The Hypocrisy of Marijuana Crusaders

Two things remind me of the hypocrisy of marijuana crusaders, on the Left and the Right.

Just two days before the World Cup was scheduled to begin in the Muslim nation of Qatar, FIFA (soccer’s governing body) announced that no beer could be sold at any of the eight stadiums that will host the soccer tournament’s matches from November 20 thru December 18.

According to FIFA: “Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeter.”

Alcohol consumption by Muslims is illegal in Qatar. Public consumption of alcohol by non-Muslims is only allowed in certain hotels and restaurants. Only non-Muslims can buy alcohol to take home from the country’s one government-owned liquor store, but only after they “purchase a permit, attest that they are non-Muslim, bring proof of immigration status, and a formal permission letter from their employer on company letterhead.”

Qatar had originally promised to allow beer sales at the stadiums. I guess the government of Qatar is a big, fat liar—kind of like the U.S. government.

Some conservatives were already upset that FIFA had allowed Qatar to host the World Cup because of the country’s “poor human rights record, discriminatory treatment of homosexuals, a history of supporting Islamist and terrorist groups, and poor labor standards linked to the deaths of foreign workers building the tournament venues.” Qatar’s last-minute decision to ban the sale of beer at stadiums just added insult to injury.

How dare the government of Qatar prohibit beer sales! What an authoritarian state! What a totalitarian government! What a Muslim theocracy!

Well, how can Americans criticize Qatar for prohibiting beer during the World Cup and at the same time express support for the federal government putting Americans in prison for possessing too much of a plant that the government doesn’t approve of?

But marijuana is not alcohol. Correct, marijuana is not alcohol—alcohol is worse than marijuana. If conservatives were really serious about the U.S. government banning marijuana because it is a “gateway drug,” then they would try to get the government of the United States to—like the government of Qatar—ban beer — the real gateway drug.

Oh, the hypocrisy of marijuana crusaders!

WNBA player Brittney Griner was arrested earlier this year in Russia after cannabis oil was found in her luggage. She was tried, found guilty, fined 1 million rubles, and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Liberals have universally condemned the “wrongful detention” of Griner. Although many conservatives have no compassion for Griner—a twice married, once divorced lesbian who protested the singing of the national anthem before games in 2020—some have expressed sympathy with her.

Why no sympathy for the hundreds rotting in U.S. prisons for drug-related offenses? Why no sympathy for the victims of the drug war? Why no sympathy for the victims of mandatory-minimum sentences, asset forfeiture, and no-knock raids? Why no sympathy for the destroyed families, lost jobs, financial ruin, criminal records, and wrecked lives left in the wake of the drug war? Why no sympathy for the loss of individual liberty, personal and financial privacy, and property rights caused by the war on drugs? Why no sympathy for the destruction of the Constitution, limited government, and free society resulting from the drug war?

Oh, but hasn’t the medical use of marijuana has been legalized in 37 states and 5 U.S. territories? Hasn’t the recreational use of marijuana been legalized in 21 states and 3 territories? Yes to both.

But marijuana legalization is a far cry from marijuana freedom.

Don’t those on the Left want to legalize marijuana? Well, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.” Under federal law, the possession of even a small amount of marijuana can result in fines and imprisonment.

When Democrats had absolute control of the federal government for two years under Barack Obama and for two years under Joe Biden, why didn’t they end marijuana prohibition on the federal level and return the marijuana issue to the states? They certainly could have passed the legislation in the House and Senate without any Republican votes. So why didn’t they?

Oh, the hypocrisy of marijuana crusaders!

The libertarian case against marijuana prohibition is a simple and consistent one: Because it is not the business of government to be concerned with the medical, consumption, or recreational habits of Americans, there should be no laws whatsoever prohibiting or regulating marijuana (or any other drug) for any reason.

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