Last Friday taking to cable television, actor Zach Galifianakis staged a rather dramatic show of support for Prop 19 by lighting up a marijuana joint while debating the proposition on Bill Maher “Real Time”.
Whats sad is no Democrat has shown support for Prop 19, it’s so typical of the Democrats to show no backbone, balls, guts or anything resembling a stance when the data shows in an overwhelming manner that 70% of Americans think pot should be legalized.
The benefits to our economy run the gambit from fewer people in jail to a huge source of tax revenue and we haven’t even touched on the impact this would have on less violence by the Mexican drug cartels because if its legal their isn’t any need to smuggle it into the U.S.
In an ideal world, marijuana would be taxed and regulated much like alcohol and tobacco are today. It would be produced in many forms including pre-rolled cigarettes and food products which could be consumed responsibly by citizens within the law. Marijuana should be restricted by existing local and federal zoning laws, sold at specific locations at specific times and only to responsible adults.
Additionally, laws would be passed forbidding the use of marijuana when operating a vehicle or piece of heavy machinery just as with alcohol, preventing accidental deaths that are associated with marijuana use. Here marijuana is again comparable to alcohol which causes thousands of accidental injuries and deaths per year.
Harvard University professor of economics, Jeffrey Miron, performed an analysis, and he’s determined that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion annually in money spent on enforcing pot laws. And this does not count the taxable revenue it would generate of about $2.4 billion annually and could be as much as $7 billion if taxed as aggressively as tobacco and alcohol.
The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of legalizing pot and those who use it legal or not are using it now, its as bad if not worse than prohibition was. Current laws have failed completely to prevent the use of pot and our politicians ignore the majority of what Americans want and believe in regarding making pot legal.
And here is a concept that most politicians have forgot about, in a free society you need a reason to make something illegal other than a corporation that was going to suffer economically because hemp made better paper.