When rules, regulations, or laws are driven by emotions or idealism, very little thought is given to consequences. An emotional rush to enact legislation always results in something different than what was intended, causing more problems.
Denver is facing unintended consequences from Colorado’s recent Amendment 64 that legalized marijuana and is now considering opting out of that amendment. Some city council members say voters intended only to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, not to have pot stores in their neighborhoods. The police chief says there are a lot of safety issues involved and that crimes, such as burglaries, have increased since Amendment 64 passed. Imagine that.
The marijuana issue has become an emotional and political football, confusing legalization with decriminalization. That confusion, a deliberate tactic on the part of marijuana advocates, helped get Amendment 64 passed. Buyer’s remorse is already setting in, but it could have been prevented had voters and legislators been more observant and less emotional.
They should have looked at Los Angeles where marijuana dispensaries now outnumber Starbucks. California has been trying, and failing, to regulate medicinal marijuana which has been legal in the state since 1996. This out-of-control situation provides a lesson for other states, but emotional, feel-good legislation is deaf, dumb, and blind.
Current emotions are running high on gun control, with wingnuts on both sides of the aisle taking untenable stances and refusing compromise. The same can be said concerning comprehensive immigration reform where “reform” has become synonymous with “amnesty”, making the issue impossible to discuss rationally.
We are currently experiencing many negative, unintended consequences from Obamacare, an emotionally charged bill forced through Congress by an idealistic president. This, too, was legislated while ignoring lessons from European countries struggling to sustain liberal health care policies. Good intentions need rational analysis, not knee-jerk reactions.
President Obama’s fomenting of class warfare along with his myopic focus on social issues uses emotions for political gain. As long as emotions rule politics, resulting legislation will just be another burden passed onto the next generation. It is our responsibility to think before acting and elect leaders who do the same.
David J. Hentosh