Recently, my fair state of Iowa has been embroiled in two seemingly unrelated disagreements, whether to legalize medical marijuana use, and whether parents should be forced to vaccinate their children. On the surface, both seem to be cut and dried issues, but simplicity can often camouflage something far more complex.
When it comes to medical marijuana use, I’m more libertarian. In fact, when it comes to legalizing pot in general, I’m more libertarian. No, it’s not because I want to spend my afternoons getting stoned and watching “Scooby Doo” reruns. It’s because I have this wacky idea that responsible adults might just have the ability to, you know, decide what is best for them without my sanction. If you want to smoke more Doobies than a hitman working for Michael McDonald, be my guest. Just don’t take my money to do it or demand my blessing.
With vaccinations, I’m just as libertarian. Parents should not be forced to make their children get shots. It would be a good idea, but forcing good ideas on people isn’t the best way to go about it. (And, yes, I feel the same way about seatbelts.)
“But, Thomas, what about the children?” some might ask. Using children to justify stripping away freedom is like hoping an aggravated cobra won’t strike you if you wave your hands in front of it. It doesn’t end well. Just ask Everytown for Gun Safety about their attempts to implement gun control laws.
At the end of the day, you may not smoke pot or need it for medical purposes. You may have already gotten vaccinated and had your kids vaccinated. But a freedom given away isn’t easily or quickly returned.
Besides, if Iowa legalizes pot, I have a great idea for a pot dispensary/bakery called Wake and Bake…