Friday, November 7, 2014

Legalize Moonshine, Marijuana, & Rickshaws

This morning there was a story on the news about a man who tried to sell a moonshine still on craigslist. He got arrested for his efforts. I was surprised by that! I had thought for years that it was legal to produce some amount of alcohol for personal use anywhere in the United States. So I looked up some links trying to find the real deal.

I found that under Federal Law distilling spirits is illegal. On this web site the author states;

"Alcohol distillation in the United States is highly regulated and federal judicial code is uniformly severe with those who skirt the rules. Once federal prosecutors bring charges against a suspect for illicit distillation, they are forbidden by law from dropping the case without express written permission from the Attorney General. "

"If found guilty, violators could face up to five years in prison and be fined $10,000" I find this to be disturbing. The reason I find it disturbing is that there are a lot of states in which the making of some personal moonshine is perfectly legal. That the number one reason for the federal ban has nothing to do with anything other than money. The drafters of these federal laws were afraid someone might avoid liquor taxes. I don't like the "spirit" of this law. I hate money grubber laws. That's what it is, or has become. This law may have started out as a law concocted to battle large scale illegal moonshine distillers of the post prohibition era, but don't they think that might be somewhat intrusive on the rights of the regular Joe home distiller? It is another example of the heavy handed, punitive approach the federal government has become famous for.

Just like the federal marijuana laws that say this innocuous substance is every bit as dangerous as heroin or meth, the federal ban on the hobbyist production of some spirits is a grievous intrusion onto our personal liberties. Just like the story of the home owner who was fined $50 a day by the city for having a vegetable garden in his front yard, this is indeed a travesty. 

Besides just being an intrusion on our liberty and freedom, there is another objectionable motive. The motive and methods are heinous, and criminal. Certain people get political power, or invest in another person who will do their bidding, so these kind of laws get crafted. Like the ban on a veggie garden. Could such a law be supported and crafted by big grocers trying to ensure their customer base doesn't shrink due to people growing their own food?

Look at Las Vegas. There is an actual law restricting rickshaws. Why? The reason why is because the taxi owners were afraid of competition, so they got together and pushed a anti-rickshaw law. If you have a look of dismay on your face right now, I can understand it. Check out this article.

"Because pedicabs are not motorized, they don't come under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Taxicab Authority or the Nevada Transportation Services Authority. But limousine drivers complained to TSA regulators that pedicabs were operating unsafely."

Safety? I call bull crap on that one. If there was any concern about public safety, the city would focus on that, and try to craft laws that ensure safety. They wouldn't be putting 100 drivers out of work by shutting them down completely. The limo drivers don't give a flying monkey about any safety except the safety of their wallets. They have caused a defacto monopoly. This isn't the only instance of greedy people getting laws passed in city, state or federal government halls that have nothing to do with your personal freedom or liberty, and everything to do with keeping competition crushed.

This kind of greed is rampant in our United States of America. It is reflected in laws like the anti-rickshaw, anti-marijuana, anti-DIY whiskey and a whole lot of others. I don't know about you, but I've had it up to my eyeballs with restrictive laws that serve no real public good. In reality, a lot of these restrictive laws run counter to the public good. Like the federal ban on home whiskey distilling. The still I seen on the news broadcast this morning looked unsafe. It looked like it could blow up if the pressures were not constantly monitored. Perhaps if instead of an outright ban we had laws designed to preserve public safety instead, we wouldn't be having explosions threatening public safety. Check out the next example;

So let us really take back America. Let us support common sense laws, and not laws who's purpose is nothing but greed. Let us legalize the safe production of limited amounts of spirits by the freedom loving public. Let us legalize marijuana on a federal level. Let us have safe rickshaws carrying willing passengers.  Let us have our liberty in this land of freedom.