Happy 420!

Leaf of Cannabis

Image via Wikipedia

420 is a term used by cannabis users for lighting up. (Urban legend had it tagged as a police call sign but that isn’t true.) So it makes sense that every April 20th all across the country and including our nation’s capital, protesters gather in support of changing our draconian cannabis laws.

It is well past time that cannabis is legalized in America, not limited to medical marijuana or decriminalized, but legalized.

Even a few republicans have begun coming out in favor simply from a cost savings perspective as well as a personal rights issue. Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson broached the subject at CPAC this year.  Johnson has all but thrown his hat into the ring for a run at the White House.  But historically Republicans overwhelmingly oppose legalization. A 2009 Gallup poll showed that Americans attitudes toward legalization are changing though 70% of republicans are against it.  That might change with the budget battle. And republicans like Johnson see it as an election opportunity. Can you Imagine Mitt Romney standing at a podium and saying “I inhaled”?

If they want to get serious about cutting government costs and spending, one of the biggest cuts would on the “War on Drugs” starting with the legalization of cannabis.

Studies have shown that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol, has medicinal value and all of the propaganda used over the years to strike fear into the public was simply that, propaganda.

Our prisons are overflowing because of prohibition. Violent offenders are given early releases to make room for drug users and mandatory sentencing guidelines. It costs more to incarcerate than it does to treat drug addiction. We spend more on pot prisoners than we do on education for college students.

The folks who stand against legalization are the same folks who want to protect their agency budgets, like Homeland Security and the DEA. Don’t forget those folks pushing to privatize our prisons and locals making a few bucks off of property seizure laws too.

We have an opportunity that half of America recognizes but because of the years of propaganda are afraid to pull the trigger. It’s no wonder that the folks most heavily against it are in the midwest and southern states. (that damn bible belt is just cinched a little too tight.)

Legalize it, control it and tax it. Just like alcohol. No sales to minors, limited home production, no operating a motor vehicle under the influence, the system is already in place they just need to add the product.

It will save billions of dollars per year from federal and state budgets. It will take away the financial incentive of the drug cartels. It will cut down gang related drug violence. Otherwise law abiding citizens will no longer be criminals. It will reallow hemp to be grown as a cash crop. It will increase tax revenue and Amsterdam can quit complaining about drug tourists.

It’s a Win-Win!


About NoSacredCow

Irreverent atheist, skeptic, independent voter, social liberal, fiscal conservative, music lover, avid reader, engager in ruthless repartee, just an extra in somebody else's movie...
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