In recent months, potheads the world over have rejoiced over recreational marijuana being legalized in Colorado and Washington. As pot shops opened in full view of law enforcement, long lines formed, and buds were rationed so all could be served. Taxes were paid, agorists were put out of business, and a once weary demographic of drug users was once again assured, that the State, is their friend.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m in favor of the war on drugs, least of all the marijuana laws. It’s violently ridiculous to lock people up for possession of any property, much less some harmless plant, but there’s almost nobody left in society who doesn’t already recognize this so far as it pertains to marijuana. The fact that the State refused to budge while almost everyone told them their violence was absurd, did wonders for the voluntaryist’s case. It made people see the violence inherent in the system, often at a very young age.
Kids would grow up being told by public schools that one hit of marijuana would surely ruin their lives and turn them into serial rapists, only to try it in their early teens and find out it was all bullshit. Then they would be arrested for having a little bit in their pockets, and find out that “law” means “excuse to kidnap and assault”, often before even reaching legal voting age. So while it’s terrible for these laws to exist and be enforced, I do think they went a long way towards delegitimizing the State in people’s minds.
Compare that to now. In Washington and Colorado, the message is loud and clear. “Democracy works! Tolerate our violence long enough, and eventually we might stop harming you, under a select set of circumstances, as long as you pay us off. Of course, if you fail to pay a tax, drive with half a beer more than Mothers Against Drunk Driving approves of, carry a gun without permission, or disobey any of our other thousands of arbitrary edicts, we’ll pull a gun on you, and put you in a cage”. The violence, coercion, and arbitrary absurdity of that statement, pales in comparison to the joy they feel at being able to legally anesthetize themselves in a relative state of peace.
This message is not lost outside of those arbitrary geopolitical boundaries. In other states, similar efforts are underway, and the prospect of decriminalization on a national level is not out of the question. How many millions of dollars and manhours will be wasted on begging legislatures to stop ordering police to kill them for possessing a plant? How many millions of dollars will be pulled out of bitcoin and black markets, only to find their way into State and Federal treasuries to be spent on bullets and bombs? How many billions will be spent on food stamps and welfare benefits for people who would rather get stoned than go to work? How many thousands of people will simply cease to care about taxes, war, private property, free speech, and the underlying concept of initiatory force, once those goals are accomplished?
With far less effort than it takes to get one law repealed, an entire system can be shunned out of existence by doing nothing more than ignoring it. With far less effort than that, a tiny fraction of a population can use force to make a place completely ungovernable no matter how much the other 90% of the population begs for totalitarianism. But, alas, liberals have shown their strength, and people would prefer to toil relentlessly for the chance to be stoned slaves, than to educate themselves just a little bit more, and get a taste of actual freedom.