By a close margin, California voters rejected Proposition 19 in this month’s elections, which would have made marijuana legal for “recreational purposes”. According to a recent article in The Los Angeles Times, so-called “medical” marijuana has been legal in the state for the past 14 years, where buyers with fake or real doctors’ prescriptions can purchase the therapeutic weed. What a joke!
The most regrettable aspect of the vote is that if California had gone legal on recreational pot this time, every other state would have followed within a year or so. When are gutless politicians, knee-jerk voters and little old church ladies going to realize that laws prohibiting legal smoking of pot are meaningless? It’s all around us, and the South American and Mexican cartels are still making billions by shipping it by the mega-truckload daily to U.S. cities.
This 85-year-old senior hasn’t smoked anything since I was 14 and needed to show off to the other kids by puffing a whole pack of cigarettes within an hour. I coughed my lungs out and that was it. Maybe being a lifelong non-smoker is why this senior has lived this long. By now, anyone should realize that smoking, drinking or any other fun vice can’t be eradicated by stupid laws.
Other than the fact that marijuana is easily purchased anywhere, there are three important reasons why I think marijuana must be legalized.
1. It will hit the drug cartels and pushers where they live. Although they also sell much more potent drugs, their marijuana business in the U.S. alone is worth billions in untaxed income. America never learned that prohibition, making alcoholic drinks illegal, spawned a whole industry of mob booze-related, tax-free businesses and political corruption that’s still with us to this very day.
2. Legalized marijuana will bring in billions in taxes that will help cash-strapped state and regional governments to pay for roads, schools, as well as other services they’ve been cutting back on due to the poor economy. The crop and product can be taxed like any other commodity. It almost goes without saying that law enforcement agencies will be able to concentrate their personnel and efforts on real crime.
3. When marijuana is legalized, the methods of how it’s planted, fertilized, grown and harvested will be available to qualified inspectors. The product on sale openly will be as clean as what is now being produced by legitimate cigarette companies. If all that happens, then this 85-year-old non-smoking senior may just be tempted to try a puff or two.
John Hoeffel Youth Vote Falters, Prop. 19 Falls Short The Los Angeles Times via latimes.com