Libertarians Know How To Oppose Things Without Banning Them

 The state's decriminalizing of an activity or substance doesn't transform that activity or substance into a moral, healthy or admirable one.

The state’s decriminalizing of an activity or substance doesn’t transform that activity or substance into a moral, healthy or admirable one…. You can celebrate the fact that people are free without celebrating all the dumb things those people do with their freedoms.

  writes:  As a Denver Post columnist from 2004-11, I spent a considerable amount of time writing pieces advocating the legalization of pot. So I was happy when Colorado became one of the first to decriminalize small amounts of “recreational” marijuana. I believe that the war on drugs is a tragically misplaced use of resources—an immoral venture that produces far more suffering than it alleviates. And on a philosophical level, I believe that adults should be permitted to ingest whatever they desire—including, but not limited to, trans fats, tobacco, cough syrup, colossal sodas and so on—as long as they live with the consequences.

You know, that old chestnut.

Unrealistic? Maybe. But less so than allowing myself to believe that human behavior can/should be endlessly nudged, cajoled and coerced by politicians.

“The problem is that Americans use the state as a moral compass. For libertarians, it is often frustrating to explain that advocating the decriminalization of x is not synonymous with endorsing x. It’s often easier to rationalize away the consequences of enhanced choice than to admit it exists.”

So naturally, I was curious to see how marijuana sales in Colorado would shake out. According to the Denver Post, there are nearly 40 stores in Colorado licensed to sell “recreational” pot. Medical marijuana has been legal for more than a decade. Not surprisingly, pot stores can’t keep up with demand for a hit of recreational tetrahydrocannabinol. Outside Denver shops, people are waiting for up to five hours to buy some well-taxed and “regulated” cannabis. The pot tourists also have arrived. All this, the Denver Post estimates, will translate into $40 million of additional tax revenue in 2014—the real reason legalization in Colorado became a reality.

The news coverage swung from mild bemusement to acting as if society were on the cusp of a major civil rights victory. For me, the entire spectacle seemed rather pathetic and anticlimactic.

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Denver Post Stealth Edits Out ‘Socialist’ from Profile of Arapahoe School Shooter

PiersonNoah Rothman writes:  On Friday, Colorado’s Arapahoe High School was put on lockdown while a student armed with a shotgun took over the school in an attempt to confront a teacher who he believed had wronged him. The student, identified as 18-year-old Karl Pierson, took his own life before he could be taken into custody.

In a profile on the shooter in the Denver Post which focused on his “strong political beliefs,” several of Pierson’s classmates offered their impressions of the shooter. One of the shooter’s classmates described him as a “very opinionated socialist.” Shortly after that post was published, however, that description was edited out. The current copy simply describes him as “very opinionated.”

The gunman’s parents divorced in late 2011, according to court records. The divorce was finalized in August 2012.

Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with the gunman, described him as a very opinionated Socialist.

“He was exuberant I guess,” Conrad said. “A lot of people picked on him, but it didn’t seem to bother him.”

The new copy, however, edits out the specific political beliefs that Pierson reportedly held so “strongly.”

“Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.”

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O’Reilly Goes Cuckoo Bananas Bongo Ballistic Over Denver Post Hiring Pot Editor

bill3-300x201Josh Feldman  writes: Despite the protestations of Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham, O’Reilly was beyond outraged that such a prominent paper would promote public intoxication, though he was rather insistent that no one could make a fair comparison between a pot editor and someone reviewing alcohol.

O’Reilly said that no paper would ever, ever hire a “booze editor.” Williams pointed out the obvious: that wine critics exists. And there are plenty of newspapers that have wine critics. But O’Reilly shot back that unlike the pot editor, wine critics aren’t dealing with “an intoxication deal.”

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THIRD Colorado state senator may face recall

coloradorecall3Brad Jones reports: Energized by historic recalls of two Colorado state senators last month, activists have begun collecting signatures to oust state Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak from office.

Hudak, who represents Westminster, a suburb northwest of Denver, is a favorite target of the GOP for her liberal voting record and a propensity to attract bad PR for herself.

Under Colorado election law, those wishing to prompt a recall election must collect 18,900 signatures from district residents – 25 percent of the total votes cast in the last election. Hudak was initially elected to the state Senate in 2008 after two terms on the state Board of Education. Read the rest of this entry »