Pat Buchanan asks if America is going to pot

potheadsSmoking Marlboros is now forbidden in Irish bars in New York City. But buying, selling, and smoking marijuana is legal in Colorado.

It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

But where are we going?

One certain result of the legalization of marijuana is that there are going to be more potheads, more dropouts, and more deaths on highways from those high or stoned — and more rehab centers.

Scores of thousands of Coloradans may relish the freedom they have voted for themselves. But the costs will be borne by society and the families of future victims of potheads behind the wheel.

So it has been with alcohol. All of us can recall classmates injured and dead in auto accidents, jobs lost by friends, lives destroyed, and families smashed because of booze.

Just as beer opens the door for the young to bourbon, scotch, gin and vodka, marijuana is the gateway drug, the escalator drug, to cocaine and heroin.

And if marijuana sales bring in the revenue Colorado envisions, other states will follow suit, and some state will become the first to decriminalize cocaine.

Undeniably, the cultural revolution is gaining converts and picking up speed. The haste with which some Republicans are deep-sixing the social issues to focus on tax cuts testifies to this.

What does this tell us about our country?

America is not only diversifying racially, ethnically and religiously as a result of continuous mass immigration, legal and illegal. We are diversifying, and disuniting morally, culturally, and politically.

The government has shouldered aside organized crime to take over, tax, and regulate the rackets. At federal, state and local levels, the government rakes off vast revenues from taxes on booze, bars, cigarettes, casinos and, coming soon, online poker.

Contraceptives are now handed out to high schoolers and a right to contraception has been written into Obamacare.

Abortion and homosexuality used to be scandalous. Now they are constitutional rights and popular social causes, and same-sex marriage is the civil rights cause of the 21st century.

As Justice Antonin Scalia noted, if tradition, religious beliefs, or a community animus against conduct is insufficient to restrict private behavior, upon what legal ground do we stand upon to outlaw polygamy, adult incest, or prostitution?

Yet traditional America is not rolling over and playing dead.

While a libertarianism of the left appears ascendant, there is also a rising and militant libertarianism of the right.

The triumph of the sexual revolution has not been without its casualties, e.g., an endless supply of new HIV/AIDS and STD cases and a national illegitimacy rate of over 40 percent of all births.

And the correlation between that illegitimacy rate and the dropout rate, drug use rate, delinquency rate, crime rate, and incarceration rate is absolute.

Undeniably, the claims of the individual to maximum autonomy and freedom appear triumphant over the claims of community. The clamor of me is prevailing over the claims of us.

But in yielding, America has not only tossed overboard the moral compass that guided us for two centuries. We no longer even agree on what is “True North” anymore.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”