2012-12-21 / Letters

Not Government’s Concern

Dear Editor,

This past December 5 marked the 78th Anniversary of the Repeal of the 18th Amendment. This act previously repealed outlawing the production and consumption of alcohol. Fast forward to today. The crusade against tobacco, marijuana, pornography, adult entertainment and unhealthy food still continues by both government and those who believe they know best what is good for you.

Consumption of marijuana for both medical and recreational use has been part of mainstream America, transcending generations. If anyone ever conducted any anonymous survey, results would reveal many members and staffers of city, state and federal public officials just like NYC Mayor Bloomberg, Comp- troller Lui, Public Advocate DeBlasio, Council Speaker Quinn, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Comptroller DiNapoli, Attorney General Schneiderman, Congressmember Israel, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama have in their younger days "inhaled" or consumed illegal substances. Who knows what some of them may do on their own time after work hours and on weekends today? Despite the best efforts of both government and the Moral Majority social police to outlaw marijuana consumption, just like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s -- both have been total failures.

Creative entrepreneurs will always provide the citizens desire, regardless of government approval. Consumers have voted with their dollars, making marijuana consumption a multibillion dollar enterprise today. Legalize it and add a sales tax. Revenues will more than cover the costs of any abuse. Our tax dollars would be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property than going after those who consume or distribute marijuana. Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home break-ins along with ever increasing levels of confiscatory taxation and debt by government than individuals who get high in the privacy of their own home. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property.

Organized crime is always looking for new opportunities. They continue to prosper after adoption of even higher taxes on cigarettes which were adopted last year. The underground economy continues making even more money selling tobacco products. New York State continues to lose tens of millions of dollars in uncollected tax revenues, on top of what is already lost on a yearly basis. This happens every time so called "sin" taxes on the legal purchase of cigarettes have been increased. Both the New York City Council and New York State Legislature have repeatedly used this vehicle as a revenue generator to plug shortfalls in annual proposed budgets. These tax revenues have also been used to support increased spending.

At 18, you are old enough to vote, have a beer, be a parent, pay taxes, own a car, take out a bank loan, serve in the military and die for your country -- but not consume marijuana makes no sense.

In NYC the underground economy continues to make a fortune selling tobacco products to those under 21. NYC and NYS continue to lose tens of millions of dollars in uncollected tax revenues. Why sell hard drugs, when you can sell cigarettes with no penalties?

There continues to be a steady stream of insane and expensive legislation coming out of Washington and Albany that is infringing on both our economic and civil liberties. Despite the best efforts of both government and the Moral Majority social police to outlaw consumption of cigarettes, marijuana, pornography, prostitution and adult dancers, like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s -- they all have been total failures.

Consumers have voted with their dollars making the pornographic, drug and adult entertainment industries multibillion dollar enterprises today. The same is true for tobacco companies along with producers and distributors of marijuana.

What consenting adults consume, inhale, perform, read or view in the privacy of their own home or private social club isn't the concern of government. Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace. Let us hope that we have finally learned from the obvious failures of Prohibition. It is time to permit consenting adults to access any so-called illegal products or substances without fear from government harassment.


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