Libertarian Party of MD joins Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland

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MPCMD-1The Libertarian Party of Maryland has joined with the ACLU of Maryland, MPP, LEAP, SSDP, Maryland NORML, the NAACP (of Maryland), the League of Women Voters of Maryland, and many other organizations to advocate for ending the prohibition of marijuana possession by adults. The coalition’s website can be found at http://www.marijuanapolicyinmd.org.

The coalition supports the decriminalization of marijuana possession by adults and the full implementation of Maryland’s medical marijuana program that passed in 2013. The coalition is actively supporting the passage of three forms of legislation in the current session of Maryland’s General Assembly. While no legislation is perfect, this effort represents a necessary and welcome incremental advancement towards greater personal liberty for Maryland’s citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

Liberty Quotation of the Day: Compassion and Coercion

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Penn Jillette“It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion.  Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion.  Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.  People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered.  If we’re compassionate, we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right.  There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”

Penn Jillette

9 Days to the Maryland Libertarian Party Convention!

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Only 9 Days Left Until the Most Electrifying, Thought-Provoking, Paradigm-Shifting, Freedom-Powered Event on the East Coast: the Saturday, April 5th Maryland LP Convention

Speeches that Powerfully Change the Way You Look at Liberty, How You Think and Talk and Feel about Liberty, and What You Can Do to Advance and, perhaps, Achieve Liberty in Our Lifetimes

Speeches You Can’t Stop Talking About.

Skeptical? Think this might be Exaggeration or Hype?

Just Look at What’s Happening! Read the rest of this entry »

Liberty Quotation of the Day: The Harm Principle

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John Stuart Mill“The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion.  That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection.  That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.  His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.  He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right.  These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to some one else.  The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others.  In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute.  Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty [1869]

A Few Questions for the Maryland Megamillions Jackpot Winner

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MegamillionsThis morning we learn that one of the two winning tickets in last night’s Megamillions drawing was purchased in Maryland.  It wasn’t necessarily a Maryland resident, but it’s certainly likely to be a Maryland resident.  I don’t want to pry, but there are a few questions I’d love to ask, if anyone can put me in touch with the lucky winner: Read the rest of this entry »

News from the Shawn Quinn for Governor Campaign

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Quinn FloatShawn Quinn, Libertarian candidate for Governor of Maryland, along with Lorenzo Gaztanaga, Libertarian candidate for Lt. Governor, participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Annapolis on March 9th. According to Shawn, “Green coats and the pursuit of happiness abound in Annapolis. It truly is about people.” You can see more pictures of Shawn and Lorenzo at the parade on Shawn’s Facebook page (which I encourage you to ‘like’). There is also an independent Marylanders for Quinn Facebook page.

Shawn will meet with a Cumberland Tea Party group today (March 16th at 2 p.m.) at the Woodman of the World Lodge in Cumberland. Shawn then moves on to a Meet and Greet in Southern Maryland, on March 22nd at noon, at the Calvert Library Southern Branch, 13920 HG Trueman Rd. Solomons, MD 20688. Joining them will be Peggy O’Donnell (seeking the party nomination for Calvert County Board of County Commissioners) and Leo Dymowski (seeking the party nomination for Attorney General). Then on March 27th, Shawn will participate in a Town Hall forum with other candidates at Morgan State University, at the Murphy Fine Arts Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Please consider attending events that are close to you, as our candidates need your support.

To keep up to date about Shawn and Lorenzo’s campaign, you can visit their website at http://citizen4quinn.org

Who guards the guardians themselves?

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This age-old question of political philosophy is raised once again by Radley Balko’s latest column in the Washington Post.  As Balko reports, South Carolina Supreme Court Justice Donald Beatty has admonished state prosecutors not to engage in witness tampering, selective or retaliatory prosecution, or suppression of evidence, and the prosecutors in South Carolina are outraged. Believe it or not, they think Justice Beatty’s remarks make him unfit to judge criminal cases in South Carolina.  I should have thought that outspoken opposition to witness tampering, retaliatory prosecution, and suppression of evidence would be right up there among the very most important qualities we want in judges who hear criminal cases.

Balko writes that this story and the others he reports in the same column all fit into a single theme of prosecutors being opposed to accountability in any form.  He’s right as usual, but it seems to me there is another lesson here as well:  Instead of giving speeches that put prosecutors on notice that their misconduct will no longer be tolerated, judges should just start throwing the book at the bad actors.  If they object to the warning, don’t warn them. Read the rest of this entry »