The Seattle Times, on Friday Feb 18th, called for the legalization of marijuana in response to bill 1550 which is currently being considered by the House of Representatives in Olympia. This law would legalize pot and allow it to be sold in liquor shops for those over the age of 21. For the whole article, go here.
Why do I agree with them? There are many, many reasons I believe we should all support this law, from how offenders are stigmatized their entire lives by being labeled as a felon, often getting jail time when at worst they are the victims of addiction and should be treated as such by being sent to 12 step meetings rather than years in jail with violent offenders, to where the money made from illegal marijuana sales goes (cartels) rather than where it should go (the government).
The costs associated with keeping marijuana illegal are astronomical, and we are not exactly rolling in the dough right now. In fact, revenues collected by the state through taxation and legalization is estimated to be around $300 million dollars every year. That is $300 million for schools (which are getting larger classes, which are considering cutting senior year, which is increasing tuition by 25% a year), for law enforcement (which may be cut by a third), for fire fighters (which may be cut by a quarter), for rehabilitation (which is severally lacking).
Pot is readily available to all teens right now at school. Do you know what isn’t? Alcohol. Ask any teenager what is harder to come by, pot or beer, and I garuin-darn-tee you the answer is Alcohol. Pot, as well as other illegal drugs as well, including cocaine, and pills like adderall and oxyconton are very easy to come by for the discerning teen. “Students from several high schools who talked to The Desert Sun agree that illicit drugs are readily available at school,” said The Desert Sun in a news article. Now, how many teenage alcohol dealers do you know? There is a reason for that.
Says Narcotics Detective Russ Jones who I interviewed over at my drug rehabilitation site AllTreatment, “My major concern is that drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, are dangerous. Too dangerous to leave in the hands of the drug cartels. We learned our lessons with alcohol prohibition, when violence, corruption, and use of adulterated booze spiked. Today, drugs are controlled by street gangs who decide what to sell, when to sell, where to sell, and to whom. In any major city today a 12 year old can go down the street and buy an illegal drug. He has a much more difficult time trying to buy alcohol or tobacco.” You can read the entire interview here.
Sylvia Longmire, an expert on the Mexican drug cartels, a former Air Force officer and Special Agent, a former Senior Border Security Officer and Analyst for the State of California, whom I also inteviewed (here) said, “Right now, Mexican drug trafficking organizations, or DTOs, are the number one source for illegal drugs consumed by Americans. Because illegal drugs command such high prices on the black market, manufacturing and distributing these drugs to American consumers is a highly profitable business.”
Want more reasons? Ask me, seriously, ask me. Comment in the comment section on this site, and I will openly and honestly tell you my views on drugs.
But first, ask yourself, what is best for the American People? Money flowing by the wheelbarrow fulls to cartels or to our own government? What is better for the American People, years in jail for possession charges and the forever stigma of ‘felon’, or rehab centers to direct the addicted and suffering to? The fact is, Alcohol prohibition did not work, it simply spread crime. The fact is, Marijuana prohibition, in fact drug prohibition in general, does not work, it only spreads crime. The fact is, there are people you talk to every single day who use drugs and go about their lives just fine, and the fact is there are those who need help but fear arrest, stigma, and other repercussions. When a system is broken, you srive to fix it, to help people who need it and to not punish those whom do not deserve it.
This is why I agree with the Seattle Times, this is why I support the legalization of Marijuana.