From The Province:
Imagine an extremely expensive government policy proven to be completely ineffective at achieving its stated objectives. Consider also that whenever this policy is subjected to any kind of impact assessment, the government’s own data clearly show that the policy has been ineffective, expensive and fuelled the growth of organized crime. Finally, imagine this remark-able set of circumstances persisting for decades – at great cost to taxpayers and community safety – and yet elected officials say and do nothing to address the status quo.
Does this sound like something most conservative-minded voters would support? Sadly, you don’t have to imagine. This policy is marijuana prohibition and it is an unfortunate legacy for conservatives that we have consistently elected right-ward leaning politicians who have been among the strongest defenders of our failed anti-marijuana laws.
It seems to me there are two types of conservatives. The first kind is deeply concerned about the growth of government and intrusion into our private lives. The second is, well, Mrs. Grundy. This conservative person is deeply afraid that someone, somewhere is having fun. THIS is the conservative who insists on anti-marijuana laws. This is the conservative who insisted for years that alcohol must be banned, for the exact same reasons that pot must be banned.
The fact that pot use continues unabated makes no difference. Pot smoking leads to bad things, therefore the law must ban pot smoking. The fact that the ban does not stop people from smoking pot does not matter, and the fact that it puts money into the hands of crime cartels at home and abroad does not matter. They are right, dammit, and they will not change their minds.
There are those within the Democratic Party who see things differently. But still a majority want to keep it illegal, if for no other reason they don’t want to give conservatives an issue with which to beat them at the polls. These votes will change when the wind blows a different direction, and nothing changes that.
But I have hope that within the conservative movement, the former school of thought will soon overrule the latter.