Could we talk about … weed?
Look, it can be bad for you. I’ve known people who have smoked entirely too much marijuana. I’ve known people who have drunk entirely too much liquor. (Drinking too much beer is a little harder, but it happens.)
The alcoholics were much worse off.
At this point, the argument sometimes morphs into “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“Pot may not be that bad,” they say, “but it’s one more thing.”
Right. Because, right now, no one is smoking marijuana, and if it was legal, everybody would.
In other words, they concede the point and change the subject with even more flawed logic.
Supposedly, if marijuana became legal for adults, it would lead to more kids using it, even though it would still be illegal for them.
One of the reasons more and more kids are smoking pot is that pot is easier to get. No one gets carded. It’s sold on a black market where exists neither regulation nor law. The very word “illegal” implies the abandonment of rules.
In terms of pure waste, on a percentage basis, our War on Drugs makes military adventures abroad seem cost-effective. It’s like that tired old commentary on capital punishment: Maybe it doesn’t deter crime, but it does deter that particular criminal. At least, when we kill potential terrorists, we deter those particular terrorists from killing us.
Our expensive War on Drugs has deterred almost no one. It has turned national forests into lairs of cutthroats. It has swelled the prison population and stigmatized lives of kids who were more unlucky than sinister. Marijuana isn’t the gateway to other drugs. Pushers are the gateways to other drugs.
In a world wracked with counterintuitive thinking, continuing to group marijuana with heroin and meth is the height of stupidity, not to mention grouping marijuana with the people selling more dangerous substances.
I’m not one of those who believes in the legalization of all drugs. We have doctors who are at least pushers with some social responsibility.
Dozens of people I know say privately they think weed might as well be legalized, but almost none dares to say it publicly. Polls show a majority favor legalization in state after state. It seems as if most of those in opposition happen to be the ones who are in a position to prevent it from happening. The people are way ahead of the government.
Furthermore, legalization provides the opportunity for what government craves, particularly now that Republicans sign these solemn vows, etched in mingled blood, never to raise taxes.
Create new taxes, assholes.