10A029 High on Arrogance by Jim Davies, 9/23/2010

Suicide is no longer anywhere illegal. Somebody, in each legislature in the Nation, must have suffered an attack of common sense: no wait a bit, if we make it illegal we'll have to fix a penalty, and how can we prosecute and penalize someone who's already dead? Then some other Pol would suggest making attempted suicide a crime, and that idea would be reluctantly discarded because it would make them all look foolish to criminalize the attempt to take an action but not the action itself. That would be even worse than accepting that someone had the right to kill in self-defense, but then to prosecute him for owning and carrying the gun with which he had been able to save his own life. At some point even the brainwashed public might see the absurdity of it all, and to be laughed at is something up with which politicans cannot put.

But then come drugs, and there they aren't so shy.

By "drugs" I mean those the government makes illegal; buy, sell or use them and get caught, you get put in a cage. Some of them are addictive, the most popular (marijuana) is not; all of them bestow a good feeling fast. Over-use can be devastating and sometimes fatal - as in the case of beer, or water. About 8% of the population regularly uses drugs now illegal, and that has been a steady figure for the last century, regardless of laws or the savagery of their enforcement.

Right off the bat, therefore, we can be certain that drug prohibition does not reduce drug usage. Since those laws don't do what Pols pretend they are for, they must have some other, unstated purpose and we're free to speculate what it might be. Of the 8% who use drugs (24 million people!) about 20,000 die as a result, each year, including zero from pot; one in 1,200. Not trivial, but rather low. There are plenty of activities at least as risky, and there is no way that such small self-endangerment (which they make illegal) can be compared to attempted suicide (which they properly do not.)

Right or wrong, some chronically ill people swear that smoking a joint relieves their pain, making life more bearable. Accordingly, petitions to government have begged for legalization of "medical" marijuana, and in some they have succeeded; the current state of the laws is shown in this useful NORML page. With unbelievable arrogance, the Feds are still raiding pot sellers even in those States, over-riding state law. We may well wonder why it is, given all these facts, that government people bother so much about what we choose to take into our own bodies.

My guess is that one reason is fairly simple: if government people were to repeal all these terribly destructive laws, they would be admitting that we do, in fact, own our own bodies. And once that idea gained currency, the entire premise underlying government would be placed in peril.

Your feedback, please!