Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 2009
Source: Maui News, The (HI)
Copyright: 2009 The Maui News
Author: Keith Brilhart


Alan Lowen's reply (Letters, Sept. 1) to Jerome Kellner's letter 
(Aug. 22) against marijuana was mistaken in his attribution of what 
he refers to as morality as the reason anti-marijuana partisans have 
forced the law to their side.

Those who have backed drug laws and those who have insisted on their 
rightness aren't acting morally. Morality isn't the product of 
religion but rather a spontaneous development that allows people to 
benefit from social interaction by allowing development of trust. 
Religions have co-opted morality and added behavioral codes to 
further bind and strengthen community. The morality of any behavior 
must be assessed by whether individuals have free choice and by the 
consequences of those choices.

In the case of drug laws, the laws have an immoral effect of creating 
false criminal activity, driving users into the arms of criminals and 
destroying the lives of those who violate the laws. Without the laws, 
drug use might not be considered a moral choice but certainly not an 
immoral choice. We also know that the laws have done nothing to stop 
people from using drugs and maybe have increased interest. Mr. 
Kellner is clearly mistaking the effects of prohibition for the 
effects of the drug itself. Citing one terrible case of bad behavior 
doesn't say anything about the overall effect of drugs or anything else.

It's a shame that our society doesn't have more clear-thinking people.

Keith Brilhart
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart