This bill isn't really about hemp as such, but about the continuing criminalization of marijuana. California has long signaled that it wants to dump anti-marijuana laws but have been stymied by the federal government. The hemp bill is another demonstration of the difficult task in declaring a crop illegal, especially one that has such positive potential as hemp, simply to support a failing front on the war on drugs. Even conservatives in the Golden State have begun to question the resources spent on fighting marijuana.
Libertarians and conservatives share an impulse against government intrusion, but often split on anti-drug efforts. Conservatives have supported government impositions in the drug war that they would never tolerate anywhere else, such as confiscation laws, asset freezes, and the like. While conservatives will still likely support an effort to interdict narcotics and other strong drugs, at some point we have to ask ourselves if the power we grant to the federal government is worth the effort specific to marijuana.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Quote du Jour: But Are Conservatives Listening?
A breath of fresh air from the usually fusty Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters regarding legislative efforts in California to legalize (non-intoxicating) hemp for industrial purposes: