After I read about the death of common sense I read an article that documented how the most common test for marijuana may have resulted in thousands of false convictions. The article is on Alter Net and the link is here:
It brought back a realization of how many years we have been incarcerating users of a drug that is less harmful than our legal drug, alcohol.
Over 30 years ago my husband and I told some friends that marijuana should be legalized with the same restrictions that control alcohol. The friend was horrified stating that marijuana leads to harder drugs, children could get it easily, yada, yada. My husband told the friend that if any teenager didn't already know where he could get pot he could easily find out in 15 minutes. As for leading to harder drugs, that turned out to be a myth. Even if true, alcohol can have the same results and we learned a long time ago what folly it was to prohibit that dangerous drug.
I cannot understand why there is still so much resistance to that common sense solution to the problems of gang warfare, overcrowded prisons, and lack of testing of pot to make sure it isn't lethal. Anyone high on marijuana is happy, relaxed and no threat to anyone. The term 'laid back' comes to mind. Can you say the same for alcohol?
Marijuana also has medicinal properties that are a godsend to anyone suffering from the nausea caused by Chemotherapy and other illnesses.
True, the use of pot can be abused by some people just like any other drug, but that is not really the issue. Legal or illegal, that happens. Let me state that I have never smoked a single marijuana cigarette, but I sure had a couple of episodes of drinking 'one too many' when I was young and foolish. I probably would have been a lot better off if pot had been the drug of choice then. At the least, I would have avoided a whale of a hangover.
The benefits of legalizing marijuana are many and should be considered. One of the reasons that securing the border is gaining so many advocates is because most of them are frightened due to the violence between the gangs. Now if we took away their source of income by legalizing pot and other drugs it would stop the need for drug trafficking. While it may not stop all of the activity, it would certainly decrease it so it would be manageable.
If drug users were no longer considered criminals we could spend the obscene amount of money now being spent on arresting, trying and incarcerating drug users and drug sellers on rehabilitation for those with a drug problem. Can anyone honestly say this doesn't make good sense? By throwing drug users (a victimless crime) in prison we are now spending billions training them how to become hardened criminals and then turning them out on our streets. I can't see how this makes good sense.
The money saved by decriminalizing drugs would be astronomical. But wait! In addition to saving money we could also make it profitable. Cigarettes are taxed. alcohol is taxed. Wow! We could really clean up if we taxed drugs.
I think it's time that the country becomes practical and uses common sense. Lets face it; we lost the war on drugs years ago. Isn't it time to try something new?