In my Mises Daily article at Mises.org today, I noted that police in states neighboring Colorado have taken to targeting cars with Colorado license plates for special treatment in the form of detainment, harassment, and more. Some Nebraskans have taken to demanding that Colorado taxpayers pay for Nebraska’s efforts to confiscate cannabis from Coloradans to take it across state lines.
Noted one sheriff:
“They passed a law and didn’t give a second thought to how it would impact surrounding states,” Cheyenne County sheriff John Jenson told the newspaper. “If they want Colorado to be the High State and live up to all of those John Denver songs, they can keep it in their four walls. I don’t need Colorado’s problems in Nebraska.”
I’m not sure what these problem are exactly, unless he means one of these things:
1. 43,000 people, net, moved to Colorado in 2012 while 5500 people, net, left Nebraska. People vote with their feet, and Nebraska has been found wanting.
2. Home price appreciation is greater in Colorado than Nebraska, indicating higher demand for real estate. (Since Nebraska and Colorado are subject to identical monetary policy, we can attribute variances to genuine differences in demand. (5% growth in FHFA index for NE vs. 9% growth in CO.)
3. Colorado’s population is better educated (Percentage of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: CO is #3, Nebraska is #33.
4. Colorado has a higher per capita income: CO: #9, NE: #26.
Yep, big problems, those. I suppose the sheriff, talking to his fellow tax-eaters in law enforcement views it as a problem because his pals, like this totalitarian nut, think its craaaaazy to let people eat or smoke what they want without government approval. (Ludwig von Mises rightly pointed out that if you concede that government can control what you eat or smoke, then you have no grounds whatosever to argue that government should be limited in any way at all.)
But never underestimate how many people, including those who claim to be “for small government” who drank the public school kool-aid on cannabis. Writes one reader in response to my column today:
I would think that the neighboring States should be happy with the CO experiment. [if by "experiment" he means "return to pre-1930 status quo," then "experiment" is correct, I suppose] It gets the crazys [sic] out of their State where they can buy the stuff without robbing someone for the price.
My Son lives outside Denver. DowntownDenver is a madhouse. [If by "madhouse" you mean central business district where people work in offices by day and eat in restaurants by night, then yes, it is a "madhouse."] Every other storefront is selling weed. [Some stoners no doubt wish that were true, but...]
So, it is a magnate. [sic]
Given this fellow’s use of English, it seems that “drugs should be illegal” is the the only thing he learned in school. But it nicely illustrates that people devoted to conventional thinking are willing to believe pretty much anything about any place that has a tiny bit of extra freedom.
Most states I have visited have liquor stores in every strip mall, and yet no one seems terribly concerned about this. But many have been trained to regard cannabis use as somehow far more exotic and dangerous than alcohol usage.
These are the same people who ask the ridiculous question: “Are you prepared to deal with the consequences of legalized cannabis?” If by “consequences” they mean fewer non-violent husbands, mothers, fathers, and teens rotting in government cages, then yes, I am prepared to deal with those “consequences.”
And if they wonder if I’m prepared to endure a world that in drug legalization is like 1910 in America where one could buy cocaine and cannabis and opium in every corner drug store, then yes, I guess we could return to that “dangerous” social experiment that plunged America into chaos before the Drug War began.
By the way, I can’t resist including this dramatization of how Coloradans view Nebraska:
11:18 am on June 13, 2014 Email Ryan McMaken