Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ayn Rand the favorite author of a wanted drug dealer...

Still on the topic of celebrities who relate to Ayn Rand, here is an unlikely one who points the arrow towards what has forever been a contentious issue relating to free markets, and the right of a government to impose a ban. The name is Marc Emery, but he is better known as the ‘prince of pot.’ He has been in the Marijuana trade for decades as a manufacturer and supplier of cannabis seeds and is one of the 50 most wanted drug dealers in the US. Currently based in Canada, he is facing extradition to the US, and will plead guilty before a Seattle court on September 21 to a charge of manufacturing marijuana. He professes complete agreement with the economic and political aspects of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, claiming her to be his greatest influence. Click here to read an interview with him that was published in the Mid-Day newspaper a few months back.

True to Ayn Rand’s teaching, he has not treated his profession as a shameful secret. Quite to the contrary, he proudly proclaims himself as a champion of unregulated free markets, and the right of adults to choose whether they wish to take drugs. Chased by the US government as a criminal, he took sanctuary in Canada for several years. Canada has a more lenient drug policy than the US, and Emery finally naturalized there. Based in Vancouver till his jail term, Emery speaks vociferously on public forums and in the media about virtually every issue related to drugs, including the rights of adults to choose. He also heads a political party, and has run for office several times. Now, following a complex legal arrangement, he faces five years in a US prison. He is currently on a ‘farewell tour’ and is speaking at different venues in the world about drug-related issues.

In the Mid-Day interview mentioned above, amongst other things, he talks about the fact that the harms associated with smoking grass have been grossly over-estimated by popular channels.

It will be interesting to hear what people here have to say about the right of adults to purchase drugs freely, and the banning and criminalizing of the drug trade.


  1. once again objectivism has brought us to a conflicting point. it is true that marijuana's effects have been delibrately exagerated. infact marijuana is physically less addictive than tobaco. but as far as the free trade and right to choose go, i'm not sure what objectivism tells us to do. if every adult should be given the right to choose marijuana then we can't stop there. he should have the right to choose cocain and acid as well. if we say that marijuana is okay but coke is not then we are in the danger of being called hypocrites. this is why objectivism seems so extreme to me. but the truth is it still somehow makes sense. i wish i could have a chat with ayn rand and clear such dilemma once and for all.

  2. As Ayn Rand would say, when we face a contradiction, we need to check our premises! And in this case, I don't think there need be any restrictions on trade. And as I believe in my capacity to enjoy the freedom and reject the choices which I may not endorse, be it tobacco, marijuana or cocaine. So I would recognise that capacity in fellow human beings (adults), to make the right choices for themselves. Progress of human civilisation is based on the capacity of man to make the right choices, freely.

  3. As adults, drivers face a violent and bloody death, approximately, every five seconds. They have to choose to steer their car wisely through the dangers of highways and laneways. One slip of the hand, one moment of looking the wrong way at the wrong time & SPLAT.

    The same is true of pedestrians navigating busy city streets or uneven stairs. Have you ever noticed how older people (65+) handles those dangers? They slow down, they give more space, or they find what they can hold onto (as pedestrians) and even ask for help. They have, in spite of the failures of modern education, religious education, and youthful thoughtlessness grasped that their life depends on acting appropriately for the circumstances.

    With a better cultural philosophy even 14 year old boys would be taking their own lives very very seriously, especially on seeing the cocaine addict ruin his life.

    Yes, 'recreational' drugs should be no reason for the State to arrest someone. If a man with alcohol in his bloodstream gets in a terrible car accident, his crime is NOT the alcohol. His crime is whether or not he cause the accident, and how he caused it. It makes no difference if a sober person or a drunk person kills someone else, the fact is that they killed someone else. It is manslaughter (or worse).

    No,his crime is not worse because he had alcohol in his body. His crime is not that he had alcohol in his blood, but that he erred, badly, while driving. If alcohol was a factor in HIS judgment, why should he be presumed 'more' guilty, than the man without alcohol?

    Many drivers who are charged with "Driving Under the Influence" are better drivers than
    1. new drivers,
    2. excited (sober) teenagers, or
    3. adults that are terribly emotionally upset.

    For #3, think of when someone really close to you has died, or consider driving on the same day you returned home from work to discover your 8 year old daughter had been raped, and murdered —you will be worse than a ~.2% drunkard.)

    Guns do not kill, and nor does alcohol or cocaine, it is the actions a man takes that kill, or ruin lives. Further, private citizens can have perfectly good uses for guns, alcohol, or cocai(all as examples). The role of government is not to manage your decisions, but to deal with those whose lives are harmed by the coercive/irrational actions of others. It is not the role of government to decide what a citizen can use safely and wisely, but a just court system would assign very heavy penalties to those who violate the Rights of other citizens.