Destroying Americans’ health and wealth, one boondoggle at a time

I see where “authorities” (so many BDU-clad narcs want in on the action that no one even tries any more to list all the outfits currently operating under the rubric of the “multi-agency narcotics team” or the “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program”) began removing another 9,400 marijuana plants from the mountains west of Las Vegas Tuesday morning.

(For the record, marijuana is not a narcotic, from the Greek word for sleep. Opium and morphine are narcotics, which can be addictive. Pot, not. But why would you expect any clinical coherence when you turn medical decisions over to, in effect, the infantry? I also want to know who bothered to count to 9,400.)

News accounts called it “a big haul for local law enforcement.” The metaphor is meant to remind us of commercial fishermen, who are pleased with their “big haul” if they winch in their nets and find them loaded with edible fish.

The fishermen then sail for home and sell their catch to willing buyers, using their profits to buy food, clothing, and — presumably — more and better fishing equipment, with the net effect (sorry) of adding through their labors to the wealth of the nation.

Will all these police agencies now auction off their “haul” to the highest bidder, using the proceeds to (at the very least) reduce the amount they need to seize next year from local taxpayers, some of whom pay exorbitant prices for pot on the “gray market”?

Of course not. Barring corrupt diversion, which would be preferable, they’ll destroy this cash crop. Possessing pot is illegal, they will answer sarcastically.

Actually, not. Nevada citizens voted overwhelmingly, five years back, to legalize possession and use of marijuana for anyone with a “doctor’s recommendation.” This “haul” could be auctioned or sold to anyone with such a doctor’s slip. Should police wish to limit the opportunities for re-sale (a goal which is itself anti-entrepreneurial, anti-capitalist, and therefore un-American), they could limit sales to one kilo per person, after the produce is properly hung and cured.

Such sales would be less likely to get the sellers arrested, since they’re, you know … THE POLICE.

But if even THE POLICE are afraid of being arrested by the fednarcs (there really should be special lunatic asylums for these Fearless Drug Warriors, don’t you think?) for selling a harmless, non-addictive herb to people with proper doctors’ recommendation slips, given that the federals continue attempting to meddle in this intra-state commerce with absolutely zero constitutional authority, they would STILL have the option of announcing where medical marijuana patients can come pick some up for free, for as long as supplies last.

That wouldn’t be “commerce,” even under the consummately wacky 1942 Willard v. Filburn ruling (whose authors should really be dug up and posthumously hanged for their assault on the very concept of “limited government” — farmer Filburn couldn’t grow wheat to feed to his own stock since by freeing himself from having to buy the stuff on the open market he might “impact” interstate commerce.) You can’t “impact” interstate commerce, see, if there’s no licit interstate marijuana commerce which could be “affected,” in the first place.

Oh, wait, spokescritters for the Multi-Agency High Intensity Narcotic Drug Trafficking Areas Regional Command and Synchronized Humvee Insertion Demonstration Team say this marijuana grow was illegal because it was conducted on FEDERAL LANDS, to wit, the Spring Mountains National Recreational Area.

First off, could we see the bill of sale giving evidence that the federal government ever “purchased” said lands “by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be,” as required by the Constitution?

And secondly, if it’s the use of the “common lands” that made this crop illegal (though it’s hard to imagine why, since that land is “held in trust for all of us,” and *I* certainly wasn’t planning to do anything else with it), that would clearly imply the growers would have been perfectly OK if they’d simply planted their garden on their own, private property, since it can’t reasonably be held it was the intent of the voters to legalize medical marijuana possession and use but then create no way for patients to actually get the stuff — right?

If someone from the MAHINDTARC&SHIDT will send me a letter to that effect — merely saying it would have been OK for the growers to plant their own, private land — signed by Sheriff Doug Gillespie and District Attorney David Roger, I’d be glad to post it here, just to finally get this whole mess straightened out. Because I’d hate to leave anyone confused.

# # #

A fair number of letter-writers have now weighed in, suggesting that the new Nevada state flower should be the orange highway cone.

Why are there so many construction zones now marked off, with visible work taking place in so few of them?

Yes, I see your hands waving in the air. It’s all that “stimulus” money from Washington, of course.

State and local authorities can’t resist spending Someone Else’e Money, so they rush to apply for federal funds for anything from repaving stretches of pavement just laid down a few years back, to that huge HOV Flyover Lane to Nowhere currently going up at the Rainbow Curve.

(That’s a “green project,” you see, since High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes encourage people to carpool. In this case, drivers Westbound on U.S. 95 approaching the Summerlin parkway at Rainbow will now realize that if they had a second person in the car they’d be able to travel several hundred yards on this new HOV Flyover, at which point they’ll have to gear down and churn out extra smog as traffic sits snarled, swaying back and forth on this scary new one-lane bridge, waiting to merge into precisely the same number of non-HOV lanes that have always existed on the westbound Summerlin. Net “energy savings”? Negligible. But it’s Someone Else’s Money, see? It’s not like everyone subject to the federal income tax will eventually have to pay the Chinese back!)

Meantime, who cares how many more local businesses, hanging on by their fingernails, call it quits because their access street has been blocked off for months with orange cones? Let’s get our priorities straight, here.

All this federal Orange Cone Money is about creating new JOBS, right? The same small number of construction firms that have always bid on and won these contracts bid on them now. But instead of finding themselves with two or three such jobs to do, they now find themselves with eight or 10. So they race right out and hire about a hundred new workers, putting those laid-off cocktail waitresses and computer programs and Cirque de Soleil acrobats to work grading asphalt and putting up concrete flyover towers. Right?

Wrong. That would be beyond dumb, it would be life-threatening. Of COURSE you use the same core crew of 30 or 40 reliable, experienced workers you’ve always used, sending one guy around to move the cones every couple of days on the other eight or 10 sites till you get around to them.

Those other people, drawing whatever it is, 198 weeks of unemployment benefits, don’t want to show up before dawn and work all day under the broiling hot Nevada summer sun GRADING ASPHALT — even if they knew how.

And that’s before we even stop to think what kind of unemployment compensation premiums you’d be charged, once the state Labor Board figured out you’d just hired 100 new quasi-temporary workers who you’re going to have to lay off as soon as this latest batch of federal “stimulus” money runs out.

Total new jobs created?

What do you think?

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