Lawyers will enjoy discussing whether states, communities, or the federal government should have primary jurisdiction over marijuana laws in particular or over social issues in general. But as a non-lawyer I look elsewhere. I look to the question: Is our society a society for the moral upbringing of our people, or is it a society for the freedom of the individual? In other words, are we followers of Locke or of Plato? Not what you expect, I suspect.

A society seeking to inculcate morality cannot be liberal. A liberal society cannot really have a moral purpose. A society seeking morality as a goal also cannot put individual freedom above everything else; it would put what is good above everything else. All our disputes over social issues have to take this into account, whether it be abortion, contraception, education, or socioeconomic policy. I doubt many are willing to do this. It can be painful; it certainly is not what people seeking their own freedom want to think about. But, please DO THINK ABOUT IT.

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.