Monday, October 17, 2011

Legalize Marijuana

Long ago, I said I would post the MANY reasons marijuana should be legalized.  Well, today is that day. I often hesitate to address this topic, as I know it will give many the ammo they need to label me a "liberal with no moral high road," but each month another one of my conservative friends and family members tell me they agree. Legalizing marijuana is a bi-partisan issue in this country.  Ron Paul has a fair size of followers on his campaign trail, and he has long been a supporter of legalizing marijuana and ending the war on drugs. Hopefully that is all the preface I need. Now, for a few of the many reasons marijuana should be legal.

1. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. There is no rebuttal to this. None.
2. Marijuana grows naturally. Why should I (or any one else) care if someone rolls a natural herb up in a piece of paper and smokes it?
3. The revenue the US government could gain from taxing the sale of Marijuana could cover much of our national debt (I've found this to be the #1 reason my conservative friends support the legalization of Marijuana).
4.  I DON'T WANT MY TAX DOLLARS WASTED ON MARIJUANA USERS!!!

Yes, the all caps is an indicator that I will pause here and expound on my claim. Reason number four is why every American should agree with me (well, and reason number one).

Twelve and a half percent of all prison inmates are held on marijuana charges. It costs nearly $25,000 a year to house a prisoner (2008, Denver Post).  It costs $30,000 per year per person to provide drug rehab in prison; it only costs $8,000 per year per person to provide drug rehab outside of prison (Lyons, John) (yes, I am citing my sources!).  Not to mention, outside of prison the individual is likely to have a job and therefore make a meaningful contribution to society (ie, pay taxes and participate in our consumer economy, and help raise their children).

Those figures only address incarceration.  Think about all the taxpayer money spent on the police officers who search for marijuana. All the taxpayer money spent on the District Attorneys who prosecute marijuana use.  All the taxpayer money spent on the Public Defenders who defend the accused marijuana users constitutional rights.  All the taxpayer money spent on the court hearings, including Judges salaries. It's an ugly snowball. And the bottom line is too much of my tax dollars are spent on criminalizing people who smoke marijuana. When in the end, marijuana isn't even harmful!

The only argument people have left is that it is a "gateway drug" (please note, I say that term in idiot-tone). There is no proof for this! Besides, if marijuana users didn't have to go to drug cartels to get their hands on marijuana, they would no longer have quick access to other illegal drugs.

Obviously, I would prefer a society where no one uses mood altering substances. But so long as mental health drugs (and I've used my fair share of these) are available, and alcohol and tobacco use is legal, there is absolutely no logical reason to waste tax payer money fighting the use of marijuana.

The city of Philadelphia has actually stopped criminalizing marijuana use.  They cannot legalize it, due to federal laws, but they do not prosecute it.  They simply fine marijuana users; this smart move has brought in millions of dollars. The city is actually making a profit, instead of wasting valuable resources.

There are a lot of other things we need to fix about drug laws and their connection to increased incarceration rates. But I'd like to see us start by legalizing marijuana. I'm sure I have no one convinced with this post, so I invite you to do your own research.  Try and find a list of four solid reasons marijuana should be illegal. I'd love to hear what you come up with (that tone is actually sincere). 

5 comments:

Polly Blevins said...

The real reason...you are a pot head. ha ha ha just kidding.

Tiff said...

I don't think they should legalize marijuana, but I don't think people should go to jail for it either. I like the idea of fining people or maybe highly regulating it and putting out ads about how it's bad so kids don't do it as much like they do for tobacco.

Of course I'm a prohibitionist. Since I doubt they'll make alcohol illegal, I'd like it to be looked down upon in society instead of made to be something cool and fun and if you don't drink it you're weird. It causes so many problems in society, way more than marijuana or tobacco, which is really looked down upon these days (not that I mind). Tobacco companies have to label cigarettes with "smoking kills" and graphic pictures, but alcohol gets a free pass.

My grandfather was an abusive alcoholic, my uncle was killed by a drunk driver, and a kid from my home ward died from alcohol poisoning his first semester of college. I don't personally know anyone who has died from the effects of tobacco or marijuana.

I'm getting really angry just thinking about it :) ALCOHOL KILLS AND RUINS FAMILIES PEOPLE!! You have been warned.

Scott and Claudia said...

Amen sista! You go girl...
When they make it legal, I'll be the first to buy a bag of weed and we'll pass it around for one and all!! If for no other reason than to smell it -- I kinda like the smell, myself
Love, Pa

Susan said...

I left the church because of cannabis (marijuana). I was the Young Women's President. I was injured while performing my duties and my Mormon doctor got me hooked on vicodin. After 2 years of agonizing migraines a neighbor gave me some cannabis and it made the migraines go away. My family and my community couldn't handle that. I believe if the church fully embraced the word of wisdom, cannabis would be in every medicine cabinet. I think way too many church members abuse pharmaceutical drugs. If you would like to contact me you can email me at Susan@cinelounge.us

Unknown said...

I left the church because of cannabis (marijuana). I was the Young Women's President. I was injured while performing my duties and my Mormon doctor got me hooked on vicodin. After 2 years of agonizing migraines a neighbor gave me some cannabis and it made the migraines go away. My family and my community couldn't handle that. I believe if the church fully embraced the word of wisdom, cannabis would be in every medicine cabinet. I think way too many church members abuse pharmaceutical drugs. If you would like to contact me you can email me at Susan@cinelounge.us

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