Massachusetts may soon get the opportunity to vote to legalize medical marijuana. I strongly support anything to legalize the harvesting, selling (and taxation) of U.S. grown "weed" for the following reasons:
- Prior to end of prohibition, cannabis -- the legal word -- was considered a medicine. The word Marijuana didn’t exist. It was only introduced after prohibition ended. Possibly as job security for Elliot Ness and his team?
- Any U.S. growers busted just drives money out of U.S., makes the wealthy Mexican drug cartel king pins even richer, and takes small business opportunities and jobs out of the U.S.
- It is self regulating. People who don’t like it, don’t use it. It is safer than alcohol, unless it is combined with alcohol, which is legal.
- The only thing that links pot to confirmed-addictive, dangerous "hard' drugs" is the distribution channel.
Earlier in this blog, I did a piece on the need to legalize weed. Ifelt that the amount of money going to the Mexican drug cartel, combined with the need for jobs in the U.S. (not to mention the debt crisis) makes it imperative for us to reconsider our "prohibition" on cannabis.
Recently, I saw an exceptional piece on FRONTLINE. Called "The Pot Republic," this excellent piece of investigative reporting featured a Mendacino Sheriff who is pioneering a new approach to local citizens who grow marijuana. Later in this TV spot, a Federal official threatens to "go after" this same Sheriff for his innovative attempts to lay the groundwork for regulated pot growing by US citizens. Meanwhile, one of the local politicans in California cited an increase from $1 million to $6 million in taxes from medical marijuana...a drop in the bucket should the income from all pot sales be taxed.
Also featured in "the Pot Republic" was some recent busts in California (including Northern CA) of HUGE crops funded and run by Mexican drug cartel, many of these on U.S. Federal Land. These guys carry guns and have been known to order visitors out of park land, and engage police and agents in gun fights.
Because of the money involved, until/unless we legalize and regulate the growing and selling of marijuana, we will continue to invite Cartel-operated activities into the U.S. along with the lawless mayhem that is taking place in parts of Mexico. Our choice is pretty simple -- provide jobs for U.S. entrepreneurs for the growing and selling the relatively harmless, self-regulating plant of cannabis; regulate it and tax it. Or we can continue to give pot money (and jobs) to Mexico, while we pay the extraordinarily high price of losing the endless and futile "War On Drugs."