A Return to The Tea Party and the War on Drugs
In an earlier post, following on from a piece by Jeffery Miron, I wondered about the Tea Party and the war on drugs. Via the GOP nominee for the US Senate in Nevada (Sharon Angle), we have one data point. And yes, two obvious disclaimers: she is a Republican (as there is no real Tea Party as an entity) and we are talking about one piece of data. Still, given the topic of my previous post, the following (from an interview with Angle) struck me:
Angle directed her opinion to the fact that marijuana is an illegal substance and she cannot support anything that is illegal. Furthermore, the decision reinforces what was always true in the first place with Nevada’s law allowing marijuana use for medical purposes — no state law protects marijuana-toking Americans. “My greatest problem with marijuana is that it’s illegal, which gives Nevadans a false sense of security in this whole thing,” Angle said. “If the DEA has the manpower and wanted to go after this, there is no place in Nevada state law that can protect people because federal law supersedes state law.” Her opinion, though, ignores states’ rights and individual freedom. Also, Angle’s faith quickly surfaced, extinguishing her argument that she disapproves of medical marijuana primarily on the elementary premise that it’s illegal. “I would tell you that I have the same feelings about legalizing marijuana, not medical marijuana, but just legalizing marijuana,” Angle offered. “I feel the same about legalizing alcohol. “The effect on society is so great that I’m just not a real proponent of legalizing any drug or encouraging any drug abuse,” she continued. “I’m elected by the people to protect, and I think that law should protect.”
A few things:
1. As a Tea Party backed candidate, she represents one candidate taking a distinctly non-libertarian view on drugs.
2. Her logical is utterly circular: she is in favor of marijuana being illegal because, after all, it’s illegal.
3. “I feel the same about legalizing alcohol.” ?!?!?
4. Another rather non-Tea Partyesque view here: she is touting federal authority over state authority. Where’s the Tenth Amendment love? (and yes, I am being snarky, but I actually find this all interesting).
5. A non-libertarian view: “I’m elected by the people to protect”. I can accept, by the way, that libertarians would see government as provided basic security (police, military, etc.). However, when it comes to personal behavior, libertarian thinking tends to view the state acting to protect individuals from their own behavior to be anathema. See, for example, the notion of the Harm Principle.
I do agree, by the way, with Doug: Angle is the candidate that Harry Reid has the best chance to beat of the three GOPers who ran.