Call to arms re: Marijuana legalization (and regulation and taxation)
The War on Drugs has been, on the whole, an enormously destructive and wasteful effort. It has not come close to its objective—ending access to illegal drugs—but it has made drug suppliers wealthy and powerful, it has empowered police departments to steal enormous amounts of property under the rubric of “asset forfeiture”, it has led to the creation of domestic paramilitary units who regularly kill or terrorize innocent people in their eagerness to go into action and use all the expensive toys our tax dollars have bought, it has sent millions of citizens to prison on tenuous grounds (no harm done to self or others), it has empowered the private prison industry to work to increase the prison population and thus profits, and it has failed on every constructive measure.
It’s often observed that a sign of insanity is to do the same thing repeatedly, each time expecting a different outcome. The War on Drugs has had 40 years of bad outcomes. Why should we continue pouring money into such an operation when the results are so bad? Ans: We should not. We should legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, exactly as we do alcohol (which is MUCH more harmful than marijuana, but we manage, right?).
And the harder drugs should also be legalized and regulated, and addiction treated as a medical problem, not a criminal offense. Obviously, if an addict were to steal, that is indeed a criminal problem—but it’s the theft, not the addiction, that is criminal. And if we don’t want addicts stealing, we could spend the money now wasted in the War on Drugs on offering treatment programs—and the addict, able to secure a legal supply, is less driven to crime to support a habit.
Moreover, much addiction is due to dealers trying to move customers along into harder (and higher-profit) drugs from the harmless marijuana they also sell. If marijuana were available legally (regulated and taxed), its dealers would be unlikely to be pushing harder drugs onto their customers for fear of losing their license.
All this is by way of introduction to this communique I received today from the Marijuana Policy Project:
ALERT: Marijuana Legalization Bill in Congress!
Marijuana Legalization in Congress!
The first Congressional marijuana legalization bill is now in Congress — please support it!
H.R. 2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act and limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or interstate smuggling. States would be able to legalize and regulate marijuana, or to continue to prohibit it, as they individually choose.
Please use our web form to contact your US Representative and your two US Senators in support of this historic bill. Please follow-up by calling their offices too — if you don’t know their numbers (or aren’t sure who they are), you can reach them by calling the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. And please use our tell-a-friend form to spread the word.
Visit this page for more information on this bill, and sign up for our email list or paste
into your RSS reader to follow the news about marijuana policy.
Thank you for taking action!