarianism state that the movement is about doing what so ever makes you happy. They often attack the state, saying that it robs that people of their right to live freely. In a broad sense, they are not wrong. However, they miss what is perhaps the most essential part of this message, the thing that makes freedom a sustainable goal: agency.

A world without agency will quickly dissolve into pure chaos, and there is no denying this. In modern society, the vast majority of people know that it is wrong to kill and steal from others. Also, they recognize the various social norms that we as a world adopt. These range from things as simple as wearing proper clothing, to situations as complex as how to behave in a romantic relationship. All such cases require a clear head and a sense of responsibility.

When people abandon this sense, they are often no longer aware of their own actions. In a sense, they are acting on the terms of something else besides themselves. Without a doubt, society condemns forced action between individuals. When one person holds a lethal weapon to the head of another and says to act, we know that is wrong, as it robs someone of their agency, and ability to freely act on their own terms.

Yet, we seldom are able to apply this logic beyond the confines of humans. Simply put, a human is not the only thing capable of robbing someone of their agency. An alcoholic or drug addict has little more say over their actions than does the person with a gun to his or her head. In fact, the situations are, in many ways, nearly identical.

When someone is addicted to a drug, it of course is quite hard to quit. The hardships range from physical to mental, and both can be viciously strong. Many people hooked on hard drugs need them to live their normal, day to day lives. By giving in to this power, they lose their sense of agency. Mental struggles can be nearly as difficult. Though no physical addiction exists for some drugs, such as marijuana, this does not mean a mental dependency cannot form. When it does, it can be incredibly difficult to break.

As a result, people using these substances often act much differently than they otherwise would. It is no secret that alcohol, for example, can cause severe anger. All addictions cause a compulsion to continue feeding them. In many cases, this leads to lying, sneaking, or even stealing to continue the path. Stealing does not occur in a truly free world.

Now, some may argue that these actions are extreme measures, and that moderation is the key in order to avoid them. While one can safely use in moderation, the fact of the matter is that most people simply will not do so. Yes, one can wisely stick to a drink or two and preserve agency.

However, it is better to say that none at all is the best approach, rather than condoning small amounts. With the latter, it is inevitable that people with different levels of will and tolerance will become addicted. Obviously, substance abuse has caused the destruction of countless families and lives. But, it is still important to note that a lack of agency, rather than the drugs themselves, are the real issues. Just as some can safely use in moderation, others can dangerously become addicted to other things besides drugs or alcohol.

Society should not draw the line at alcohol or marijuana or hard drugs. Instead, it should focus on eradicating addiction through recovery programs. All such programs should make clear that a clean life involves living with proper agency.

Thus, it is imperative that we recognize agency as a central tenet of freedom. Without it, freedom has little meaning, and will not last. Without legal pressure, another force must exist to maintain order in society. That force is agency. With it, we can truly set up a model of lasting freedom.


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2018: The Year to Legalize Marijuana

By Nick Hamilton | USA

Legalizing marijuana needs to happen in 2018.

Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking. “Marijuana is bad for our kids.” “Marijuana is bad in general!”

Well, it’s really not.

In 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 33,171 alcohol-induced deaths. That’s 33,171 more deaths than cannabis had. Yes, you read that right. Not ONE death in 2016 was attributed to the use of marijuana, an illegal drug, however, 33,171 deaths were attributed to alcohol. You’d think that with those statistics, alcohol would be illegal and marijuana would be legal. While a whopping 63,500 deaths attributed to drug overdose, cannabis had ZERO deaths from the drug itself.

However, what not many people consider is the economic value of legalizing hemp, the biggest one being paper. Hemp has been used for paper since the Western Han Dynasty, back in 200 BCE. Not to mention, our founding fathers even used hemp as an alternative to paper. Here’s a fun fact: the Declaration of Independence was actually written on hemp paper. Not to mention, marijuana usually isn’t cheap. Imagine if people were legally allowed to make sales legally of marijuana. Imagine if marijuana was legalized and bought as much as beer and wine. Our economy would be through the roof! Not to mention, paper companies, especially small ones, could use this legalization to their advantage in lifting their businesses off the ground, ensuring that they can buy hemp at a lower cost, processing needs would be lower, and they’d have very high quality paper. So, in a way, this could help small businesses out a lot.

Oh, and that state with all of that cool skiing? Colorado? Yeah, they’ve legalized marijuana. And during the FIRST HALF of 2017 ALONE, marijuana has earned $750,000,000 in total, earning the state an extra $116M in spending money, according to an analysis by the Cannabist, which you can read here.

That’s not just some loose pocket change, my friend.

However, many people forget this, and say that marijuana is bad for you, and that the federal government should keep it as is.

But let’s analyze this for a second. Why should the federal government tell us what we can and can’t put in our bodies? Someone hitting a blunt isn’t putting someone else’s life in danger, as we’ve seen from the CDC report. And if marijuana was really as bad as many say it is, why do hospitals have prescription rights for it? Why would this harmful drug have any place in the field of medicine? Even when it was banned, science backed up the strong fact that marijuana is not nearly as bad as some of the things that are legal in this country. Back in the 1930’s, the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) led by Harry Anslinger asked 30 of the country’s top scientists if marijuana was actually as bad as the businesses said it was. 29 out of the 30 said that it was not, however the FDN used that one scientist in order to manipulate their claims and say that it was “backed by science.” And this same science also concludes that marijuana can help fight off cancer cells, and help prevent HIV from turning into AIDS. 

Here we are, almost 100 years later. Here we are, looking back and seeing similarities. Similarities that show that marijuana is in fact not nearly as bad as the majority of conservatives say it is.

Let’s analyze THAT for a second.

Conservatives tend to lean against the legalization of marijuana. I’m one of the few conservatives as a matter of fact that is sitting here calling for legalization. But when you look at the values, shouldn’t conservatives be calling for legalization? Shouldn’t conservatives not want the federal government to be intervening with possible economic strides? Shouldn’t conservatives not want the federal government trying to dictate how we live our daily lives? I thought the whole idea of conservatism was the principle of having a smaller government, and keeping government out of economic affairs as much as possible. So why in the world should conservatives be calling for a plan that hurts our economy and keeps the government in our business?

Now, I’m not a smoker myself. I’m not saying that parents should start giving their kids weed as a stocking stuffer. However, next time you hear someone say that marijuana doesn’t have a place in America, refer them to this article. This article has pretty much debunked every case against marijuana with scientific facts, and in addition has provided scenarios beneficial to this country that would most likely occur if it was legalized.

Therefore, marijuana should be legalized. Now.