I am seldom stunned by what is done in Washington. I simply chalk new things I hear up to the continuing march of the American Lemmings down the path to completely centralized government. In the past few days, however, I heard a proposal that truly surprised me.
In response to many States passing laws that, to one extent or another, allow people to possess and use marijuana, there is a proposal in congress to change marijuana from a Schedule I drug to another category, allow the possession and use in those States that allow it, tax it, and move enforcement of marijuana laws from the DEA to the ATF (to be renamed Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, and Firearms).
Wow. What an idea. Letting people do what they want. Letting States decide such momentous things as regulating the use of a substance. Letting people who reside in States decide to have different laws than other States. Allowing social norms to be decided on a (more) local level. Federalism.
After many, many years of the federal government deciding such things as how much water can be in your toilet tank, they finally present an idea for consideration on what the State government can decide you can put in your body. I know, it is a small stem to personal freedom, but it is a surprising one nonetheless. I actually think this is like 1968 when there was a critical mass of people who wanted Washington to get out of Viet Nam. It took a huge grass-roots groundswell to get them to change. Now, after 15 or so States thumbed their noses at Washington, Big Brother has finally seen a groundswell.
Don’t get too excited. Republicans still think it is the evil weed. Also, it took from ’68 to ’75 to get out of Viet Nam. But it is a start.