Is There Anything That Cannot Be Banned?

In an article at CBS New York, Great Neck, NY has banned cloths lines in front yards and also is seeking a ban of sofas on front porches.

I’m guessing redneckery will soon be illegal as well. Solar clothes dryers have been illegal in many places in California for a number of years. Obviously some people are offended by the airing of laundry. But people are offended by many things and I don’t believe all things that are offensive should be illegal. Laws against clothes lines are selectively harmful to the poor. Cloths drying machines cost money to purchase and operate, while cloths lines are relatively cheap and cost nothing to operate. And what if the front yard is the only sunny area you have access to? Many local laws are passed because the people of that community are of a like mind and don’t want certain things in their community, such as dry counties and cities where the people have voted not to allow sales of alcohol or bars in their communities. Still in most of those places, it is still legal to possess alcohol for people of sufficient age, and I am fine with such laws. Even laws limiting public consumption are fine with me but some communities in Alaska have outlawed alcohol where it is treated as an illegal drug, such as marijuana or meth, and I believe that is taking the law a little to far, because a person would not be able to transport alcohol to his own home.

But that is not the point I am trying to make. Communities make laws for innumerable reasons and laws such as the anti-cloths line laws may be directed at protecting property value more than punishing the poor but the results are the same. Free people are denied the full use of their property or rights to benefit someone else.

Our system of laws is constantly changing and growing with new laws added on a near continuous basis. Some laws are good laws, that protect and preserve society in beneficial ways and some are destructive to peace and the order of law. Laws that punish segments of society because of race, income or social status or just because they are different are destructive to peace and the order of law, like the Jim Crow laws following slavery. The same could be said for the laws against marijuana. Prohibition of marijuana is a very unkind thing to do to your neighbors and relatives that use marijuana. But still I am getting off topic. I have been talking about local laws. The state’s rights and people’s rights issues where any authority not granted to Congress is reserved to the states or to the people in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. State and local law is the perfect place to experiment with laws to find the right balance of law for society to live with, and to allow like-minded communities to prohibit those things which are deemed offensive or to allow things not welcomed in other places. Then the Constitution can be used to prevent states and local governments from taking rights we have because we’re Americans, like those enumerated in The Bill of Rights.

The Ninth Amendment states that the list of rights enumerated in the Constitution is not exhaustive, and that the people retain all rights not enumerated.

The Tenth Amendment assigns all powers not delegated to the United States, or prohibited to the states, to either the states or to the people.

The federal prohibition of marijuana and hemp is a good example of a bad law that is destructive to a peaceful society and the rule of law. Marijuana prohibition has also evolved over a number of years. At first the only concern was a lengthy prison sentence and fine. Now the use of marijuana makes our second amendment rights null and void without trial or representation and our government requires mandatory drug testing of all employees in any business that does business with the Federal Government making gainful employment difficult. No longer are we secure in our property as seizure of assets has become common for marijuana offenses. Rights against illegal searches are also being whittled away and if we have marijuana around our children, the government could take them away as well. Would people be outraged if children were removed from the parents custody if beer or wine was discovered in their refrigerator? Laws that people believe are unjust will not be followed. Prohibition of marijuana will not work for the same reasons prohibition of alcohol did not work. Prohibition also causes a social barrier between law enforcement and a large segment of society, increasing mistrust and decreasing respect for law. By prohibiting a product that people desire, prohibition forces people to seek illegal means to acquire what they want. This criminal element has no legal means to settle business disputes available which increases violence. While the use of marijuana may be harmful to society to some degree, using prohibition to punish marijuana use only exacerbates the problem. If this were being done at the local level people would at least have the option to vote with their feet, but with Federal prohibition we have nowhere to go. This is our country too. Is America not big enough for all of us? If not, where should we go?

Please call or write to your Congressmen, Senators and President and let them know how you feel. Or print off an article you agree with, add notes and send that to them. Please help end this unjust war on fellow Americans. Please call for an end to Federal marijuana prohibition.

Randy Johnson