One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers suggests that:

The difficulty with marijuana is that it produces a side effect that our government cannot tolerate. This side effect is so severe that any drug that produces it must be severely restricted or banned outright. And it is an insidious side effect. It is so insidious that it is nearly impossible to detect through measurments of body chemistry, metabolic function, critical organ functions, or tissue damage. You simply cannot find any harm caused by this side effect, but it's there.

The side effect, of course, is pleasure. Our government will never allow it.

Yes, there is a substantial puritanical constituency in America…there always has been.

They have opposed everything from sodomy to pornography to gambling; but somehow, not one of these culture warriors has managed to successfully wage a “war on vice”, bringing to bear the police power of government upon individuals who indulge in such behaviors.


one wonders why the War on Drugs has worn on, virtually unabated, for over three decades!…despite numerous negative (unintended?) consequences. Could it be that a majority of Americans privately enjoy, to one extent or another, “harmless vices” while publicly demonizing recreational drug use as a scourge, thereby “justifying” the persecution and prosecution of the minority: users and addicts?

Now, I am not advocating drug use, or any particular expression of individual liberty for that matter. I am, however, advocating maximum individual liberty…even for those who seem to have very little regard for it. I agree with Adam Selene, who wrote: “I don’t want

my “libertarian values” to become what is moral for this society. I want us to stop using democracy to destroy liberty.”

hat tip: Julian Sanchez