Inconsistency in Our Laws
Ben Stein
by

As a young law student at Yale, I had the great honor of studying Constitutional Law under the genius-hero, Robert Bork. He later came to grief because of the attacks on his ethics led by Teddy Kennedy.

What Bob Bork taught us was to look for inconsistencies in the way that the law is employed and/or how government is run. If you find these, you often have a Con Law problem and possibly a major social problem. If the state says that all men are created equal and then allows, even endorses, one race owning the body of men and women of another race, there’s going to be a crisis. We can call it the War Between the States.

This comes to mind because of the so-called “opioid epidemic” as to which media and government figures are screaming bloody murder and rightly so. Thousands of Americans dying because they want to change their moods and thus take fentanyl or overdoses of heroin, thousands more made into languid skeletons, the living dead — that’s no joke.

So, I think we can assume that we are wary of Americans consuming substances that drastically change their minds and moods.

But then how can we eagerly advertise wine, beer, and liquor to Americans on TV and in print? Martinis change a woman’s mood quickly, as many of them have learned to their regret. Vodka and orange juice can make a man as high as if he were under anesthesia.

In fact, alcohol is metabolized in the brain to become something very like ether, a potent mood changer indeed. We’re trying to make young people behave responsibly about education and about sex. How come we allow massive advertising to them to sell them on using substances that break down responsible behavior in every area? We want college men to respect college women sexually. Then we have TV selling them booze that virtually guarantees that the men and the women won’t behave responsibly. Isn’t there some little bit of inconsistency there? We don’t want Americans dying of drug overdoses but we have tens of thousands of our fellow citizens dying of liver disease and drunk driving every year. Isn’t there some inconsistency there? Maybe some contempt for life?

Then there’s the elephant in the room: marijuana. We’re on a national race course to legalize marijuana as fast as we can in many states. It’s a big part of the program of many politicians. It’s considered hip, slick, and cool.

But modern-day marijuana is incredibly powerful. It’s so powerful it’s like LSD or psilocybin. It’s a genuine hallucinogenic. If a full grown man or woman smokes a joint or even a few puffs, he’s in a trance. That makes for wildly bad driving. It makes for putting millions of people into a torpid, utterly unproductive state of mind. It creates the living dead. In fact, I often think that the craze for zombie movies is really a sly mockery of marijuana.

There are some problems here. I don’t pretend that I know the answers. I do know that we as a people and as individuals are better off turning to a spiritual source for nourishment instead of alcohol and dope. And I know that a nation of drunk and stoned people is going to be a lot different from what Norman Rockwell and I have in mind for our great nation. I know that it’s not the America I want my adorable grand-daughter, Coco, to live in. Marijuana and martinis are not the way to a happier life.

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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