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Opening Arguments

Don't look at me, I'm high on life

Here's a good argument starter from Charles Krauthammer:

On Tuesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said that, if he could start society again, he “outlaw alcohol” but “allow marijuana.”

“Let me stipulate a couple of things,” Krauthammer said. “Number one, alcohol is a lot worse. I’ve seen what it does as a doctor. It destroys the body — aggression, car accidents, a lot of damage. If I were starting a society from scratch and had to choose the intoxicant, I would outlaw alcohol and I’d allow marijuana. It’s benign compared to alcohol.”

I'd say it's beyond dispute that alcohol is worse; so is tobacco, for that matter. And he goes on to say that you can't start from scratch and alcohol is ingrained in our culture, and I agree with that, too.  But then he says, given all the damage caused by alcohol, it might be a big mistake to add a second legal intoxicant into the mix, though more benign it might be. Not sure about that. The more destructive one got here first, so we give it a pass?

As for "starting society again," I don't think I'd make either one of them illegal. People will always look for a way to divorce themselves from reality from time to time. How they do it is no concern of anybody else, unless and until they interfere with other people while so disengaged. Punishing the bad behavior -- whatever its cause -- is what I'd concentrate on.

He concludes with a plug for states as the "laboratories of democracy" and says we should be watching what happens in Washington and Colorado to see what the effects on society from legal marijuana might really be. That makes the most sense of all.