Moral Hypocrites

As long as the government is going to regulate every aspect of marriage (who can get married, who pays for the kids, etc.), I think Congress should go ahead and eliminate the moral ambiguity of adultery. Sen John Ensign’s comments about his extramarital affair last year highlighted the fact that adultery isn’t technically illegal. Why isn’t it? Shouldn’t we have a law against sleeping around? I think it would reduce the number of failed marriages, and illegitimate children, thus lessening the impact these behaviors have on society. We (allegedly) protect the institution of marriage by forbidding homosexuals. We protect married couples from temptation by going after prostitutes. We protect our children by going after deadbeat dads. Certainly there is sufficient moral justification for it, so isn’t it time we take the final step and outlaw infidelity?

Oh wait, we can’t do that. Then members of Congress would have to go to jail even more frequently that they do already.

Now let’s address our hypocrisy where drugs are concerned. Interestingly, when the Harrison Narcotics Act was passed in 1914, it was estimated that 1.3% of the population was addicted to some kind of drug. In 1970, when the so-called War on Drugs was launched with the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, the rate of addiction was again estimated at 1.3%. And today, after 40 years of violence and billions of dollars wasted, the addiction rate in America is… drum roll, please — 1.3%.

The abject futility of the “War on Drugs” can no longer be ignored — even the Obama Administration has stopped using the term as the President has recognized that it is counter-productive — and the American people are slowly starting to realize this as well. Last week, NPR ran a series of stories on the shift in attitudes towards marijuana. One individual, whose livelihood depends on continued prosecution of the War, not surprisingly is opposed to relaxing the regulation of marijuana. Andrew Cummings, a Drug Court director in Dekalb County Georgia, said, “People often think about marijuana, and understandably so, as one might think about having a drink at the end of the day and relaxing, but it doesn’t stop there for a lot of people. And as the potency increases, the likelihood of dependency increases.” He actually makes the comparison to everyone’s favorite legal drug, alcohol, with no hint of irony. Alcohol has all of the same potential negative effects, and yet we allow it to be sold on virtually every street corner. Isn’t it time we take the final step and outlaw alcohol?

Oh wait, we tried that, and Prohibition taught us that we cannot ban a substance. We lack the Constitutional authority, and attempting to do so only creates underground markets that spawn all kinds of intolerable side effects. The most obvious of which is the businessman who sells these products is forced to resolve his disputes with other businessmen using violence instead of in a court of law, as legal businesses do. But here is one of the less obvious ones: the number of people who drank hard liquor increased significantly during Prohibition, because it was easier to brew your own bathtub gin than it was to brew your own beer. Consequently, the alcohol was more concentrated, and more prone to harmful impurities — it put the roar in the Roaring Twenties. Are we to believe that no one suffered ill effects of drinking a product that was both more potent and more polluted?

The logical inconsistencies in our laws loom large, and we continue to ignore them. Homosexuals are not allowed to marry, but Britney Spears can get married for 55 hours, and we’re somehow protecting the institution of marriage? Serial drunk drivers kill by the carload, but we put a million people in jail for possession of weed, and we’re protecting who exactly? Our hypocrisy is sickening.


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