Different Floors of the House

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Is Sugar Legal?

I like sugar.  Sugar makes things taste better.  Corn Flakes are just little flaky wafers of smashed up corn without some milk and sugar liberally applied.  Sugar comes in all kinds of forms, naturally.  Sugar makes fruit taste good.  Blood sugar (a colloquialism, to be sure) assists animals in maintaining metabolic homeostasis.  Sugar is universally good.  Sugar makes beets, yes, even beets, taste good.  Ok, well maybe the beet thing is a stretch... But the point is:  Sugar has all sorts of documented and time-tested uses.  Heck, sugar can even assist you in a capital murder case!

But really, when we say "sugar", we are talking about the little white crystals of goodness we flavor our Corn Flakes with.  We don't just use sugar to make things sweet or sweeter, but that is the most common application. Sugar, the commodity (SUG) is openly traded worldwide and, apart from some really ridiculous regulations, restrictions, limitations, contractions, demarcations, and confinements over the years, is a great example of a reasonably superfluous tangible.  We don't need sugar on Corn Flakes (I think), but we really like it.  Don't we?  Ask yourself, the one time you tried Corn Flakes without sugar (you remember that time, right?), ask yourself if you weren't thinking with every bite: Man, this really needs some sugar.

Conversely, sugar really isn't worth it's weight in sand...granules...whatever.  Sure, some refined sugar is purported to have medicinal qualities, and some is used as an offsetting or stimulus agent in certain pharmacological production methods, but there are other ways of doing it.  And, to be sure, Jaggery-an unrefined sugar cane product-is replete with vital minerals for your body...but these too, you could get elsewhere, like say, in a spoonful of Corn Flakes straight out of the box.

So, why all the regulations on sugar?  Is it because we parents know the affects products laced with too much sugar have on children--despite what the talking heads in labcoats say to the contrary? Nope.  The regulation of sugar has absolutely nothing to do with its effects on children either real or perceived.  But what I do know is that if a two year old were to somehow, you know...hypothetically, get her hands on one of her brother's cans of Mountain Dew, this is the result:


Yeah, yuck it up, yuck it uppers.  And know this was done under the strictest (*cough*) supervision.

Anyway, we've heard all the arguments, haven't we?  About how it's the food coloring that causes hyper-activity.  Or that it's lack of general nutritional intake to offset the "sugar effect" in our foods.  Blah, blah, blah.  Let me tell you something right now, knowing full well that precautions CAN be made to prevent the effects of sugar on a child's body:  sugar causes hyper-activity, period.

But...so what?  I'm one of those wierdos that think hyper-activity isn't really hyper (that is, above the norm) at all.  In fact, I think we have a great need in this country for a little hyper-active behavior.  Maybe parents have been duped into thinking things need strict control and regulations, restrictions, limitations, contractions, demarcations, and confinements.

Which begs the question:  Is sugar really legal?  I mean, when it comes down to it, a thing that is "legal" is a thing that is not subject to regulations, restrictions, limitations, contractions, demarcations, and confinements.  So what do you call a thing, a commodity if you will, that is subject to regulations, restrictions, limitations, contractions, demarcations, and confinements?  I don't know about you, but I call that thing: the decriminalization of cannabis in America.

Along with the gradual decriminalization that liberal democrats want to see (and are seeing), comes stricter rules and regulations than just saying: no, you can't have it.  When liberals "legalize" a thing, they end up with MORE laws governing that thing then they had when it was illegal.  This is a fact, it is simply how the liberal mind works.  'Decriminalized control' is the catch-phrase liberals love so much and "control" is the only word that matters.

I don't like cannabis.  I don't like the smell of it, mainly.  I've never really smoked weed, but I've been in hundreds of rooms filled with the smoke of it--to the point that it affected me.  I would never put cannabis over my Corn Flakes.  I wouldn't use it to clear up acne or make a flower grow premature, out-of-season buds.  I would never, if I were a politician, advocate the licensing of the plant, or the regulation of it or the derivatives involved in the taxation of it.  But the fact of the matter is, they will regulate it, like they regulate the corn that is used to make your breakfast cereal and the laws they make regarding it would dominate its presence in the marketplace as they do for sugar.

It would be nice if we could legalize it and watch the market grow.  But it'll never happen.  There is always an excuse to not do so.  And while the protection of consumers is a constant saber-rattling declaration of liberal control freaks, the fact of the matter always has been, and always will be:  the markets make better corrections to invalid or dangerous commodities than the governments of the world do.  It wasn't the government that lashed out against Toyota recently, it was consumers--the government was a post facto dictator with a vested conflict of interest in this case. It wasn't the government that found lead in our children's toys shipped in from China, it was consumers--although the CDC tried to take all the credit for "protecting" us.  Government regulations couldn't stop a salmonella outbreak in peanut products recently.  Regulations have never protected us against bad luck.  But consumer reports have, and do, constantly.  The fact of the matter is that no entity can protect you at all times, except you.  If you think cannabis requires regulation, then regulate it yourself, not unlike you do with sugar.

But, you say, what happens if someone crashes their car while all doped up and kills someone?  Huh?  What about that, Mr. wierdo libertarian guy?  Well, let's see, what usually happens when you murder someone under the influence of an intoxicant?  No one ever said, especially a libertarian, that government shouldn't protect you from the irrational, irresponsible actions of others.  That's one of the major tenants of libertarianism, that governments should get involved when someones actions are injurious to another.  We're not talking about instituting laws such as DUII standards and things like this, for cannabis, these are a given and only an idiotic anarchist would oppose such legislation.  We're talking about the regulation of growth, distribution, sale, consumption and possession of a commodity here and the power the free market should have in determining the success of that commodity.

Corn and sugar both are highly subsidized, highly regulated commodities.  As are rubber, glass, coal, milk, and sand (yes, I said 'sand').  What makes anyone think cannabis will be any different.  

The main difference between a liberal and a libertarian is that liberals don't trust anyone (especially their own selves) to make good decisions so they entrust government to enlist a vast array of regulations, restrictions, limitations, contractions, demarcations, and confinements for the sake of protection.  Libertarians are generally optimistic, trusting (think of the Greek hospitality rule, here) of the marketplace and the consumers who dictate its successes and failures while generally viewing the government and its continued failures as depressing, oppressive and futile.

In the end, let us be honest.  There is no way we're going to get cannabis legalized.  Sure, the liberals will win this, it will be decriminalized, and soon.  Question is, will we give up our principles on this issue like we do every time we pour that sugar over our Corn Flakes?  Yeah.  We will.  We'll find some way to justify it.  And then we'll spend the next 100 years railing against the regulation of the commodity like we do with alcohol, tobacco and firearms...but we'll lose because the hyper-activity we so badly need in this fight will be sedated by the true 'opiation of the masses' liberals so desperately desire.  That is: sedation by capitulation.

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