Thursday, September 22, 2005

Legalize It

When it comes to political leanings, I've defined myself as a free-thinking laissez faire capitalist. What does that all mean? It pretty much puts me inbetween parties and closest to being a Libertarian (although, I find myself less happy with their methodology.) I believe that trade is important. I value each individual state over the federal government. (We are a united 50 states but it doesn't mean we can't have different values and beliefs.) I think that government interference with trade creates a bigger federal government. With all that, I also believe in legalizing marijuana.

It might sound like this is the time for me to tell you that I grow plants, smoke up at concerts or sell the stuff. Nothing could be further from the truth. I admit that I have tried pot twice. The first time gave me a case of the giggles and a case of the munchies (which ended with me finishing 3 large Little Caesar's pizzas and curling up hoping my body would process it before I exploded.) The last time did absolutely nothing. Will I try it again, I doubt it. But I do wonder why pizza chains haven't been trying to push for legalization... I mean, they'd do huge business.

My reasons for wanting legalization are many. The 18th Amendment was a failure and America supposedly learned a valuable simple lesson from 1919 to 1933, a supply will be created if a demand is there. Simple economics really. By creating a black market for the goods, more money was diverted for other illegal uses while the government spent money on cracking down on these operations. I see the War on Drugs in the same light. This war started with the Harrison Act which only had to deal with registering people to sell, produce, import and distribute opium and cocoa leaves and their derivatives. These items were sneakily made illegal when they then decided not to register anyone. The Marijuana Tax Act would follow in the same footsteps in 1937 (only 4 years after Prohibition ended.) Anyhow, essentially one prohibition ended and another began and continues to this day. States have been trying to address these federal acts. Since 1995, 20% of the states have passed Medical Marijuana initiatives (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.) Between 1978 and 1997, 70% of the states have passed legislation recognizing the medicinal value of marijuana.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't want all drugs legalized. I just believe that it's hypocritical of us to keep punishing people for recreational use of something that they enjoy and has less serious effects on the body than the very legal alcohol. I personally would rather see tax revenue made from this item than spent on sustaining the status quo. (I'm not even going to go into money saved from enforcement.) But, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

13 comments:

Vavoom said...

I couldn't agree more, Martin. In fact, I'd probably extend your argument to other drugs.

Jenn said...

I've never had a problem with it. Smoked it here and there. ALOT of my friends still blaze it up. I've never seen anyone act stupid, lose any kinda control because of it, or anything of the like.

Oh, but alcohol, oh now, we can drink that!

LoraLoo said...

I haven't touched the stuff for years. But I don't see a problem with it. I say sell it, tax it, and make some money off it. The money we would save from enforcement would probably be a HUGE savings...

Lily said...

I say legalize it! I haven't smoked in a long time, I stopped when it began to make me paranoid whenever I did smoke. Didn't like that.

I do not see it as a "gateway" drug as it is often called. I never did anything other than pot, and those who I knew that smoked it did not do or go on to do harder drugs.

Teri said...

This may come as a shock, but I have never tried any drugs. Ms. anal retentive person that I am. I voted to legalize it for medicinal reasons.

Davydgrey said...

What does that make me Ter as I have never imbibed either? I have done alcohol and am a regular fan of allergy medicine but that is all.

Miss Hobby said...

I've never touched a drug in my life...not fond of pills, shots or cigarettes, so that cuts me out of about every drug known to man. But ever since I watched my sis go through her chemo, I would vote to legalize pot in a heartbeat. I don't see a problem with using it for medicinal purposes. If they consider it to be a 'drug', then use it as a medicianl drug.

Fred said...

The thinking goes that once you try weed, you then graduate to the "harder" stuff. So, the government is trying save us from all being crack heads.

On the flip side, can't all that money be put to good use elsehwere? I need a new traffic light outside my development to make sure I don't get killed - but there's no money.

In the end, I'l leaning your way. The people who graduate to the rough stuff would do so anyway, government or not.

I'm with Lora. Let's just start making money on the stuff, then use that money to fight the battles needed.

Bar Bar A said...

This may come as a shock to any of my friends who find this post here but I AGREE WITH YOU! I smoked in HS school and have friends that still smoke it, but here is my reasoning:

Alchohol is 100 times worse than pot. How many drunk drivers endanger lives or kill others while intoxicated compared to stoned drivers?

How many people can toke a reefer now and then but not become addicted...yet have a few drinks and it enter the world of alcholoism?

I just tinnk that compared to alchohol pot is harmless if treated appropriately.

I know my conservative friends disagree but to me this is common sense.

RT said...

Well you know I'm with ya.

dusty said...

I blogged about this shortly after the Supreme Court decision on the case from Cali, where I reside. The whole gateway arguement perpetuated on us by the government is really bullshit in my humble opinion, it was something that a couple of scientists came up with after very little research. Alcohol is addicting and I am sure to some degree so it pot, but jesus, so is caffiene, sugar and alot of other things in our daily lives.The medicinal value of marijuana covers many many illness's the most common being glaucoma and chemo...i heard there is research on bipolar disorders as well. I perfer pot to alcohol for many of the reasons given by you and other commenters: it won't kill my liver, I will not take out a bus stop full of people if I smoke it and drive just to name two. It does alot to improve the quality of my life with two blown discs in my back and a digestive disorder known as IBS. It doesn't have to be smoked so there goes their complaint about screwing up the lungs. The right, primarily the religious right will never allow this to be legalized and thats a shame. Rush Limbaugh can do his oxy-contin and get a slap on the wrist but in some states you get jail time for such an offense if its pot.The taxation of pot would remove the mob and gangs from the equation which is a good thing, not to mention the revenue for state and federal governments.We can smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol which are known to kill us..but pot is taboo..cigs and booze never had or never will have medicinal qualities. I could go on..but i see your eyes glazing over..

dusty said...

chemo isn't an illness.but i think you get my point..

Vavoom said...

The most convincing and thorough studies show that marijuana does not carry the same physical addiction that alcohol, nicotine or hell -- even sex touts.

I say people should be allowed to booze, smoke and hump as much as they'd like. I'm going to remain consistent and say that ganga should be legal.