Why do you support the legalization of marijuana

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Monday, 3 March 2008

Who Benefits from The War on Drugs

I have often wondered what the primary driving force is that keeps marijuana illegal. The reasons it was banned in the first place was purely political, as is the reasons the government continually denies the benefits of marijuana, but in order for the reasons to be political there must be someone who gains from it. The government does not gain anything by keeping it illegal and continuing the futile war on drugs. There are a lot of people out there with a variety of possible beneficiaries, but for the most part I don’t buy it.

Suspect #1 The Cotton and Wood Pulp industries
It is said that the cotton and wood pulp industries saw hemp as a possible danger to their market strangle hold and lobbied to ban hemp entirely by attacking marijuana. The problem I see with this is that hemp predates either the wood pulp or cotton industries and wood pulp and cotton were already winning the war against hemp. As for now both industries are so far advanced that it is doubtful hemp will ever be seen as anything but an environmentally friendly alternative.

Suspect #2 The Government
Ok The government is obviously the entity directly keeping marijuana illegal, but what are the reasons for doing so, what does the government gain? Some say that the prison system makes the government money, but I really can’t see it. Sure prison guards are employed and pay their taxes on that, but since they get paid by the government it is a net loss, add to that the cost to keep marijuana users incarcerated it works out to a huge net loss. So what does the government have to fear from legalizing it? It would save the government billions.

Suspect #3 The Religious Right
The Bull headed, bible-thumping, neo-cons. I am not talking your average run of the mill, blue-blooded conservative; I am talking your raving lunatic Steven Harper style nut job conservative. These people want to keep marijuana illegal based on the theory that marijuana is bad and evil and cursed by god. The problem with that is that most of their arguments hinge on it being a sin to use marijuana, but they have zero scriptural backing, except in that it is illegal and you must follow the laws of man as long as they don’t contradict the laws of God. So if marijuana would be legalized it would no longer be a sin.

Suspect #4 The Drug Dealers
I am not talking your average street corner thug here, I mean your big multimillion dollar drug cartels. I know, seems odd that the ones who profit off the drug would want to keep it illegal, but follow me on this one. If marijuana were legalized it would then be regulated and taxed. Right now the drug cartels pay no taxes, and have no restrictions on who they can sell it too. Sure after legalization they will probably still exist illegally and still sell tax free, but they will have to compete with legal vendors. Competition would cripple and destroy all but the smallest outfits. The large ones would collapse under their won weight.

I have always said in this blog that if you want to stop drug related crime you just have to legalize the drug. What I never considered is perhaps the people lobbying to keep the drug illegal are the criminal organizations that profit over the illegality of the drug. As any half decent detective novel will tell you “Follow the Money”.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent reasoning, now consider this maybe 2 of your suspects are actually one and the same. What if the governments are being run by the kingpins of those drug cartels?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay - but there is another point which is legalising marijuana would probably increase the demand for the drug and therefore the clean up process resulting in an increased number of problem drug users will rise.

    Why will the demand incease? Not simply because it is now legal but the goevrnment will be sending out a message by legalising it to suggest it is no way harmful to you at all. Now for the educated individuals this is great news because you probably understand the drug and use it with control.

    It is the (young) people that may become an issue. With the reduction of the stigma for some that doing drugs is wrong and the increase in the young people using it coupled with binge alcohol drinking it only spells disaster.

    Having said the above, I think these problems that I speak of will only occur in the early phases of legalisation because we will be the first people to bear the news therefore the effects of such news producing a craze effect on populations to do the drug. Give it a few years down the line then things will be back to normal and marijuana will not be a threat to anyone in this fashion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually take a look at the statistics in the Netherlands where marijuana is legal but regulated, the usage amongst youth is decreasing not increasing. And I am certain the same would happen here for the simple reason that it is easier for kids to get marijuana then it is to get alcohol because drug dealers don't check ID. You regulate the sale and issue stiff penalties for selling underage and guess what happens, people sit up and listen and don't sell to kids. Will it stop all use of marijuana in kids, no of course not, but it will most likely lower the number of underage users.

    ReplyDelete

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