American Intelligence Test #18 – Weed: Don’t Get Lost in the Smoke and Mirrors
The Governors are torn by the issue of marijuana: to legalize or not to legalize, that is the question; but that is where the Governors go wrong and fall off the log. Granted that is a question, and that question is at the center of the issue. Legalization is key question to any decision they make because they are debating how the law deals with the subject of the topic, marijuana; and is thus unavoidably and inseparably linked to the future of marijuana in America. It may be at the center of the debate but legalization is not the big or biggest question, rather it is the least of all the questions. This could be why the Governors had such a difficult time of it with the question; they were confused by its irrelevance.
Now, here’s the dope (to use a bad cliché) that the Governors, state and federal legislative bodies, and everyone should be dealing (I couldn’t help) in. The broad topic is what is the role of government regarding such substances as marijuana, what are the costs and benefits of the policy adopted, what is the responsibility and accountability of various parties, and to what extent and how are policies and laws to be carried out? So with all these questions and others besides, doesn’t it seem like another intelligence test is in order? As with any such test, don’t you think it may be highly informative not just for the Governors but for everyone else as well? Just making a decision for or against is not worthy of our leaders or ourselves if those decisions don’t stand up to even the most shallow examination.
Don’t be focused on what you want the answer to be, think about it first. We can only hope that the Governors will do the same, rare an occurrence as that may be.
Time to test yourself.Question 1: The Role of Government regarding marijuana. Which, if any, is the government reasonably expected to be protecting?
A. Individuals from harming themselves
B. Children from being harmed by others or themselves
C. Society from predation by criminals
D. Apply a societal moral/ethical judgment relative to drugs
E. Citizens from harming other citizens
F. General welfare of the people
Context: The rationale for having legal restrictions on marijuana must be based on some principle of harm/damage that would result if it were allowed to be unrestricted. So simple enforcement of it being banned by the law is not a sound basis for why the ban exists in the first place. So the answer(s) to this question are relevant to defining the government’s raison d’être of the law.Question 2: Costs and Benefits. For each area below, answer if the cost or the benefit is from criminalization (C) or legalization (L)?
A. Law enforcement
Question 3: Responsibility and Accountability. If use were to become legal would use in combination with each of the following be treated as a violation of the law?
B. Military on-duty status
C. Government employment
D. Healthcare provider on-duty
E. Employee activities
F. Education worker on-the-job
G. Any distribution or sale to a minorQuestion 4: Execution of the laws and policies if marijuana remains criminalized. How do we insure that the laws and policies are effective and beneficial, being applied uniformly and justly, and aren’t corrosive and corruptive to the enforcement processes?
A. Depend upon Congressional oversight
B. Trust our political leaders
C. Political appointees as administrators
D. Public oversight and review boards
E. Each state will figure it out
F. All of the above
G. None of the above
Question 5: No matter what the government does, there will be consequences on all sides. Are the consequences better (B) or worse (W) if we retain criminal status for use, production or distribution/sale?
B. Under-age use
C. Progression to other drugs of more serious consequence
D. Gangs and criminal organizations
E. National Security
The Special Question “X”: Who profits from legalization (L) and who profits from criminalization (C)?A. Public
C. Corporations / shareholders
D. Criminal entities
E. Terrorist organizations
DONE. While there are many more questions, if you or the Governors don’t have reasoned responses for these it probably doesn’t matter. To help assist in assessing your responses; you can at least view mine.QUESTIONS: ANSWERS
1: B, E, F
2: Costs: all are Ls; Benefits: all are Ls
3: A through G
5: A – E = W
“X”: A=L, B=C, C=L, D=C, E=C
The challenge to the Governors and the country is not whether marijuana is legalized or not, not even if just legalized for medical use. The challenge is that you have to have positions and policies that deal with all the consequences and ramifications of whatever positions and policies that are adopted. Are the sane and rationale approaches to the marijuana conundrum in America? Yes, there are. Would you bet that our politicians are adequate to the task? I won’t provide my answer to this question, I don’t see it as part of the test or even a test question at all.