the dollar vigilante blog

Fiscal Spliff

[Editor's Note: The following post is by TDV Managing Editor, Redmond Weissenberger]

“My stock answer was that medical marijuana would start to be legalized in 10 years and that marijuana would start to be legalized in 20 years, probably during an economic crisis.” — Mark Thornton

Drug laws are probably the most inane (well maybe a close second to environmentalism in today’s world: San Diego Residents Face 6 Years In Prison For Washing Their Car) expression of the power of the state. Typically, the average person rationalizes laws in this way: “I am law abiding, and I respect the law as it is just, therefore I am not worried about the law applying to me.” Also, they generally buy into the state’s justifications of why a particular law has been put in place.

When the state oversteps its bounds and crosses into areas that are obviously the realm of personal choice, such as what substances one chooses to put into one's own body, even the average person starts to question the laws that have been laid down. And the first questioning of these arbitrary laws begins for many with the personal experience of an outlawed substance.

Marijuana in the eyes of the state is seen as a gateway drug. What they mean by that is that if you use marijuana, you will be open to using other, “more dangerous” drugs such as cocaine and heroin. And it is listed in the same “schedule” as those other mind altering substances.

I see marijuana as a gateway drug as well, a substance that opens the doors of perception. And what do you perceive? That the state has been lying to you since the day you were born. The seeds, as you will, of the state’s destruction lie in its own propaganda - in its desire to control behavior, it undermines its own authority. It is drilled into your head that drugs are a one-way ticket to hell, but when you have that first toke, or in the days of alcohol prohibition, that first beer, you wonder what all of the fuss was about. And it isn’t long before the gears start turning - “if they lied to me about this, what else are they lying to me about?”

The modern social democratic welfare state is caught in its own contradictions. On one hand it champions individual rights and justifies its own existence as a protector of these “rights”- on the other hand it does its best to undermine them and transform its subjects into children.

And so as we continue to be pessimistic about the continued descent of the federal government into tyranny, we can appreciate the green shoots of liberty arising in the form of marijuana decriminalization and legalization in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Detroit, MI., Flint, MI., Ypsilanti, MI., Grand Rapids, MI., Kalamazoo, MI., Burlington, VT., and Montana. Thank you for having the courage to say “Just Say No” to the state.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

Redmond Weissenberger is the Managing Editor of The Dollar Vigilante and a Founding Director of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, the centre for the study of the Austrian School of Economics within Canada.

Ah, drug laws. The absurdity of statism burning with such unmistakable absurdity that it's a wonder that even the dimmest willing taxpayer doesn't get the urge to march on the capital and burn it to the ground.

But this just goes to show, gentle reader, that there really different kinds of people in the world. Some people love being in love and relish the idea of having sex with just one person for the rest of their lives. Some people like torturing small animals. And some people just deep down in their bones love being told what to do. It doesn't matter how offensive, ridiculous or immoral the order; being commanded just somehow feels right...

Shoot that Iraqi child. Shoot these gypsies and homosexuals in the back of the head. Let us keep half your money and then send us an accounting report by mid-April. Don't have sexual relations with willing partners of the same sex or a different race. Don't drink the liquid distillation of these plants. And whatever you do, don't smoke that plant over there. 

People will do the damnedest things when told to by people wearing the robes of political or religious authority. Now it's one thing to do objectionable and self-damaging things --like pay taxes-- under protest when there's a gun in your face...But it is quite another to do these same things with a skip in your step and a song in your heart. Most of the world is full of the authoritarian lickspittles who fall into the latter camp. They love the feel of the master's boot on their neck, the crack of the whip on their hindquarters. They love to hop to it with a cheery "yessir, boss" when elected or officially appointed sharply-dressed thugs bark the order. 

It's bondage, domination and sado-masochism for the masses. BDSM for the world. We're all for a good dose of private perversion in the name of fun...but this willing subjugation to the violent aggressor known as the's just disgusting. And it's why nonsense like Prohibition of substances for personal use exists and gets to cause so much misery. 

The sado-masochistic majority who would shove children into fiery ovens in the name of the state...and who consider it their sacred duty to pay the state's extortion...are the same people who nod approvingly at Prohibition. Logic? Morality? Minding your own business? Psht! Never mind the violent black markets, the innocent lives ruined for enganging in private pleasure...the state says it's wrong and that's that! So what if this war on using plants for pleasure ends up costing trillions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives in the resulting violent black market, or any trace of individual privacy or security in one's own home or vehicle? 

I wonder if this desire to ignore reason and morality in order to submit is inborn or if it is learned. I'm sure as with all things it's a combination of the two. But as with all things, there must be some natural inclination, some combination of prenatal biological factors that creates an inclination and, dare I say, a talent for authoritarianism..? Just as some people are more likely to end up killing hookers given the right (wrong) home environment...maybe some (most) people are just born to become statists, especially given the condition of this state-afflicted world. Maybe those of us who end up libertarian or anarchist despite the global malady of statism...maybe we really are genetic mutations, destined to step away from the herd even though the world makes that a difficult...even dangerous...move. 

In any case, such as we are we can't help but look for the best ways to make a buck or two on the forefront of what we hope is the beginning of a worldwide change. The world may be waking up to the destructive and ridiculous nature of drug prohibition...but this stuff isn't exactly legal in most places yet. In fact, things are just downright weird right now with some American States no longer looking to prosecute marijuana use or sale while their federal masters will still toss users and sellers into federal forced sodomy camps. Strange times here in the USSA.

Strange times mean new market opportunities. We explored one of these new opportunities in depth and at length in the most recent issue of TDV Homegrown, our newest newsletter dedicated to surviving and thriving in strange times in the declining imperial police state. Our advice isn't for everyone. It takes a certain amount of daring and unconventional thinking. If you think that may be up your alley, then check us out more about Homegrown here



Gary Gibson
Editor, The Dollar Vigilante


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