The sponsors of a medical cannabis initiative appearing on South Dakota’s ballot in November are suing the state Attorney General over his misleading summary of the initiative, apparently designed to encourage a negative reaction in voters. The AG must write a neutral summary of each state ballot initiative. In this case, his first act was to rename the measure.
“An act to provide safe access to medical marijuana for certain qualified persons,” became “An Initiative to authorize marijuana use for adults and children with specified medical conditions.”
August 2006 (source)
It’s curious that the greatest – or at least the loudest – love for children is proclaimed by those who display a general distrust of progress and freedom.
Groups seeking to control individual behaviour, undermine civil rights or impose a moral code on society will frequently broadcast their own sincere desire to protect young folk from real or imaginary threats, habitually invoking ‘the children’ to justify each new restriction.
If the safety of children is at stake, who could possibly object to laws that curtail privacy, individual choice and basic liberty?
The need to protect the young is biological, a basic principle of survival seen in most animals. In people, the instinct is more refined; it applies to our species in general and is not limited to our own children. Because it is a rational decision based on a powerful unconscious imperative, the protective urge can be irrational in its expression and has a long and unfortunate tradition of being used to manipulate people.