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Fiscal court right, proponents wrong

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Argument falls well short to keep bath salts, fake pot legal

By BEN CARLSON

Arguing against government intrusion into the lives of its citizens is admirable, and more often than not those airing their grievances have justifiable reasons.
That wasn’t the case in last week’s effort by a game but off-base group of residents who argued against the fiscal court’s ban on synthetic marijuana and bath salts.
Those two scourges on our community needed to be banned, and no amount of argument in favor of protecting the rights of people to harm themselves can convince us otherwise.
The main thrust proponents used was that the packaging in which these drugs are contained says clearly that the contents are not to be consumed by humans.
That’s fine, but nor does the packaging give the seller or user any indication exactly for what those contents are supposed to be used.
And that’s on purpose. The way these substances are packaged, marketed and sold is nothing short of a bald-faced lie designed to skirt the law and allow the products’ repugnant manufacturers and insidious peddlers to profit on the backs of the weak-minded adults who have neither the intelligence nor self-control to refrain from poisoning themselves.
Their arguments for keeping them legal included the availability of alcohol and tobacco products, neither of which contribute to the health and well being of society but yet are readily available to the masses.
What’s missing from that argument is that booze and tobacco manufacturers aren’t legally allowed to hide behind slick marketing tactics (at least anymore), and those who choose to use them know full well the associated health risks.
Thanks to Sheriff Troy Young’s D.A.R.E. efforts, that includes children.
The synthetic marijuana and bath salts peddlers, though, market with covert deception. Bath salts are, among other things, marketed as foot powder. Never mind that it’s sold in 1-gram vials that don’t contain enough powder to cover a big toe, let alone a foot.
Synthetic marijuana, which its proponents would have us believe is nothing more than concentrated potpourri, comes in all sorts of fancy packaging, including one rather hideous design that proclaims it to be “Scooby Snacks,” an obvious reference to the old “Scooby Doo” cartoons.
What’s next? SpongeBob SquarePants?
Their arguments also included other red herrings, which added nothing to the debate and served only to undermine their own credibility.
Among those was that other toxic items are legally available — “You can walk into Walmart and buy rat poison,” one of them said — and that nothing prevents people from ingesting those items.
Other than common sense, we suppose that person was correct.
But what really slammed the door on any argument they posed — again aside from common sense, that is — was when one of them actually argued in favor of beastiality and contended that people should have the right to “have sex with chickens” if that’s what they choose to do.
Off-the-cuff comment or not, that remark speaks volumes about one side’s ability to make reasonable decisions, and the other’s apparent eagerness to continue ingesting substances that are supposedly foot powder and potpourri.
Should they take their own advice and heed the warning not to consume those products, perhaps their arguments will be improved next time they protest government intrusion into their lives.