Marijuana Regulation vs. Cannabis Legalization
By: Jason Thompson
I was quick to jump on the marijuana regulation bandwagon when I moved from Minnesota to Las Vegas. For example my wife and I were featured in the local news since we had a grow system in our home and I was looking for free advertising and a chance to market this new miracle cure that helped my family. For less selfish reasons I figured we could use the tax dollars to help pay less taxes and any step toward the de-escalation of the war on drugs was a smart move. First of all we need to abandon this fight against the people because society is losing especially considering the poor and non-whites. The “enemy” is increasing in numbers more thanks to methamphetamine, heroin, Spike, prescription drugs, and alcohol abuse than cannabis consumption if my informal interviews with street Las Vegas drug victims can provide an indicator. Furthermore the leaves of this tree can help heal the nations from the ravages of hard drugs just mentioned. Secondly, according to the Drug Policy Alliance this war has cost us in the U.S. around $51 billion annually. While arresting 1.5 million citizens in 2013 for drug charges and of those 609,423 were captured because of cannabis possession. More than half of these people were non-white although whites sell just as much if not more according to its website. The sobering numbers continue with more than 100,000 casualties in Mexico since it started its drug war due to our artificial demand and encouragement.
The history of the drug war is racist and has more to do with social control than medical or scientific evidence according to many news and academic accounts. This is highlighted by the fact that cannabis was used by major drug companies and talked about in medical and scientific journals before the turn of the twentieth century when it became known as murder weed, pot, and marijuana. Harry Anslinger the Federal official who helped start this whole mess said, “Reefer makes darkies think they are as good as white men”. Also border-states and places with minorities were the first to criminalize
cannabis after its being in use for clothes, medicine, and spiritual enlightenment ever since humans walked the Earth. Regulation might solve problems for a few but it is not the perfect solution to many of society’s ills. If social justice, freedom, and relying on scientific findings rather than emotional or even deeply embedded racial bigotry is the goal then legalization is the only humane answer.
Some say look at all the tax dollars that can be generated from regulating cannabis. I answer: Does society really want to tax the crap out of its sickest members? The average cannabis treatment costs the patient about $10,000-20,000/year. This does not include the hundreds of dollars and hassle of getting a card. If cannabis was legal and un-taxed the cost would probably be around $100-500/year. This money would go straight to the growers instead of leaches.