Thursday, January 17, 2013
Rebuttals to Common Prohibitionist Arguments 2
"Legalizing cannabis will send the wrong message to children, that smoking weed is ok."
My answer to that is we do not enact laws to send messages to children. We enact laws to protect people from other people. This is clear by the fact that our laws do not read like instructions to a child. They are, first of all, written in legalese which no child would understand, let alone have the patience for. There are no laws against running with scissors, or staying up past one's bed time, or refusing to eat one's vegetables. To make laws governing adults based on the desired behavior of children means that no adult would be allowed to drive a car, own a weapon of any kind, drink alcohol, or have sex.
Social conservatives are willing to invoke "Think of the children!" in this one case, to restrict or punish others' behavior, but not to actually protect children from harms such as those caused by prohibition.
Instead of using a law that jails tens of thousands of harmless people to try to send a message to your child, why not just sit down and talk to your child? Barring that, there are emails, faxes, texts, phone calls, postal service, and telegrams that you can use to send a message to your child. Let's face it, most kids aren't that interested in the subject of law, so such an indirect message as that is unlikely to penetrate. Just talk to them, or better yet, be quiet and listen to them. Maybe they have an important message that you need to hear.