The above is a not-entirely-fair video filmed at FAU, in which Allen West is asked a question he plainly has no idea how to answer -- by a long-haired, peace-loving NORML activist, no less; a species with which West has had little experience in dealing, and which must strike him as strange, delicate, and a little frightening. This creature asks Allen West if it's right and just that he should face expulsion from college should he be caught smoking weed. West replies:
Well, there's also your own individual responsibility. You shouldn't be smoking marijuana if you know you're gonna have consequences ... You have to make decisions for yourself. Don't hold me accountable because you chose to go out and smoke marijuana.
"But would you want to destroy my bright future?" the creature asks.
You destroyed your bright future, because you put marijuana in your mouth. I didn't put it in your mouth.
By some extraordinary coincidence, this is precisely what I told my wife the last time I had to beat her for not getting dinner ready before I came home from work. "But I was sleepy," she said: "I just needed a little nap." Pow! When she stopped crying, I explained that it wasn't I that broke her jaw; that she knew there were consequences to her actions, and it was therefore her fault. For some reason, the police were unmoved by this explanation.
(The above paragraph is a lie.)
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It's a basic fact of civilized society that humans are solely responsible for their actions vis a vis other sentient beings. And if you're a legislator, that includes those beings you allow to be penalized for ridiculous offenses. Allen West's disclaiming of responsibility is ludicrous -- especially since he has no problem railing against those laws which displease him, and with far more ardor than that mustered by this peaceable fellow from NORML.
That said... oh, well, Maybe West will figure these things out on his own, or would figure them out, given time and thinking-space. Again, not a fair video: Allen West is busy, necessarily a little scatter-brained, and probably more than a little burnt out from having to think on his feet 16 hours a day. Still, it's interesting to get a feel for his gut-level reactions to victimless crimes. Wonder what the more libertarian elements of his constituency will have to say.