Pubdate: Tue, 25 Sep 2007
Source: Collegian, The (U of Tulsa, OK Edu)
Copyright: 2007 The Collegian
Author: Kyle Klavetter, Staff Writer


It would be nice to hear the government admit that it  over-regulates,
that it needs to mellow out and give  citizens a little more control
over their own lives.

But must the first steps on the road to recovering  freedoms from the
fount of Constitutional federalism  make legalizing marijuana a
salient point?

The subject merits an open debate, particularly on  economic grounds.
In fact, a purely secular argument  for the legalization of marijuana
is entirely valid.  But for much of America -- especially red states
- -- the  marijuana money trail isn't the issue.

Arguments about unjustified societal intolerance of  different
lifestyles aren't pertinent either. Economic  or social progress mark
fatuous successes if these are  not attained in the pursuit of a
greater purpose.

America is a purposed nation. America serves God. The  practical
consequence arising from this belief is that  means are not justified
by ends. Rights do not exist in  a vacuum. Progress measures success
only after the  method by which it is attained is subjected to the
scrutiny of an independent moral code.

In modern times this traditional view is regularly  challenged.
Secular scales measure the greatness of  America's identity -- annual
national growth, Dow Jones  Index, national scholastic test scores,
but at least  the preceding markers indirectly measure morality:
growth is largely a function of work ethic and  disciplined minds.

Other markers give no indication of the state of  morality. One such
category is the "right to." America  prides itself on how many "right
to's" it can  accumulate -- right to self-expression, right to
privacy, right to abortion, right to inhale  mind-altering substances.
The more "right to's" there  are, the better America supposedly is.

The problem lies in that these type of "rights" do not  build up a
foundation for the country. These "rights"  aren't meant to further a
Godly end. Often these rights  are beyond the judgments of good and
evil. They are  deemed "good" because they foster Man's own ability to
  live as he pleases. Their ultimate purpose is the  service of Man.

This is a dangerous credo, one that in its fullest  meaning resounded
ahead of Communist Russia as it  marched to perdition in the past century.

Of course legalizing pot wouldn't make America  communist, but it
would be one step toward a world  where rights are justified not by
their adherence to  morality but because they further Man's own ends.
This  political epistemology is antithetical to the American  vision.

The fountainhead of constitutional federalism springs  waters meant to
strengthen this country's citizens for  a pursuit greater than any
individual's capricious  desires.

Individual rights are given meaning by the purpose they  enable man to
strive for. It is by this meaning that  these rights ought to be
judged worthy.

The legalization of pot would, at best, be  self-gratification. This
right would not serve the  interests of God. The legalization of pot
would tempt  this country to stray from its moral heritage. It would
be a jumping point for a new era in American politics  in which the
ends justify the means.

The legalization of pot would be an immoral act, but  America can at
least handle those. However, to legalize  pot would pose deeper
troubles. It would signal to  America a fundamental shift in politics:
from service  of morality to service of Man's interests.
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