On A Path To Less Government or More?

by Steve MacDonald

Mind if I smoke a doobie - medical marijuana in New Hampshire

Maggie Hassan says she’d consider supporting Medical Marijuana

Newsmax reports that New Hampshire’s new governor (gag!) Maggie Hassan is open to the idea of legalizing Marijuana.

Pro-pot advocates in New Hampshire are excited about the possibilities.

Medical marijuana, the gateway-drug -policy to broader decriminalization efforts, is generally considered to be an issue with bi-partisan support.  Supporters of legalization at any and every level have also long insisted that the cost to taxpayers of policing pot is excessive.   But when the new governor (gag!) says ‘yeah, we’ll seriously consider support for the right bill’ while some folks are getting ready to pass the big fat doobie, I’m asking myself….”If New Hampshire Democrats are really interested does legal pot in any form put us on a path to more government or less?

Any Democrat approved plan will include licensing, lots of regulations, fees or taxes, and some manner of bureaucracy to manage it all.  But don’t think for one minute that the existing load of lick-spittle paper pushers will be adequate.  Some number of new state (union) employees, complete with new salaries and pensions will be a staple with zero offsetting reductions in the fixed costs associated with the law enforcement side.   In fact, I would calculate that additional law enforcement will be requested sooner or later to deal with “enforcement issues” as the interpretation of the word “medical” (legislated or otherwise) expands to achieve new definition.

I think the greater question is not if we should embrace medical marijuana and take our first step on the yellow brick road to the real goal of decriminalization, it is whether or not the left has discovered that it can build an even bigger and more intrusive (and expensive) bureaucracy by pretending to give a damn about medical marijuana?

Might we be taking one step forward and three steps back?

Is there any actual unbiased data out there that suggests the path to legalizing pot results in less money spent by the government in total?  Are states that bureaucratize legalized forms of marijuana use seeing their law enforcement budgets declining?  What if we are just shuffling the deck and stacking it in favor of more government in the process?

Pursuing perceived liberties is great, I am a big fan of that, and as far as I’m concerned you can smoke it if you’ve got it, but if we do not fully accept the real long term (potential) costs associated with “winning” that perceived liberty then we are only fooling ourselves.  Which is why I question any issue Democrats are willing to embrace in any majority, and any issue our new governor (gag!) Maggie Hassan is willing to consider.

Now maybe, somewhere, there is some evidence.  Maybe we could spend less on government.  Maybe policing costs go down.  Maybe that risk is worth the relief to those who are truly (madly, deeply) in need of it, that is after all one reasonable purpose of government.  And I don’t want you to think I’m denying people a substance that brings genuine relief, but is this the pursuit of personal liberty or a Faustian bargain with the left in exchange for an incremental move that favors the larger decriminalization community agenda?

It will not be decriminalized and deregulated, it will be regulated, managed, and enforced, with rules established by New Hampshire Democrats and a few progressive Republicans, and signed into law by Maggie ‘The Red’ Hassan.

So would this give us less government or a whole lot more?

 

 

Note: The Newsmax article misidentifis John Lynch (who vetoed the last medical marijuana bill) as a Republican.  (I emailed them about the error already)

 

 

 

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