Incredibly enough, I think legal marijuana is something I’ll experience in my home state of Georgia in a few years. There are eleven states where pot is legal today, and every state that has a long growing season has got to be looking at the tax revenues of the legal weed states and thinking there’s a lot to gain here and not a lot to lose. Say what you want about pot smokers and pot, but weed is fairly safe and potheads are usually more hungry than angry. The idea that pot is a gateway drug was pretty much debunked long before Nixon used the “War on Drugs” as a war on minorities.
Here’s the thing, and there’s really is no getting around it: There are two very sure ways to make money off your citizens using drugs. The first is to make the drugs illegal, and then turn the prison industry private, and tax the prisons, as your citizens are jailed for what most Americans consider a very minor offense. The only problem here is that industries are taxed at a much lower rate than real people, and pay very little in taxes. Worse, the prison industry is supported by tax money because they are paid by the government to house inmates. The other way to make money off your citizens using drugs is to tax the drug. That’s created a billion dollars’ worth of new revenue in the legal pot states in one year.
Because I subject to random urinalysis tests, at least for another three months or so, I don’t smoke pot. After I retire, it’s likely that some legal weed state is going to find me sitting on a balcony smoking a joint while sharing my thoughts with the people reading this right now.
My first Friday Firesmith was back six or seven years ago, and the subject was the legalization of pot. I thought then, and I do now, that it’s inevitable. But one thing I think we have to do if we’re to make pot legal, is to overturn every pot-related drug conviction in the country and release anyone in prison and clear everyone’s records. It’s time to stop treating pot the same way we do truly dangerous drugs and it’s time to stop treating people who sell and smoke grass like criminals.
Isn’t it just a little strange that I can rent a room in Colorado, get high as a kite, write about it publicly, have people laugh at my inability to write while stoned, yet back home I can’t smoke pot because of a pee test?
Isn’t it odd that someone dying of cancer can get stoned but someone with PTSD can’t? Isn’t it just a little weird I can go out and buy enough alcohol to kill me outright but I can’t buy a joint legally?
The time has come and the time is now. End the war on minorities and end the funding of private prisons for profit, and end the idea of Reefer Madness.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.