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Reason Alert: Drew Carey, Global Warming Roundtable

June 12, 2008

Drew Carey Video: Medical Marijuana and Minors
Owen Beck, battling bone cancer, had a prescription for medical marijuana from his doctors at Stanford. He often filled his prescription at a legal medical marijuana dispensary run by Charles Lynch in California. But after being raided by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Lynch faces federal charges of distributing marijuana to minors - minors suffering from cancer, like Owen Beck. In a new Reason.tv video featuring Lynch and Beck, who lost a leg, host Drew Carey asks, "Are we really helping minors by keeping them from medical marijuana at all costs? Or are we treating their parents like children?" Reason.tv Editor Nick Gillespie says, "The feds need to face the facts: California voters legalized medical marijuana in 1996. The federal government's continual harassment of cancer patients and legal businesses is shameful and serves as a frequent reminder of what a massive failure the war on drugs is." This is the second Reason.tv Drew Carey video examining the nation's medical marijuana laws. In a November 2007 Reason.tv video, Carey called for the legalization of medical marijuana, saying, "I think it's clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana. People who need it should be able to get it - safely and easily."

Global Warming and Property Rights - A Reason Roundtable
Should companies or countries that have contributed to global warming be required to compensate other countries or individuals directly impacted by climate change? Is global warming a threat to private property? The latest Reason Roundtable examines these questions from a couple of perspectives.

Reason Foundation's Shikha Dalmia says, "ultimately libertarians and other advocates of free markets ought to have no ideological predisposition regarding the scientific outcome. They cannot treat the earth's thermostat as an enemy of freedom. Indeed, regardless of whether climate change eventually turns out to be real or not, the libertarian goal ought to be to ensure the protection and advancement of freedom - and all its attendant institutions: free markets, limited government and property rights."

Jonathan Adler, professor of law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, writes, "...if the land of a farmer in Bangladesh is flooded, due in measurable and provable part to human-induced climate change, why would he be any less entitled to redress than a farmer who has his land flooded by his neighbor's land-use changes? Nor does it matter that Bangladesh might stand to benefit from industrial development: If one's normative baseline includes a commitment to property rights, then aggregate welfare maximization is secondary - if not irrelevant. The whole point of protecting property rights is to ensure that property owners control exercise of their own rights. If a property owner wishes to accept another's waste in return for compensation, that should be her choice. If not, then her right to refuse ought to be protected. Individual property rights should not be put up for a community vote or sacrificed as part of some utilitarian calculus."

Indur M. Goklany, author of the book The Improving State of the World, takes a differing view: "Greenhouse gas-producing activities in the US (and other industrialized countries) have created technologies to: raise food production and alleviate hunger; treat diseases such as AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis; and cope with droughts, floods and other natural disasters. Such activities have also lead to the discovery and harnessing of electricity and helped develop cell phones, internet and the personal computer, all technologies that every country in the world benefits from. The wealth they have generated, moreover, has allowed Bangladesh to benefit from trade, tourism and remittances from abroad. It has also allowed the US to offer aid to Bangladesh in times of famine and other disasters. Had it not been for these activities, what would Bangladesh's level of human well-being be? Its life expectancy has gone up from 35 years in the 1940s to 61 now. Its hunger and malnutrition rates would undoubtedly be far higher as agricultural yields would be lower. It would be hard to even list all the ways in which Bangladesh has benefited."
Related:
» Reason Foundation Debate - Carbon: Tax, Trade or Deregulate?
» Ronald Bailey: An Emergency Cooling System for the Planet
» Bailey: Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobil Whore

Obama as the End of Identity Politics as We've Known Them
At Reason.com, Terry Michael writes, "Compromise is a word doctrinaire libertarians find more appalling than appealing. But there's a lot that is appealing in Barack Obama....perhaps most important to libertarians, his election will put the Jesse Jacksons, the Al Sharptons, and the white identity politics liberals out of business. No longer will they be able to peddle victimology or mau-mau their way through the political landscape, demanding diversity training, minority contracts, or other tribal reparations from bigots they find behind every bush. The myth of unassimilable 'minorities' dies when a majority white nation selects a leader 'of color,' just as religious social distance was diminished when a majority Protestant country chose a Catholic a half-century before. There is no perfect leader in the wings. I'll settle for one whose election will signal the end of the world of racial politics as we know it."
» Steve Chapman: Obama Is a Liberal Like No Other



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