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Why I'm voting for the Marijuana Party
By Scott Carpenter
I was sitting on a small ridge above a local river the other day glassing for bears when the sun finally came out from behind the mass of gray that had been hanging around for weeks. The sun felt so good I decided to put down my binoculars and lay on my back with my face to the sky. I closed my eyes and a thought soon struck me:
I love this.
Not the chase or the kill necessarily but just being alone, away from the phones and the computer with my rifle, a flask of Absolute (TM) and big wad of beef jerky. Nothing in sight but the sky, the river and lots of trees. Indeed, the best part about hunting is there is no one around to bother me. Yep. Just me and my bliss.
Sigh.... If only life and politics were more like hunting.
If only indeed. And then it occurred to me: Life could be more like hunting if we truly wanted it that way -- at least the being left alone part -- and with a provincial election on the horizon what better opportunity to push the pendulum back in the right direction could there be?
So, though it may arguably serve no useful purpose -- since, like the federal scene politics in this province are often preordained -- I've decided to go against the grain and strike a vote for principle and freedom. This year I'm voting for the Marijuana Party.
Now, let me qualify a few things for you. First -- I don't smoke pot. Heck I don't smoke at all. I've never used drugs and I have no desire to do so. And frankly, I'm of the opinion that those who do use drugs or alcohol to simply get loaded are lacking a certain degree of moral fibre and personal strength.
But that's just my opinion. And that realization -- that opinions are many and varied -- is what gives me common ground with the folks who are running the often maligned and totally misunderstood Marijuana Party.
On the home page of their web site the party's opening statement reads: "We believe that people should be free to make decisions about their own bodies and how they wish to live their lives, without undue intrusion by the government or police."
Now, I'm not totally 100 per cent sure about this but I don't think that any of the other parties are campaigning on a platform to get government out of our personal lives. And in a time when there are more laws on the books (governing everything we do) than in any other period in our history I think it may be high time to take a few steps back from the slippery slope.
I don't know about you but I'm tired of being told what to do, when to do it and who I can do it with. I'm tired of being treated like a child by my own government -- which I should remind you is simply other people like you and I who don't know what's good for me any better than you, the reader do.
And just so you don't get your nickers in a knot I'm not saying that we shouldn't have laws or that we need to go back to "the way things were". Actually, what I am suggesting is that we try something totally different than what we've ever done before. I suggest that instead of trying to force people to be something they're not that we leave them alone.
That means redefining what is and what is not a crime.
Therefor I also suggest that anything that does not hurt another human being (any action which does not involve the initiation of force) is not a crime. That means smoking pot is not a crime. It also means that owning an unregistered firearm is not a crime.
The Marijuana Party's position on Justice reflects this principle:
"Canada's new gun registry increases police powers, creates a massive bureaucracy, and does nothing to reduce violence, with guns or otherwise... Making a gun isn't much harder than growing pot. We don't believe that gun prohibition will work any better than marijuana prohibition."
As a hunter and gun owner I can only say: "Amen to that."
So with the election coming I urge the reader to consider what truly represents the best interests of all British Columbians. The one thing we all have in common is our individuality -- we're all different. Let's for once acknowledge that fact and strike a vote in the opposite direction of mutual enslavement.
This time instead of asking your candidate "What will you do for me?" try asking him "When are you guys going to start leaving us alone?". If you've never seen a politician dance before then you'd better get ready for one hell of a show. Leaving people alone is a concept many of them probably have never considered before and if the Marijuana Party is the only bunch out there willing to get off my back and out of my pocket -- then what the heck -- they can have my vote.
Scott Carpenter is a free lance writer and the editor of the Canadian ezine Liberty Free Press. His articles and editorials have appeared in many outdoor and political publications across the continent.
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