While Washington, DC, steps in to take over responsibility for determining just how much and what kind of medical insurance we should buy, the states march, instead, towards personal responsibility, defending a right to self-medication.
More than a dozen states have enacted medical marijuana laws, in defiance of Congress and Executive Branch nannies.
Now, California’s initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana, or cannabis, has garnered enough signatures to qualify for November’s ballot. Oregon has a measure in the works, too, as do other, less bellwether-worthy states. You can follow the story as it develops on Ballotpedia.org.
California, the state most addicted to politicians (having the highest citizen-to-representative ratio in the union) also has one of the union’s most severely messed-up budgets. Barring cuts, the state needs money. Legalizing and taxing Americans’ favorite weed might help out, some advocates think. No wonder the initiative is popularly known as the “Tax Cannabis Act.”
We’ve heard this story before. The Great Depression allowed the repeal of the 18th Amendment. The Progressive Era’s crowning achievement in social control, the prohibition of alcohol, was seen by the world as weird, and by those who admired the original Constitution of the United States as rubbing against the grain of American liberty.
But it wasn’t freedom advocates who ended Prohibition. It was the separate states seeking revenue from selling booze.
Ah, politics. Nasty when going wrong. Messy when going right.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.