Watching O’Reilly factor and there was a discussion regarding the legalisation of recreational pot in Colorado and we have this nobel prize winning bell end going by the name of Lauren Ashburn who tried to make this claim that laws are apparent the written moral or at least the aspirational morality that society aims for and that by legalising pot the law change signifies the approval of pot by society in general – that it is a ‘good’. Such an idiot view is wrong on so many levels I really need to point out the flaws:
1) The law isn’t there as an extension of the collective morality or aspirational morality of society – it is there to protect property, your life, regulate organisations (such as businesses) so that their externalities do no harm others and that products or services made then sold are safe (again, protecting the public). In the case of New Zealand there are several city council’s that have passed bylaws that prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public and by public they mean walking along the streets whilst drinking alcohol – nothing to do with morality and everything to do with ensuring that intoxicated individuals and their behaviour do not impact on the general public. Again, nothing to do with morality and everything to do with ensuring that one persons freedom doesn’t spill over and negatively impact upon others.
2) Making something legal merely moves the state from being hostile to a said behaviour to being indifferent – neither hostile nor promoting. Then add to the fact that the government can make two decisions towards a given behaviour/substance/etc. if it is good they can subsidise it so that it is promoted as a ‘merit good’ but if it has negative side effects either because of excess or the cost of prohibition is worse than tolerating it then the government can tax it to dissuade it from becoming mainstream/popular. In the case of Colorado the tax is as follows: “Currently, pot sold legally in Colorado is subject to the state’s 2.9% sales tax, an additional 10% state tax on retail marijuana sales and a 15% excise tax” ( link ) so it hardly seems as though the state is promoting it has a merit given how heavily it is taxed.
Honestly, it is one thing to have people on to give different points of view but at some point you as a producer have to make a decision whether an astrologer is really someone worth having on to give their opinion on investment advice, or a young earth Creationist on why a particular earthquake occurred in a particular part of the country. At some point as a producer you have to accept that the person is a crackpot OR the show you are creating is merely choosing the most extreme people to get people pissed off and it draws people in each week – call it the ‘car crash’ technique where, like a car crash, people will slow down to have a good stare even though they know it is going to be a horrible sight.