Freedom to grow, possess and use Marijuana
Individually I am anti-pot
I’d like to start by making my views clear on weed as well as other recreational drugs: I don’t use them. I personally believe that as an individual I function better without the use of THC. I would like to however start by making a simple argument I think many will understand.
I don’t inject insulin because as of yet I don’t have diabetes. I don’t use Plavix because as of yet I don’t have heart problems. I also don’t use anti-psychotics, anti-seizure medicines or any medication I do not need. I also evaluate the side-effects of legal pharmaceutical drugs prior to using them, when they are necessary. If I was presented with an antibiotic that had more side-effects then benefits I would not use it. With each drug the benefit must outweigh the negatives. Considering this, one must evaluate if the substance is of benefit to them or not.
Argument one pro legalization
Marijuana is known to have a host of benefits, some medical and others recreational. Like most medications it is ultimately the consumers choice, needs and benefit analysis that will determine if the drug is used. Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine and a host of other formulations are available over the counter: in terms of proven harmful side-effects and ill effects on society Alcohol scores higher then Marijuana but yet it is legal.
Point: I don’t use because I don’t want or need to; I also don’t use other drugs because I don’t want or need to. It is a choice based on my individual needs and preference; I do not believe in restricting someone from making their own choices.
Marijuana is not to blame – Personal Liberty
I strongly believe that what we do to ourselves falls under the umbrella of personal freedom. Personal freedom is one of the most basic human rights that should be respected always. The only reason that law and order are so important is to ensure that our personal freedoms are not impinged. It is for this reason that assault and battery are illegal, murder is illegal, trespassing, neglect is illegal and a host of other actions are illegal. The ultimate benefit of law and order is that it protects the individuals and society as a whole.
What law and order should not do is impinge on personal freedoms. One might argue that the use of marijuana may adversely effect members of the family and society. This is what law and order should control; not the use of marijuana but rather the actual crimes. For example it should most definitely be illegal to drive under the influence of pot. It is clear that being under the influence of marijuana reduces reaction time and motor control. Alcohol is known to have the same effect and it is for this reason that there is in many states zero tolerance on driving under the influence.
It is clear that operating machinery whilst under the influence of marijuana is also a risk. Once again though it is not the use of marijuana but rather the use of machinery whilst under the effects of marijuana that is wrong. We can probably agree that some pot smokers neglect their children, we can also agree that some non-smokers neglect their children, the crime here is not the use of pot but rather the neglect. A parent that smokes weed for recreational purposes whilst their child is having a sleep over at a grandparent’s house or a classmates home is not neglecting their child. A parent that gets stoned, baked whilst their child is in their home and leaves the stove on and burns the house down because they are irresponsible and neglecting their responsibilities is guilty of neglect, endangerment and should indeed be imprisoned. The problem here however is not marijuana but rather the fact that the parent is an irresponsible adult.
To me it is clear that the drug is not to blame. It is clear that there are many people that smoke marijuana without impinging on anyone’s freedoms. There are many parents in the world that smoke marijuana and are still great parents. There are also many people that do not smoke marijuana and cause harm to others.
The crime is not using marijuana, the crime is neglect, assault, endangerment etc.
Police, resources and tax payer dollars
A cop pulling over a 25 year old person, taking down their particulars, arresting them and driving them down to the police station for possession of marijuana. Is a cop that is not protecting the citizens of this great nation from an actual crime. A judge presiding over a marijuana possession case in which an adult citizen was caught smoking pot in their own home on the weekend. Is a judge wasting tax payer dollars and a judge not paying careful attention to real crimes. The prosecuting attorney building a case against a 40 year old woman caught growing a cannabis plant in her backyard is a prosecuting attorney that is not focused on taking down a mob boss. The prison warden escorting someone that has been convicted of possession of THC to their cell is a waste.
We have many issues in this country without investing time, money and human resources into impinging on our citizens freedoms.
Lost Tax Revenue
Products are subject to tax. It is clear that marijuana is currently not being taxed. Alcohol is taxed, cigarettes are taxed, anti-depression pills are taxed. So why not marijuana? The simple logic that it might adversely effect citizens is a ridiculous argument in a country where weapons are freely available. (not against personal protection) Making something illegal, criminalizing possession based on the logic that the substance has the potential to harm if used incorrectly is absolutely nonsensical. By the same logic vehicles need to be removed, steak knives, construction tools, electricity, education and of course water.
Many things can be used to cause harm, directly or indirectly. There is no reason why a drug like marijuana should not be taxed and funds from it be used to deal with crimes arising from it. Furthermore the funds generated can also assist in funding educational anti-drug-abuse campaigns.
Putting Marijuana’s tax returns to good use
The major reason I am pro legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana is: to put the tax revenues to good use and protecting our citizens freedoms.
Educating people about marijuana
I believe that people should be able to make informed decisions; this especially applies to younger generations. Same as alcohol and tobacco it is imperative that there is a reasonable age restriction on the use of marijuana. One must educate the citizens, distributors, retailers and all individuals that come into contact with marijuana.
I would not be averse to requiring each and every individual wishing to buy marijuana being required to take a course on marijuana and other drugs.
Restricting the right to buy alcohol & marijuana!
This argument might blow your mind :); passports are biometric, ID’s in some European countries are biometric, furthermore ID’s can contain electronic information about the identity card holder. It is time to start using technology effectively. Whilst marijuana is in my opinion not a high risk substance that should be illegal; it is clear that some abusers will use it in a detrimental fashion to other members of society.
A perfect example is the individual that drives under the influence of marijuana. Once a citizen has shown that they are not responsible adults I believe in limiting their access to substances as well as firearms for example. An ID card, like a credit card could have a reader in every store selling alocohol, marijuana or weapons. Prior to purchase one must insert the ID card into the reader.
The ID card would provide the following information: Substance abuse course completed? Y/N Is this customer permitted to buy Alcohol/Marijuana/Weapon Y/N.
A judge would be able to rule that an individual should not be able to legally purchase alcohol/marijuana/firearms. I would use tax revenue to implement this restriction for irresponsible users. The simple reason I am pro this method is that it protects fellow citizens and only impinges on freedoms to ensure that more important freedoms are ensured.
Rehab Center Co-Funding Interest Free
It is clear that substance abuse especially with opiates, barbiturates, benzos and other similar drugs leads to serious addictions that require treatment and assistance. Whilst I am not pro extremely socialistic views I do believe that there are instances when a community should come together to help one another.
I would take tax revenues from marijuana, tobacco and alcohol to create a fund that would assist struggling addicts that wish to get clean have a way out. Conditions must of course be met and the debt to society repaid. It is also clear that there will be a percentage of addicts that will not successfully complete rehab, there will be relapses however I believe it is necessary to offer a helping hand!
Community Support Funding
Now that we have alleviated some of the pressure on cops, prosecutors, judges etc. We have also generated a revenue, educated our citizens and put some controls in place to ensure things run safely.
Communities need certain support systems to ensure that the less fortunate are protected from the harsh realities of this world. At the highest risk are the children, for them we should ensure that they have safe places to find refuge when necessary. Easier ways to report abuse and neglect, as well as having the human resource to act on such initiatives.
Conclusions: Legalize Marijuana – Focus on improving society
In conclusion I would like to be clear that I am pro-legalization. I am pro it for the argument of personal freedom. I am pro it from a taxation stand point. I am pro it from having better control on curbing abuse. I am pro focusing our efforts on building a better stronger society. I am pro focusing on real crime as opposed to a person exercising their right to personal freedoms.