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Obama: College Experimentation Is
Great, Keep That Mind Open, and Now if You'll Excuse Me, I'm Going to
Continue Presiding Over Our Militarized War on Personal Drug Consumption
May 9, 2010 - Reason.com
Over the past four years, you've argued both sides of a debate.
You've read novels and histories that take different cuts at life.
[...] You've discovered interests you didn't know you had. You've
made friends who didn't grow up the same way you did. You've tried
things you'd never done before, including some things we won't talk
about in front of your parents.
All of this, I hope, has had the effect of opening your mind; of
helping you understand what it's like to walk in somebody else's
shoes. But now that your minds have been opened, it's up to you to
keep them that way. It will be up to you to open minds that remain
closed that you meet along the way. That, after all, is the
elemental test of any democracy: whether people with differing
points of view can learn from each other, and work with each other,
and find a way forward together.
That may be Obama's "elemental test of any democracy," but mine
looks more like this: When an American president is cool enough to
wink-wink and nudge-nudge about taking illegal drugs in college,
maybe it's time to stop laughing
off sensible proposals to legalize marijuana while jacking
up funding (even in times of "spending freeze") for one of the
most vile, freedom-trampling public policies in U.S. history, and
start being open-minded enough to recognize that there is no longer
much public constituency for having the federal government police
personal drug consumption. There's nothing particularly democratic
about locking up hundreds of thousands of people every year for
consuming unauthorized medications.
If the president really is that keen to "walk in somebody else's
shoes," I might suggest that before his federal apparatus arrests
even one more potsmoker or coke-snorter, he volunteer to go back
and retroactively serve time for all his undetected prior offenses,
then come back and tell us why the enforcement status quo (however
is worth defending. Yes, the idea is ridiculous on its face, but
that's the point: If I had robbed a bank back in college, no one
would find it ridiculous if I went back and served my time. The
fact that I, like Barack Obama, the students of Hampton University,
and basically half the U.S. population under the age of 60, managed
to experiment with illegal drugs without getting caught is neither
an indication of mass societal degeneracy nor a cause for in-group
mirth. It's a telltale indicator that prohibition is a terrible
I'm glad that Obama and most us kids from the right side of the
tracks got away with it without coming face to face with our SWAT
team/prison industrial complex, but when anybody from that
silent majority then graduates to a position of enforcing the
unconscionable, perpetuating a policy that has mangled millions of
lives, forgive me for not laughing along with the joke.
oh big surprise... So far he promised to get the troops out of Iraq, but what does he do? Sends troops into Afghanistan! He pulls billions of dollars out of our countries ass to pump into some phony stimulus package. He successfully leads a coalition to expand government into forcing you to pay for a non-tangible good. You really think this guy's gonna help you out with your freedoms?
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