It’s Time To Legalize Marijuana

According to a recent Think Progress piece, legalizing marijuana is a very lucrative idea for the economy, workers in the industry and the government:

It turns out pot is a stronger economic driver than 90 percent of the industries active in Colorado.

Legal weed created 18,005 full-time jobs and added about $2.4 billion to the state’s economy last year, an analysis from the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG)shows.

Between the dollars that customers spend and the money businesspeople invest in their crops and shops, pot is generating more wealth and activity than almost anything else on a pound-for-pound basis. Every dollar spent in the industry generates between $2.13 and $2.40 in economic activity. Only federal government spending has a higher multiplier.

Couple this with the insane rate of incarceration for marijuana possession, and I just don’t see the upside to keeping it illegal:

Law enforcement officers made just over 700,000 arrests on marijuana-related charges in 2014, according to data released by the FBI on Monday. Of that total, 88.4 percent — or about 619,800 arrests — were made for marijuana possession alone, a rate of about one arrest every 51 seconds over the entire year.

Every 51 seconds someone is arrested. Thousands of people each year are locked up for taking a drug that is arguably far safer and less destructive than alcohol, which is legal.

This is insanity. Total insanity.

Make it legal already. Allow the government to regulate and tax it. Make it safe for the consumer and if people want to do it, let them. We have to stop locking people up for this. It’s ruining lives.

Just say you’re arrested for marijuana possession. You’re convicted. You go to jail and now you have a criminal record. It’s harder to find a job, make money, support yourself and your family. You’re now contributing less to the economy and the whole goddamn thing is just a bloody waste of time and resources.

If you’re reading this you might be thinking I just want it legalized because I enjoy marijuana, and you’d be wrong. The smell turns my stomach. However, it’s stupid to ruin lives trying to prevent people from smoking marijuana.

People are doing it anyways, and it’s their body. Put those police resources to better use, because crimes are going unsolved while you lock people up for smoking a joint:

Angell also pointed to FBI data showing that clearance rates for a number of violent crimes have been historically low in recent years. More than a third of murders went unsolved in 2014, for example.

“There’s just no good reason that so much police time and taxpayer money is spent punishing people for marijuana when so many murders, rapes and robberies go unsolved,” Angell said.

Legalize it. Legalize it in America and Canada. Stop wrecking lives and wasting resources.

Advertisements

47 Comments

  1. Ive always said that if a government could figure out a way to make money off of pot, it would suddenly become very easy to buy it legally.
    With the destruction of the tobacco cartels and the hundreds of brands once available, there’s been a huge hole, both in advertising and in government profits.

    I have no problem with pot, I think in many instances it is a very useful drug, especially for cancer patients. Too many of us old folks remember incredibly grotesque theater movies like “Reefer Madness” which showed young people overacting to demonstrate the ‘dangers’ of pot. That image stays with you.

  2. and if you ‘ve never seen the movie…

    It’s a bit over the top, but a lot of stuff from the mid 30s was, too. It’s more interesting to skip through it. I love the kids totally wasted on ‘this dreadful scourge…”

  3. Since all laws have some good end as their objective, all laws have morality at their foundation.

    The argument made here does two things:

    1. Reduces morality to the bottom line on a financial statement (the exact argument leftists make against free markets).

    2. Makes the argument, “everybody does it so it must be okay.”

    If this sort of corrupt moral thinking is the standard for legalizing marijuana, then it can be used to legalize anything.

    Just law that serves the common man cannot exist if morality is based on the bottom line or because “something must be right because everyone is doing it.”

  4. It’s legal in Oregon (where I live) and the farmers of So. Oregon are grabbing up more and more land for their marijuana fields. I have no problem with the substance itself. I’ve heard many testimonies of its health benefits. What I DO hate is the smell of “skunk” when it’s close to harvest time. It really permeates the air. Also the belligerent attitude of people towards anyone who verbalizes misgivings about the farms or the drug itself. (They often remind me of tRUmp followers.)

    There was something on TV recently about Colorado’s marijuana laws. Didn’t watch it all that closely, but the gist was that legalization has brought both good and bad. But then, I suppose that’s the recipe for life in general. 😉

    • Yeah, the smell gets me as well. It makes my stomach turn.

      I don’t live in Colarado so they probably have a better handle on the good vs bad element, but I don’t see much downside. Economically it’s good. I think freedom-wise it’s good, because I don’t think the government should be in the business of telling people they can’t smoke a natural plant, and because we are incarcerating people at a staggering pace for doing so.

      Compared to that, me not liking the smell seems to be pretty small. The only other thing I can think of as a negative is training police how to enforce driving offenses etc when people are under the influence and operating heavy machinery, such as a car. But we already do that for alcohol.

      Thanks for your thoughts Nan!

    • Nan,

      What can possibly be healthy about inhaling hot, fiery ash into your lungs?

      The whole marijuana health angle is bogus.

      The active substance in marijuana can be mass produced like a McDonald’s hamburger.

      There’s no need to ruin entire forest ecosystems so a bunch of greedy drug pushers can rake in beaucoup coin.

  5. I agree with Som regarding the good objective of the law, however, as time has moved along the other many and far more dangerous manufactured drugs have taken the focus of law enforcement and the resources that were available to combat softer drugs and I believe the authorities do not have any choice.

    Marijuana has now dropped down the scale and considered as a mere party drug and a far cry from the days of the over inflated effects claimed by some to damage humans and it is likely no more damaging than alcohol if used in moderation and for medical applications.

    • Skyyjd,

      You just made one of the same arguments as Godless Cranium.

      That is, morality is determined by the financial bottom line.

      Determining morality by the financial bottom line is, in fact the very definition of immorality.

      Also, you use one evil, alcoholic beverages to justify a good, marijuana.

      A society whose justice system uses evil to justify good is clearly, murderously insane.

      It means you can no longer argue against industries that pollute the environment because of the severe, negative impact on their financial bottom line.

      Or because the evil of pollution justifies the good they do selling their products to everyone.

      You people need to understand that vice is immoral, P-E-R-I-O-D.

      Marijuana is a vice, pure and simple. The vast majority of people use it to either escape reality or to make reality more endurable.

      How can the atheist who criticizes God fearing people for being weak possibly justify drug use which exists for the very same reason?

      • I don’t think the moral compass has much to do with it.

        Hemp was discovered as being in use back in 26,900 BC it was found in Czechoslovakia, it has just taken this long to reach this point in time. Life changes and management processes are inevitably evolving and it is something we all must get used to and it is a fact that alcohol must be managed as best we can on a personal level and we expect the authorities to be proactive.

        We found out what happens when you blanket ban something such as alcohol and this step with marijuana is just another natural progression in human existence whether we agree with it or not.

        Morality is more to do with how an individual chooses, as with alcohol, if a person understands and knows they are prone to addiction they have a moral responsibility to themselves, family and the tax paying society to manage the consumption or reject the drug.

  6. Your right GC about agreeing with Som, hush my mouth 

    I understand your thoughts but I think these new drugs are far more dangerous and the medical services will verify this. I think in the States and here in Australia we will end up with many more unsafe drugs on the market, increases in teenage deaths and building heaps of drug rehabilitation facilities.

  7. Agreed. Having marijuana be illegal means we are wasting police resources on enforcement, and locking up people who aren’t dangerous to society. I have no interest in using the stuff myself, but if it’s legal, it can also be regulated and taxed, and the profits go to American farmers and businessmen, not criminal organizations.

    I have similar opinions about prostitution.

    • Ubi,

      Vice ridden people are a danger to society.

      They drive and kill people.

      Their empty, drug addled minds are conditioned by media and educational institutions to think, act and vote a certain way.

      From my perspective as a sober, clear thinking, educated person, drug addled pot smokers are a clear and present danger to Western Society.

      The American Republic was founded on virtue, not vice.

      It is not possible for a vice ridden people to remain free.

      • People who occasionally smoke weed are not “vice ridden” or a danger to society. My spouse is in a field related to law enforcement, and by far the bigger problem is alcohol. He sees it every day. Almost everybody arrested for dangerous driving, or for violent offenses, was drunk at the time. They may be arrested for domestic abuse, but they are almost always drunk also. If we’re not prepared to tackle actual problem substances, we should not be ruining people’s lives simply because they are caught with a joint. Compared with the damage alcohol does to people’s lives, marijuana’s effect is trivial.

        And that’s speaking as somebody who doesn’t, and never has, done any drugs. I just think we should put our efforts where they will have the best effect. A well-regulated domestic marijuana industry will be better for our country than the current situation, with the illegal drug money fueling violence and being funneled to street gangs and foreign drug lords. Let’s channel that money to hard-working farmers, legitimate businessmen, and tax revenues instead.

        • Ubi,

          It is irrational to justify the vice of marijuana use with the vice of alcohol use because it violates common sense to justify one evil with another.;\

          And marijuana is aka “chronic” for nothing.

          I grew up in 60’s and since then I have known tons and tons of pot users, most of them professional people.

          And I never knew even one user who wasn’t getting high nearly every day.

          Legalizing marijuana would unleash a whole new plague of driving under the influence and general impairment caused by chronic drug abuse.

          • And I’ve known people who have an occasional joint, and are otherwise upstanding and productive members of their communities. But none of those people, either the occasional or the heavy users, should be going to prison simply for using a drug. If the overuse of any substance is interfering in someone’s life, then what they need is rehab, not punishment. I don’t think legalization is going to substantially increase use of marijuana, anyway, it will just affect the crime and violence that surrounds its distribution.

            And when we are deciding where to spend our limited law enforcement resources, we should focus them on those areas where the harm is worst. Alcohol abuse is much more destructive than marijuana abuse. You are worrying about the speck in the eye of society, when we should be paying attention to the log.

  8. Some of the drugs out there in the world I would disagree with making legal because paying more for rehabilitation and the criminal effects in society due to mind altering drugs is like putting the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

      • Just to put Portugal in perspective I found this report at
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/05/why-hardly-anyone-dies-from-a-drug-overdose-in-portugal/

        It is true that Portugal is benefiting from their changes but it appears Portugal only decriminalized and not legalised the use of all drugs in 2001.

        Portugal now treats possession and use of small quantities as a public health issue and you will not be criminalised, however the drugs were still illegal.

        I expect you will be arrested still if you have a large quantity but it also suggests you will still be fined for possession however you will not be criminalised.

        The report also notes that the use of designer drugs that people develop to avoid existing drug laws. Some drugs such as the designer drugs such as those created in a kitchen laboratory in the case of manufacturing shabu, crystal, crystal meth or d-meth or Ice which is the purest and most potent form of methamphetamine and has become a much larger problem in Australia than other drugs with the side effects being violence under the influence of this one.

  9. Pingback: It’s Time To Legalize Marijuana – HIGHMEDZ

  10. I wholeheartedly cannot agree more. There is absolutely nothing I regret worse than things I have done when drunk, never had that problem with marijuana. Also, the medicinal benefits are incredible. I only need a few drags of a joint to get rid of a headache, 100% better than taking aspirin. I feel uncomfortable knowing that you only have to be on earth for 18 years to buy alcohol in Australia, but no matter how old you are you’re not legally allowed to smoke a plant. I love your blog. Can’t wait to read more. Nat xx

  11. Pingback: Is It Time To Legalize Marijuana? | Krunch Branding Social Media Marketing for Small Business

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s