One of the things I’ve enjoyed most while writing this blog is exploring my own views. Trying to explain WHY I feel the way I do about certain issues has really forced me to delve into my own morals and foundations. I’ve always been conservative but I just continue to move further right as each day, regulation and policy passes.
As someone who has never tried it and has no desire to try it, I feel as though I can offer an unbiased, logical argument as to why the motion to legalize marijuana should be exercised.
Some may say this is against several conservative values. It’s not. Consider the TRUE foundations of what conservatism is supposed to be: freedoms and choices.
People seem to think that if something is ‘legalized’ that means everyone will do it. That’s simply not the case. The people who smoke marijuana will do so whether it is legal or not. Fact. So all we are really doing is creating a database of millions of extremely minor offenders and flooding our criminal justice system with pricey maintenance, paperwork and overcrowding.
The National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) reported that in 1965, there were 2 marijuana arrests an hour in the United States. In 2008, there were ~100 arrests per hour. HOW RIDICULOUS. Did you know that the majority of marijuana arrests are related to other charges like loitering and speeding? Everyone preaches about ‘victimless crimes’ yet the government monitors them through jail time and probation like they are sexual predators. Why? Police and justice system resources could be allocated to more serious violent crimes instead of needlessly sending ‘offenders’ into the system for victimless crimes.
Now, some say that medically it’s detrimental. According to the National Commission on Marijuana, “No significant physical, biochemical or mental abnormalities could be attributed solely to their marijuana smoking…Neither the marijuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety…” Regardless of the overabundance of research saying it doesn’t, let’s say that marijuana did cause a plethora of health problems…so does excessive alcohol use, cigarette smoking, many FDA-approved prescription drugs, McDonalds (and other fast food restaurants), pollution and sticking your head in an oven…but they are all legal and people do them. So please, government, don’t tell us you’re looking out for our best interests. And what happened to choices?
I’m surprised democrats aren’t jumping for joy to support this. The logical, financial side of legalization? Like everything else in the United States, we could just tax it. The lottery, cigarettes, alcohol…what’s the difference? Those are legal now and marijuana isn’t. (Recall that the lottery and alcohol were once illegal, though). They’d also be able to regulate it. Marijuana is a $36 billion a year industry. Illegal marijuana ‘trading’ right now funds gangs, a real problem in many areas of the country. MJLegal.org says, “We currently spend billions of dollars every year to chase peaceful people who happen to like to get high. These people get locked up in prison and the taxpayers have to foot the bill”. It’s expensive to keep up with roughly 900,000 ‘offenders’ every year!!
Now I’m not suggesting that we advertise on billboards or sell it at the local Publix and BP Stations or allow people to light up at Chili’s. But people should be allowed to do as they please on their own time in the privacy of their own property when they are not affecting others.
Marijuana’s actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it. So it’s true, the real detriment to society is the War on Drugs. And it’s not just a detriment, it’s a complete and utter failure.