Pubdate: Sun, 31 May 2009
Source: Casper Star-Tribune (WY)
Copyright: 2009 Lee Enterprises
Author: Joe DePaul



Since re-legalizing marijuana is once again on the minds of some 
representatives, I thought I'd throw my two cents in one more time. 
But before I get into my main argument I thought I'd dispel a couple 
of anti-pot myths.

First is the gateway myth. If this is the case, then why is it that 
85 percent of those who use any illicit intoxicants "only" smoke pot!

Next is the myth that pot-impaired drivers pose the same danger as 
alcohol-impaired drivers. Fact is a study conducted by the University 
of Saskatchewan found that totally stoned drivers pose just one-tenth 
the danger as a minimum (.08) drunk driver. It seems cell phone users 
present more of a danger than pot smokers when it comes to driving.

Now for my main argument. This one concerns you non-pot smokers. It 
is far more important to stand up for your right to say no than it is 
to say yes.

We all lose if those who would say no fail to stand up for that 
right. But you say, "I was going to say no anyway, which is true, so 
what's the big deal?" Well, the big deal is that you've just OK'd 
government making decisions for you. In other words you've set a 
precedent that in the future can and probably will come back to haunt 
all of us.

Already we've seen several of our personal rights go down the tubes 
because so many of you won't stand up for your right, not 
government's, to say no. I like the pope's term, "cafeteria 
Catholics." That same term can be used extensively when it comes to 
Americans. If the right involved doesn't directly affect the 
cafeteria types, they don't lift a finger in support of someone else's rights.

But put the shoe on the other foot and look out. "My rights, my 
rights," they scream. Little do these people realize that because of 
their refusal to stand up for the rights of those they disagree with, 
they just make it easier for the authoritarian socialists to take 
their rights away as well. It all comes down to the same 'ol theme 
that I've been harping on for decades now! "Respect property rights" 
is the key to freedom and liberty. This includes individual rights 
such as smoking pot.

The secret in understanding this is that you don't have to condone an 
activity such as smoking pot, but we all have to support the 
individual and property rights involved, or else those who would 
"control" us will run all over us.

JOE DePAUL, Casper
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