Ebenezer Howe: Let’s have an honest talk about the war on drugs

Published 9:14 pm Monday, June 19, 2017

My Point of View, By Ebenezer Howe

I am not good at putting into words what explains me, so when I find something that does, I try to remember it. From Ron Paul’s final speech to Congress, I learned we should beware of legislation based on the emotions of envy and intolerance. Peace and prosperity are best achieved through the principles of individual liberty. Just following the constraints of the Constitution is a good place to start. With individual liberty comes personal responsibility. Another emotion that comes into play is fear. You should not fear individual liberty but you should have fears regarding your personal responsibility.

I am occasionally asked if there is anything on which I agree with Democrats. The answer is, yes, quite a few things. The disagreements are with manner and methods of achievement.

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At least one candidate, Tina Liebling, for governor on the Democrat side has an idea I support, which is having an honest discussion on decriminalization of marijuana and rethinking the war on drugs. We just have not met a lot of success with the war on drugs. Alcohol was banned during prohibition and that turned out not to work so real slick.

The little I know of her thoughts on this are from just a few articles in the paper. We have vast differences in implementation, however. She feels we could just tax the devil out of marijuana and use those vast sums to solve all the ills created from its use — can’t happen! The only tax on marijuana, if ever legalized, should be sales tax. Any other tax would be driven from the standpoint of intolerance. Additional taxes would also make the black market attractive to those prone to that activity.

The key difference with her ideas and mine is in the area of personal responsibility. Everyone is taught that drug use is bad and can lead to addiction. I believe that you must live with the results of your behavior. If you want to do drugs, you get to live with the bad byproducts of that activity.

Seems to me that at least five out of six papers every week make reference to drug use or folks apprehended for dealing drugs in Freeborn County.

What might Freeborn County do to address drug usage if the laws were relaxed some? One thing would be to remove folks from assistance or welfare for drug usage. You might say that is intolerant, but I say it is dealing with personal responsibility.

I have never used illegal drugs; however, I have consumed alcohol and used tobacco for a time. My wife became sensitive to smoke, the car smelled badly and the cost was high, so I quit the tobacco. Never liked the taste of beer or booze, so after the coolness of getting smashed wore off, sort of stopped the alcohol also. I did wake up once not knowing how I got home — don’t know how I could have lived with myself had I caused a death, an injury or some property damage.

If you want to do mind-altering substances, be prepared to live with the consequences!

Alden resident Ebenezer Howe is chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the local party members.