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This is a guest post from Kyle. There have been comments in this thread about the Libertarian Party; some of those comments were that Libertarians were for the legalization of marijuana. I asked Kyle to write a post about this subject since I know that he very knowledgeable about the Libertarian Platform.

Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom.  This is the mantra of the Libertarian Party.  Every smoke shop or psychedelic store I’ve been into that has political messaging is pro-Libertarian.  In fact, I was introduced to the Libertarian Party by the owner of a shop named Psychedelia Up in Washington near my Grandma Chris’s.  This is because many people see them as a “pro drug” party; but this is not really the case.  This post is about the Libertarian point of view as it relates to Marijuana; the party has a complete scope that addresses many issues and I would encourage you to check out the positions of the party on their website,  I want to take this moment to emphasis that you do not have to call yourself a Libertarian to think like one, most reasonable people hold several Libertarian views unwittingly (get Social Security solvent for example).

Now, there are a lot of Libertarians who want to legalize marijuana usage (such as Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate for 2012), but there are a lot who don’t.  Two Libertarian beliefs are often used to support the legalization of Marijuana, (1) government should be as small as possible and (2) the “War on Drugs” is an unwinnable money pit.

The idea of small government is a bit different for Libertarians than it is for “Tea Partiers”.  Small government doesn’t just mean keeping government out of places it doesn’t belong (internet censorship for example) it means keeping it as local as possible.  Libertarians are Constitutionalists, so if a power is not granted to the Federal government by the Constitution, then it is up to the states to administer.  While I do not think that Marijuana should be legalized (but I can see arguments for supporting it), it is up to individual states to decide whether they will have their police forces and jails occupied by these types of offenders or not.  This is not without precedence; there are many regulations on drugs that differ from state to state (salvia, for example).

Secondly, the so-called “War on Drugs”.  This is a never-ending war that costs an astronomical amount of money.  The problem (aside from human nature) is that symptoms (street dealers, kids smoking behind the gym, etc) of the problem are being treated, not the causes (heroin producers and traffickers in the Middle East, cocaine kingpins in South America, an environment where high school students feel the need to use steroids, etc), and nothing is done to address the prescription drug industry.  Often you hear regulation arguments at this time such as the “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Initiative”.  If it were legalized I think it should be regulated, again I personally am not for it being legalized.  For it to stay illegal, some sort of solution would need to be found so as not to continue to waste money on not affecting a positive change.

Holding these beliefs though (small government, not wasting money) doesn’t have to mean legalizing Marijuana; undeniably it does mean a radical shift and major changes to the way things are currently done.  You will find articles by Libertarians and on the Libertarian Party website in support of Marijuana legalization, primarily for medical purposes, this does not mean every Libertarian holds that same position.

To recap, government should be as local as possible, the Federal government needs to be limited by the Constitution, I do not believe marijuana should be legalized, if it is legalized by a state it should be regulated.  A Libertarian’s position is pro-states rights and not necessarily for or against the legalization of Marijuana.

PS – It has been great writing a guest post here on the, and I’ve enjoyed this series and look forward to more posts on the subject, because I think it is a valuable discussion that needs to be had.


Please show some support and appreciation for the post Kyle has written by leaving comments and by visiting a couple of his web sites: The Talking Geek and The Caffeinated Slacker.

To see the previous post: Legalize Marijuana: Pros and Cons  

To see the next post: Legalize Marijuana: The States That Have It.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. [...] I bet that 90% of the people that have been following this thread, Legalize Marijuana, cannot give me the number of states that currently have legalized marijuana. If by chance you can tell me the number of states that have legalized marijuana, can you tell us what states currently have legalized marijuana? While doing research on this subject, I ran across information about this. There are currently 16 states that have legalized marijuana for medical reasons. The particular article from NORML was posting information that Connecticut will be the 17th state to have legalized marijuana if the governor signs the bill. The states that currently have legalized marijuana are: Alaska, Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine , Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhone Island, Vermont and Washington. I found this list on ProCon web site. There seems to be a common thread to what medical conditions are required to be able to get a prescription for legal medical marijuana. The most common conditions are AIDS/HIV, Glaucoma, cancer and pain disorders just to list a few but these are common for all the states. The one problem I have with one of these conditions that is listed in some of the states is chronic pain. I cannot put myself in the shoes of someone that suffers from a chronic pain disorder. I can only speak about the many people that I have dealt with that have abused pain medications via pain management clinics. I see this as just becoming one more thing or area that can be abused. Is it an acceptable practice to go forward with legalizing marijuana as a pain management drug when there will be without question many who fake the fact that they are suffering from severe pain and want their prescription of medical marijuana? I could go to a doctor and tell him I am suffering from severe pain for whatever reason and the doctor may not be able to find any reason for it, yet I can insist that my pain is real and ultimately get a prescription for the medical marijuana. I could then doctor shop until I get countless prescriptions for medical marijuana. I am sure you get the picture. Just think about the stories you have heard about people getting hooked on pain killers that doctor shop to get the multiple prescriptions they need to get their numerous prescriptions. Are we simply sliding down the slippery slop of continued moral decay? Are we just finding another way to alter our current condition that we are in? Can we not cope with the problems we are facing and then work hard to overcome them instead of getting high so the problem seems to fade away?   To view the previous post: Legalize Marijuana: A Libertarian Point of View [...]

  2. ral says:

    Thanks for the article.

    For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ http://​www.Libertarian-Internation​

  3. [...] Post: Legalize Marijuana #3  or to go to the next post: Legalize Marijuana: A Libertarian Point of View Categories: Educational, Police [...]

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