Pot for Profit

I need help understanding a few things.

It has to do with smoking cigarettes and legalizing marijuana.

Take the case of Maryland. Just this last week, I learned two things about Maryland. One, they’re decriminalizing marijuana possession — not just for medical issues, but for recreational use. Two, they will likely restrict smoking on the beach in Maryland’s large resort town, Ocean City MD. (Nearby Delaware beaches have already done so.)

Maryland is a hard-core, one-party state, just like California or New York. This agenda of pot legalization combined with smoking bans is their handiwork. It’s the internal consistency of this handiwork I’m trying to understand.

On the one hand, we’re told people have a legal right to smoke marijuana, even for recreational use. Presumably, what they put into their bodies is their own business, so long as they’re not harming anyone else.

Yet when it comes to tobacco intake, just the opposite is true. Tobacco intake is against the law in all “public” places — which are primarily privately owned businesses and enterprises, not public property at all. And it’s on the verge of being illegal altogether, just like marijuana used to be.

I don’t get it.

I know that advocates of this inconsistency will be quick to reply, “But tobacco smoke kills.” And marijuana smoke doesn’t? How do we know that? The extent to which second hand smoke kills at all is somewhat questionable. If you live in a house for decades with a smoker, it probably can kill. But that’s not why smoke is being outlawed on the beach. It’s being outlawed on the beach because many people don’t like the smell of it, or the mess it creates.

On the one hand, we’re increasingly allowed to smoke pot, to marry or have sex with anyone we want (so long as it’s not a child, or an unwilling participant). That makes sense. But why in other areas are we permitted to do less and less?

It’s as if the people who populate the government, and their advisers in academia and media who inform them, think we’re all stupid. You have to wonder: Maybe they want us stupid. One of the medical/health reasons against marijuana use (especially in high doses) is that it does kind of make you stupid. Perhaps government officials, who are in the business of creating, fostering and enhancing dependence in the name of “altruism” kind of get their own sadistic high out of that. Just a theory.

Whatever the motive of pot decriminalization, it has nothing to do with “liberalism.” In most cases, the entrenched politicians who liberalize gay marriage and pot are as illiberal as can be when it comes to free speech, private enterprise, private property, freedom of choice in health care, freedom of choice in union membership or the ideal of individualism.

Or, and this may the real “smoking gun” (no pun intended) to explain the whole thing: Tobacco companies make gigantic amounts of money. That’s something our ruling establishment, especially in those one-party states like Maryland, cannot stand: profit.

They claim to hate profit when it’s big tobacco companies, because tobacco obviously does kill. But they hate profit when it’s anybody else, either — take Walmart, for example. Walmart isn’t killing anyone by what they sell, but their sin (according to the moral standard of our politicians, clergy and intellectuals) is profit. Or Exxon. Or pharmaceutical companies. Or mortgage companies.

Of course, once profitable companies submit to the government, and provide campaign donations to people like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, then the government will of course cut them some slack. When profit-makers act like they know their place — submitting to politicians and government bureaucrats — then suddenly they’re OK.

Here’s where it gets interesting. What happens when producers and suppliers of the increasingly legalized marijuana start to manufacture this popular product for a profit? I mean a serious profit. What then?

What happens when marijuana companies become white collar (relatively) free enterprise? This is when those same politicians who wanted marijuana to be legal will be foaming at the mouth.

It will be interesting, if not a little amusing, to watch all this play out.


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