Let’s Legalize Marijuana!by Don Lacey on Sep. 19, 2012, under Arizona Families, Art & Culture, AZ Politics, Campaign 2012, Critical Thinking, Economics, Ethics, Freethought, Government, History, Libertarianism, Logic, Question of the Day!, Reason, Responsible Government, That's Life!
“If you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. ‘Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years were rrreal fxxxing high on drugs”
In the series BBC’s Stephen Fry in America, Stephen Fry tours each U.S state in a London Taxi cab stopping at historical sites, hanging out with locals, and generally doing some really interesting things. In the final episode Stephen Fry accompanies a California sheriff on a drug bust. The sheriff’s men invade a man’s home and seize several marijuana plants he was growing. We live in a place where it is criminal offense to grow the wrong kind of plant.
Later in the episode, Fry spent some time with individuals who were in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. As a group, pot users tend to be harmless. Unlike alcohol users they are not likely to get into bar brawls or riots. According to comedian Kat Williams, marijuana’s only side effects are “hungry, happy and sleepy.” For decades millions of Americans have enjoyed recreational cannabis use. If you have never tried the drug, it is likely that some of your friends or family have and perhaps still enjoy its use. The idea that all of these people should have been arrested for it is absurd.
The fact that a hard working American cannot legally relax with a joint or a bong hit after a long day of work makes a mockery of the claims that this country is the land of the free. Reefer Madness is a myth. The truth of the matter is that pot users tend to be regular Americans just like everyone else. The vast majority of them do not become addicts of other drugs or drains on society. In fact, many hardworking individuals like Olympic athlete Michael Phelps, Musician Louis Armstrong, and Cosmologist Carl Sagan were all pot users. Additionally, a great many of the artists and entertainers that may that have done much to make life more enjoyable use cannabis as a way of relaxing or a source of inspiration. The suburban house moms that support zero tolerance are often hypocrites who have either tried the drug themselves or cruise around listening to a bunch of routine tokers on their soft rock radio stations.
A growing number of Americans now realize that the war on cannabis has cost this country billions of dollars, created horrible black markets, and done little to keep drugs off the streets. A recent Public Policy Polling survey showed that in Colorado legalizing pot got a higher approval rating than either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Acting on this, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon will have ballot measures this year for legalizing recreational marijuana use.
Bringing a major cash crop into the economy and allowing it to be taxed would be good for the economy and reduce deficit spending. Furthermore, legally selling marijuana could be a profitable business venture or source of employment for many impoverished Americans who don’t have a lot of other options. Let’s legalize it and eliminating any barriers of entry for those wishing to make money selling it. Additionally, money will be saved from policing and punishing people caught with this plant. It may also be a boon to the snack food industry.
However both of the major parties are vehemently opposed to legalization, despite its popularity among much of their base that can’t see the economic benefits. President Obama has cracked down on medical marijuana dispensaries far more than his predecessor. Mitt Romney has made it clear that he is vehemently opposed to ending the pointless expensive war against pot smokers. Romney states:
“If you’d like to get someone who is in favor of marijuana, I know there are some on the Democratic side of the aisle who will be happy to get in your campaign. But I’m opposed to it, and if you elect me president, you’re not going to see legalized marijuana. I’m going to fight it tooth and nail”
Of course there will be some people who are happy about this. The thugs that run the drug cartels are thrilled to see government policies raise the price of their product, while doing nothing to decrease demand. The alcohol industry is another beneficiary. It lobbies heavily to keep prohibition against what they see as a competitor intoxicant on the books. Ironically, alcohol is by any conventional standards a far more dangerous drug than pot.
The case for legalization is clear.