Things not what they seem

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Monday, February 21, 2011, 12:28 (3900 days ago) @ Craig Scheiner

The U.S. government was instrumental in leading the original crusade against narcotics and marijuana and was the ringleader in pushing for international treaties incorporating the prohibitionist approach beginning a hundred or so years ago. These international treaties now shape the overall framework of prohibition in most countries.

Every country in the world didn't independently come to the same conclusion that marijuana and other narcotics should be prohibited and treated the way they are, as a criminal issue rather than a public health issue. These things have been negotiated by treaty and there is strong pressure for countries to adopt the treaties and abide by them. You can't deny that the U.S. government is extremely influential when it comes to negotiating these things.

For example, a few years ago the Government of Canada studied the issue of marijuana, and in a very insightful report recommended that it be legalized. They conclude that normal usage of marijuana isn't any more harmful than the social costs of prohibition (if at all), and that the government should instead aim to prevent at-risk behaviour, such as smoking more than 1 gram / day, through non-criminal prevention strategies. But it isn't legal. It isn't that easy. We have international obligations. And, at the risk of offending your sense of patriotism again, the U.S. government threatens to effectively shut down the border, or at least severely hinder the free flow of goods and people across it, searching every single car for example, if it were legalized.

I don't understand why so many people deny the far-reaching influence of your government. They meddle in the domestic affairs of damn near every country in the world, and you are probably blissfully unaware of 99.9% of what they do outside your own borders.


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