Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Hippies, Cops … and just Plain Liberty

It’s happening. The danger is that it’s being approached through the governmental political process. I’m talking about the initiative by various groups of Californians to legalize marijuana, once and for all. The move, according to a recent Associated Press article by Lisa Leff and Marcus Wohlson, has created some strange bedfellows, both pro and con:

“The campaign that unfolds before the November election could yield some unusual allies: free-market libertarians joining police officers frustrated by the drug war to support the measure, and pot growers worried about falling prices pairing with Democratic politicians to oppose it.”

Note how the opposition want the protectionism of government to artificially boost pot prices by maintaining a policy of jailing people who buy and use their product. They’d rather avoid having to produce more to achieve the same profits. This is typical of the government proselytizer’s mindset – just make sure I can profit from doing less, and who cares who gets hurt meanwhile, even if they’re my customers.

This is part and parcel of the danger of using government at all as a vehicle of change. Indeed, the proposal is even known in California as the “Tax Cannabis Act,” and according to the same AP article, “The measure would also give local governments the authority to regulate and tax pot sales.”

And you can bet your buds they’ll do that, and in spades. I’d guarantee they’ll make growers pay an expensive annual license fee – nonpayment of which will still send the farmer to jail. Then, of course, all profits will be considered “income” for tax purposes by the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board alike. On top of which the product itself at retail will be subject to heavy excise tax, and possibly state sales tax. Like booze and butts, it will also be age restricted and rigidly enforced. There will be heavy fines and/or jail time for non-compliance, using grass in public, providing it to minors – all the same scooby-dooby-doo we see currently with now-legal Post-Prohibition 1 intoxicants.

Infinitely better than all this is the vision of former top-cop drug warrior turned impassioned legalization advocate Barry Cooper of www.nevergetbusted.com . Cooper has advocated such proliferation of marijuana plants that government is simply overwhelmed and forced to cave in. Cooper produces a series of videos – available through his website and from other sources – demonstrating with his unique expertise how to grow, store, and transport small amounts of personal use marijuana without being detected by Big Brother. Enough freedom-minded individuals heeding his learned words of advice could well wrest control over marijuana production and sales from the claws of the State. That’s just one idea. The innovations possible through non-violent withdrawal of co-operation with politics (after all, who ever consented to being ruled by marijuana “laws” in the first place?) and the free market are only as limited as human imagination.

The title of the aforementioned article is, “California Pot Vote isn’t just Hippies Versus Cops,” and that’s truer than the authors likely realize. It’s about all people everywhere against the violent aggression and coercion of government in the face of peaceful activity by those who simply wish to be left alone. The more things change, the more they stay the same when dealing with governments. True change only occurs outside the walls of the prison politicians always create for us. It’s time all people break out of their self-wrought prisons, and bring the nightmare of government to an end in sum total.