I read a great quote in the latest issue of Scientific American:
As for healing a social rift, most of the debates that are commonly depicted as religion versus science are really not questions of science at all; they are disagreements among various systems of beliefs and morals. The policy fight over embryonic stem cells, for example, centers on when and how one segment of a pluralistic society should curtail the behaviors of those who hold different values. Our attention should focus not on the illusory fault line between science and religion but on a political system that too often fails to engage with the real issues.
Another related example of a “disagreement among various systems of beliefs and morals” is yesterday’s raiding of the New Remedies Cooperative, a medical marijuana center, by federal DEA agents. Prop 215 was passed in California 10 years ago, and is pretty good evidence that the majority of people in California approve of marijuana for medical use. Now, I understand the need for a federal government to ensure consistency of laws across a nation, but I think the Supreme Court has gone a little too far in this case. I also get the argument that drug use is not just about one individual choice, but a burden on society through increased crime and other societal costs – but once again, why not let the state authorities decide this?Make no mistake. I do not use marijuana, and I will not allow my kids to use it. But the voters of California have made their wishes clearly known, and I think it is criminal for the federal government to spend our tax money to push a different belief system.