One of my pet peeves is when people talk about the issue of marijuana legalization being a “debate”. To be sure, one side feels one way and the other side feels another way, which is why I suppose some can be forgiven for thinking that the issue has the veneer of a debate.

But at the end of a debate, no matter who wins and who loses, everyone goes home without a criminal record. That’s why it’s so disingenuous – especially for those who support prohibition – to claim the issue is a debate. To advocate for stripping those who have not infringed on the rights of anyone else of their personal rights and then claim it’s all an exercise in verbal combat is a gross mischaracterization at best.

Make no mistake: those who support prohibition support stripping you of the right to do that which you want as long as it does not infringe on the rights of anyone else. They support criminalizing you for doing something that does not affect them.

Of course, people like Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana will tell you they are saving society from itself. “Legalization would create a new, potentially dangerous industry that, like both alcohol and tobacco before it, has a pattern of targeting young people, the low-income and minorities,” Sabet said.

See how Sabet is able to make the false comparison of marijuana to alcohol/tobacco while simultaneously broaching the idea that young, low-income minorities may just be too stupid to make their own decision about marijuana, especially if they see some slick advertising? But have no fear, dumb young minorities; Kevin Sabet is going to save you from yourself by criminalizing something that could be quite medically beneficial to you. You know, because he cares.

As C.S Lewis said: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive…those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

People like Kevin Sabet aren’t interested in debate or verbal exercises. They want to control your life – for your own good, of course. They don’t want you doing certain things in your own home, so they will use the power of government to criminalize those things.

But we can take solace in the fact that his side loses more ground every year. One day, no one will know the name Kevin Sabet, and that day can’t come soon enough.