Why is it that those who are at liberty persistently have to defend it. The moral temper of the United States defends freedom along very narrow lines, defined by some highminded sense that some models of behavior are legally defensible while others are not. I do not speak about crimes like murder or behavior like making false promises, but about enjoying pleasure that does not impinge on the liberty of others and has little consequence for the moral temper of the nation.
At the moment, the federal government, in full swing to prevent access to marijuana, resorts to lies, biased reports it has paid to author, reads any negative signal as a sign of its righteous purpose, and irrationally obstructs justice and fairness.
How is it that in a sleepy midwestern town I would think of taking up the cause of marijuana users whether they be medical or recreational? Delivering talks on ethics every semester, discussing moral problems, thinking about justice I wondered how the United States with all the promise of its founders found a way to curtail freedom and place a pall of suspicion and paranoia over us.
The history of making law in our country tells me there is no straight path from reasonable arguments to legislation. This history is fraught with tempestuous behavior, pressure from without and within, greed, arrogance, highmindedness, prejudice, fear, good reasons and bad, and plenty of good intentions. What it is not is simple.
How did we arrive at the current state of affairs where we punish people for merely enjoying pleasure. Lincoln said it best, “Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
I ask the question, “Where do we go from here?” In this podcast, I will attempt to answer this question.