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Posts Tagged ‘regulations’

To add to the list of depressing news for the day, have a look at the sorry fate that the medical marijuana bill in Minnesota suffered.

Nonetheless, I think the wind is blowing in one direction in the US; and that is towards legalization. These are not the wishful words of an optimist but a mere appraisal of the expression of views we are seeing currently. Major newspapers are running pro-legalization opeds like never before, the public attitudes have never been more favorable and if you look at the age-breakup of the polls that are being conducted, it is obvious that change is coming.

I have an almost perfect success rate in previous predictions I have made on this blog, and I am confident that the two I am going to make now will come true.

1) In ten years from now, recreational marijuana use will be either fully legal or decriminalized in more than 35 American states; the federal government will no longer seek to interfere in state policy on this matter; most major US urban cities will be as pot-friendly as Amsterdam is today.

2) On the other hand, regulations against tobacco, unhealthy foods and fatty burgers will get more stringent. Vice taxes associated to those will increase substantially. In ten years from now, it will be hard to light up even in most private owned properties except a few narrowly defined areas. Trans-fat bans will be almost universal. Companies will have much less freedom than now about what they can sell you; this will be done to protect you from your bad choices.

In short, the pro-marijuana legalization winds that are blowing today have less to do with libertarian principles and more to do with what is currently considered ok. Here’s an old post by me on this theme.

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Chuck Hurley’s appointment as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration head is a troubling one. Read this great piece by Radley Balko to find out why.

As for MADD, they are a perfect example of an organization whose nanny-statism has crossed the line from being annoying to what I can only succintly describe as evil.

[In case anyone is wondering, I do realize that highway and traffic restrictions affect people other the driver, and thus are not necessarily paternalistic. My comments above concern only those positions held by MADD (and others of its ilk) that are either purely paternalistic or so unreasonable that they can only have been motivated by paternalistic concerns.]

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Read about it here.

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The Telegraph reports:

Czech scientist Petr Svacha, accused of illegally collecting insects from Singalila National Park, was let off with a fine of Rs 20,000 today after the chief judicial magistrate of Darjeeling took note of his reputation as a renowned entomologist and said he was a “victim of circumstances”.

However, his associate Emil Kucera, a forest official in the Czech Republic, was sentenced to three years of simple imprisonment and told to pay a fine of Rs 60,000.

First of all, I don’t see why there is this disparity in sentencing.

Secondly, I can understand the rationale behind criminalizing the killing of rare animals, but collecting a few beetles? Honestly? Why should there be a law against it?

They say there are no easy solutions to hard problems. But there indeed is a quick and effective way to get rid of many of the serious problems facing India. Just get rid of 90% of the laws and regulations in the Indian rulebook. Then the courts can get back to real cases and clear some of that backlog, enterprising citizens can open a new business without getting fifteen licenses, and people can live their lives the way they deem fit.

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I exaggerate not a bit when I describe the prevailing politics of L.A. to be roughly as follows: Wal-Mart and big box stores = evil, and need to be stopped at all costs. Also, we need more cheap supermarkets! Mom and pop stores need to be defended from Big Corporations, unless they sell fried chicken or used tires, or get in the way of a big development project.

 — Matt Welch, writing about his experience of dealing with Los Angeles “stakeholders” during his two-year tenure at the L.A. Times.

I highly recommend the whole article.

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Even the famously socialist French ultimately come to realize that bad policies give bad results.

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Everyone has a small part of himself that wishes to control the lives of others but only the government has the power to do it legally.

A large Mississippi lawmaker proposed a bill that would ban restaurants from serving obese customers. Thankfully no one, including the lawmaker, expects the bill to pass.

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