American drug laws lack
"It behooves every man who values liberty
of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others:
or their case may, by change of
circumstances, become his own."
-- Thomas Jefferson
The Personal Responsibility Amendment is
a proposition that has been steadily gaining popularity in my home state
of Michigan for years now. The
proposition deals with drug laws, specifically
those concerning marijuana. Its purpose is to reform the current, inexplicable
marijuana and replace it with a more sane
and responsible approach.
If it passes, the PRA will eradicate the
use of taxpayer funds for drug rehabilitation, return the right to grow
hemp to American farmers, legalize the
medicinal use of marijuana under a doctor's
supervision and remove penalties for limited recreational use of marijuana
by adults (in private homes,
away from children and automobiles).
According to one conservative estimate,
the "War on Drugs" costs the American government (and, therefore, American
taxpayers) $609 per minute
-- and, as more and more people from both
sides of the political spectrum are beginning to realize, it isn't working.
Ex-Michigan governor and current Secretary
of Transportation John Engler himself co-sponsored a bill in 1982 urging
the federal government to
legalize marijuana for medicinal use.
Michigan's not the wealthiest state --
it's not unheard of for high schools there to end the scholastic year three
or four months early due to lack of
funds. Obviously it's only a matter of
time before Michigan realizes there are better ways to spend its time and
money than on busting recreational
pot smokers, right?
Wrong, of course. Last week, two men were
shot and killed by police at Rainbow Farm, a campground in Cass County,
Rainbow Farm is somewhat legendary among
Michigan liberals as a place where activism is continual. The campground
offers cheap rates, regular
concerts (Merle Haggard was a recent performer)
and, of course, "the beautiful rolling hills of Southwestern Michigan."
It is one of the gathering
places for those activists who are working
to put the PRA on the ballot in Michigan.
Grover T. Crosslin, 47, was shot and killed
by an FBI agent Monday after allegedly pointing a gun at the agent. Crosslin
was facing a bond
revocation hearing because police said
he had held a festival on his property, in violation of the terms of his
release on previous charges.
The next day, Rolland Rohm, 28, supposedly
pointed a gun at a state trooper and was shot to death. It is also alleged
that occupants of the
campground shot at a news helicopter and
an unmarked police plane.
The Rainbow Farm incident hasn't generated
much outrage yet. Perhaps Crosslin and Rohm seem unimportant to most: deadbeats
what they got. But I hope "Rainbow Farm,
Mich." will someday mean as much to those concerned with liberty as "Ruby
Ridge, Idaho" or "Waco,
Texas" do today.
Yes, the government had the right to prosecute
Crosslin and Rohm for the laws it believed they had broken. But nobody
had the right to kill these
men. Even convicted killers get trials,
appeals and the right to a (relatively) painless death.
Crosslin stated his goal as a "more sane
and compassionate America," and was shot to death by his government in
accordance with laws that
millions understand are not only ineffective
-- they're wrong.