"Now it is one thing to say (I say it) that people shouldn’t consume psychoactive drugs. It is entirely something else to condone marijuana laws, the application of which resulted, in 1995, in the arrest of 588,963 Americans. Why are we so afraid to inform ourselves on the question?"
by:
William F. Buckley, Jr.
(1925-2008) American author and journalist, founded 'National Review'
Source:
October 21, 1997
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
Buckley always had a long line for a simple meaning, but he was usually right in what he said.
 -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Not sure how to rate this, he's not entirely clear of his intent. I think more of the quote is need to understand his real or complete meaning. I for one will not willingly consume psychoactive drugs or marijuana but, that is entirely a personal choice without any condemnation, judgement, or lawful ability to enforce on my part (or my representative's part). If harm or criminal infringement of any type happens as the result of such use, justice would claim a most critical action to answer the aggravated offense (such is consistent with personal responsibility).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Thank God we have the government there to protect us all from pot smokers...I can leave a bag of Doritos on the seat of my truck without some drug crazed kid with the munchies trying to steal my precious chips. :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
    If I understand him correctly, it may be the few times I agree with him. Marijuana, helps a lot of people with medical problems and if it were available in my state I would use it for at least two conditions. However, I am not opposed to people using it recreationaly but it should be legalized and taxed like cigarettes and alcohol--neither of which are helpful to anyone. But having vilified marijuana as the "gateway drug" has produced the arrests and jail sentences--continuing to grow since 1995. Cracking down on alcohol abusers would serve this country far better. I'm not ancient but in all my years I have never heard of people being killed by someone on marijuana. However, those abusing alcohol and driving are responsible for thousands of deaths every year--unfortunately most of the abusers survive to drink and drive again. I was in court for a friend a few years ago and one of the cases that came up was a guy who continued to abuse alcohol and drive despite the fact that his license had been pulled at least 5 times. There should be a 3 strikes you're out law in every state for drunks who endanger other people's lives. If they don't get help and are found to be driving without a license, then they should be jailed. Period.
     -- Joy, Papillion, NE     
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     -- Johann Hollar, Saint Paul, MN      
    Each to there own with in moderation as with all fruit in the garden. Point well made Joy. But the tax only lines the governments pockets who seem to always have a war to pay for, as in the taxing of spirits in the first place to pay back the loan made with the bank to fund the revolution 1776. Bad habit. If we started enslaved then where is liberty ? At what point do we the people become free of the depth ? Is liberty just a loan from which bank ?
     -- Ron, Salem     
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    When Buckely says, "Why are we so afraid to inform ourselves on the question?" I think he touches upon the reason why so many abuses of power go unchecked: we are not asking the question, we are parroting what we are told. There are a great many customs that we follow blindly that should we ask the question 'why' we might be very surprised to learn the answer. I believe the next Renaissance is in its infancy but will one day inspire us to speak frankly about those bodies of men and women who push their prohibitions upon the rest of us. When the good-hearted attempt to use government power to punish those that do not accept their doctrines, they are as deceived as the tyrant himself. We don't ask the question because we don't want to hear the truth -- it's called ignorance.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Very good Mr. Archer but I would say willingly ignorant for the most part.
    The question we ask ourselves concerning political corruption that being (will these people be held accountable?") Not like you and I would that's for sure, as it becomes abundantly clear from Hillary Clinton's testimony before the committee that she and Obama are going to get away with covertly arming terrorists! I think this is made possible because the political corruption we are witnessing is but a mirror reflection of the corruption and moral decline within our own people and if this were not true the people would rise up and put a stop to it but that is not happening in fact by her poll numbers she's even being allowed to run for president.

    On the question about marijuana laws it's interesting that just a couple of weeks ago I watched a program concerning America's utterly failed experiment with alcohol prohibition and in the program it was revealed that the government actually poisoned alcohol to make people sick and even kill them to stop them from drinking, fast-forward to today with the war on drugs and our government sprays paraquat on marijuana just to make people sick end kill people to stop them from using it, same old tactic from the same government.
    The generation of alcohol prohibition was smart enough to see that the cure was worse than the disease and abolished it but unfortunately the unintended negative consequences stayed with us. In today's power-hungry statist big government the war on drugs is used to expand government power, God save us from those who will poison, imprison and kill us for OUR OWN GOOD?

    Isn't that concept the essence of gun-control laws?
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    Says it all.

    Wake up America!
     -- Bruski, Naples FL     
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    First Nation cultures, mingled with European traditions. There again psychoactive plants and herbs such as hemp, used in native traditional treatments of physical and mental conditions. From pain suppressants to restoring mental stability. Isolating a people from their natural environment destroys all conscience awareness of the Whole Truth that surrounds them. Pulling the wool over peoples eyes and ears. Big business Knows very well what is transpiring. Wake Up America is Right.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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