Why marijuana and gun rights advocates need each other

American politics is best summed up as divided. Politicians and political establishments maintain power through the politics of division, striving to keep regular Americans bitterly divided. The Colin Kaepernick controversy is a good example. While most Americans likely agree that racism is wrong , as is oppression, we’re now being sidetracked by a debate that isn’t relevant to the issue.

We seem to be divided on this non-issue, when on the larger issues we’re likely in agreement. The same goes for pot and guns.


Many oppose marijuana because of a personal belief that drugs are bad. Regardless of personal moral beliefs, from a completely scientific and health-related perspective, marijuana is much less dangerous than harder drugs. From an addiction standpoint, people can become hooked on numerous things in society that arguably harm us more. Sex addiction ruins marriage by enabling extramarital affairs, food addiction triggers obesity and related health problems, and alcoholism can ruin families and get people killed.

The health debate is really a distraction from the core of the issue, however, the question remains: does the government have the right to regulate our individual consumption and personal lives?

Gun ownership is increasingly resisted because of health concerns. With greater media focus on tragic shootings and terrorist attacks, the call for heightened regulation has grown. Should Americans be able to own weapons that have high capacity magazines? Even the existence of these magazines in the possession of law-abiding citizens creates a risk of falling into the wrong hands. But then there are knives, baseball bats, and even vehicles that have been used for murder.

Is the health debate really a distraction from the core of this issue? Does government have the right to deprive law-abiding Americans of their right to bear arms?

These issues have long intersected in principle, but the point is now highlighted through a court recent ruling. A court has ruled that those who use medical marijuana cannot own a firearm due to the heightened risk of those individuals having access to guns while intoxicated.

But is marijuana illegal because it is dangerous or is it illegal because the government wants more control? Similarly, one could ask whether guns are being more heavily regulated because they’re dangerous or because the government wants more control?


Gun rights advocates can prove that prohibition of ownership and heavy regulation does not stop violence since the ban on drugs hasn’t done anything to make the country any more drug-free. If anything, the drug war has escalated gang violence and drug wars. Marijuana advocates can prove that prohibition is a failure by looking at the issue of guns. Guns are heavily regulated in places like California and France, yet terrorist attacks have been carried out there.

How do these things happen? Government bans are proven failures. While this is no excuse to give up our individual morality, it is time to recognize that big government is not the answer. It has failed to stop hard drugs and it has failed to stop gun violence. Regardless of the results, however, the government’s own failures are being justified to expand government power.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Chris Dixon is a liberty activist and writer from Maine. In addition to being Managing Editor for the Liberty Conservative, he also writes the Bangor Daily News blog "Undercover Porcupine" and for sports website Cleatgeeks.

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