High Times

17 Jan

Isn’t it high time marijuana were legalized in California? It is strange to me that it isn’t. The legalization of pot isn’t something I crave for any personal reason. It is just something whose time has come. This article in the Economists seems to think so.  So do I.

With gangs murdering people up and down South America, Central American and Mexico, it is time to stop this reefer madness.  Because of black market pricing, gangs engage in turf wars for the profits.  Remove such incentive, just as we did with alcohol. One could make a very cogent argument that alcohol is much more harmful to society. But rules and regulations help control the worse aspects of alcohol.

We confuse the police in our state.  Remove the opaque nature. Allow our public defenders to concentrate on real crime and stop following up on calls for petty theft, break-ins, robberies and the gang activity that follows the trail of weed. Our prisons are stuffed with potheads. Why?

Criminality of pot is bad for our planet. Some reports show marijuana is the leading agricultural crop in California. Totally unregulated. The soil damage, water waste, chemical use and electricity used to grow pot would make anyone upset. But we don’t know the full extent of the damage being done by marijuana growers as the product is a secret one, grown away from regulatory bodies with cheap electrical panels that spark fires, chemicals that foul creeks and  rivers and worse, kill animals and people.

Lastly, it would be good for the economy to get this business out of the hands of stoners who see the easy money but refuse to accept responsibility for their destruction of planet and people and into the hands of responsible business owners and entrepreneurs who would be licensed, pay taxes and submit to regulations designed to protect users and our planet.

Isn’t it high time to put away antiquated and emotional feelings on this issue and begin a more reasoned approach?

I’m not advocating for 24 hour Amsterdam. But just as people drink beer and wine responsibly, most would also use marijuana responsibly.  The facts that come in from Portugal, Vancouver and the growing list of other places legalizing seems to support a new way of thinking.

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