Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 reasons why pot should be legalized

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM

click to enlarge Photo credit: Dey Alexander
  • Photo credit: Dey Alexander

I am completely in favor of legalizing marijuana for several reasons, which I've outlined here time and time again. But, allow me to repeat myself.

Here's are ten reasons why pot should be legal throughout this great land:

  1. Our governments could use the tax revenue.
  2. We spend entirely too much tax revenue tracking down, arresting, prosecuting and jailing "criminals" who grow, buy, sell and use marijuana.
  3. By criminalizing weed, we promote the very criminal infrastructure we claim we oppose. The "war on drugs" has failed, it's time we admit it.
  4. Doctors want to prescribe pot for pain — at least my pain specialist does. Instead, she is forced to prescribe addictive opiates, pump people full of steroids and, so says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, drug test them every time they walk through her door. (Full disclosure: She doesn't prescribe anything to me, and I refuse her test. Neither the government nor my insurance company need to know what's in my pee.)
  5. While weed can be a gateway drug, and that's unfortunate, if it were made legal, and thus less exotic, I suspect that reality would decline. (Just last night I asked someone, "What is pot the gateway to? Peanut butter?")
  6. There is a discrimination issue involved with the criminalization of marijuana that we can't ignore: While middle-class white folks make up a large percentage of the pothead community, it's minorities who more often end up in jail for possession, or other pot-related "crimes."
  7. Pot legalization would promote small and large business ventures, allowing the market to adjust its price, for standardizations in product quality, and for a plethora of new products — like food and drink products.
  8. If we eat pot, we're less likely to smoke it ... which would be good news for both our lungs and the environment. Since pot is expensive, cooking with it isn't affordable at the moment. Legalization could change that.
  9. By legalizing pot, we can actually have a little more control over who uses it by requesting IDs from buyers. Yes, I know this type of control still doesn't prevent all underage drinking or people from driving without a license ... I said "a little more control."
  10. Legalizing pot will help keep American dollars in America as they flow to the farmers, product manufacturers, distributors, retail shops, license offices, etc. — instead of across the border.

In good news, there's a proposal in the North Carolina General Assembly to legalize pot for medicinal uses — which is a start. (I'm actually an advocate for legalizing it across the board, but I'll take medicinal uses as a first step.)

In bad news, the federal government still considers pot illegal and is in the habit of busting businesses that sell it, even in states where it's been legalized.

This is where I'll add an 11th reason why pot should be legalized: If you'd like to get young voters to the ballot boxes, put pot legalization on the ballot.

In the meantime, you can write to our representatives in the General Assembly and let them know what you think about legalizing pot in our state for medicinal uses. Here's an easy button from the Marijuana Policy Project.

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