Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Marijuana legalization inevitable

The tide has turned relative to America’s views on marijuana.
The mainstream public is starting to realize that legalizing pot isn’t going to unravel the fabric of our society.
People are coming around to the idea that resources wasted trying to combat the sale of marijuana would be better spent somewhere else.
Opinion pieces in major newspapers and websites are coming out in favor of legalizing pot and treating it like alcohol. Marijuana can be taxed and provide a source of revenue for state and local governments, just as beer and wine sales do today.
On Nov. 2, California voters will vote on Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana for adults over 21.

“Even though police made more than 850,000 marijuana arrests last year, a recent government report shows youth marijuana use increased by about 9%,” Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, wrote in a CNN opinion piece.

“Controlling and regulating marijuana will mean jobs and revenue that the state currently cedes to criminal cartels and the black market,” Tony Newman and Stephen Gutwillig wrote in an opinion article for the Sacramento Bee.

“The California Beer and Beverage Distributors is financing the campaign against the (pot) legalization initiative,” David Sirota wrote on Slate.

“A (poll in California) in July found that 47% of registered voters had tried marijuana at least once and that 50% favor some form of legalization,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

“The California government projected that at an excise tax of $50 per ounce (of pot), the new law would bring in about $1.4 billion in revenues for the state,” according to ABC News.

“For decades, illegal marijuana cultivation has been an economic lifeblood for three counties in northern California known as the Emerald Triangle … But high times are changing. Legal pot, under the guise of the California’s medical marijuana laws, has spurred a rush of new competition. As a result, the wholesale price of pot grown in these areas is plunging,” according to NPR.

If the California measure passes, “prisons would have more room to house society’s worst criminals, particularly violent sex offenders,” Michael Stetz wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“When will we learn that prohibition doesn't banish a popular product? It merely turns the trade over to thugs. The result is worse for society than if drugs were legal,” commentator John Stossel wrote.

“We’ve been throwing billions upon billions of dollars and hundreds of law enforcement and military lives at the drug problem for decades. At what point to do we take a breath and rethink our strategy?” MacKenzie Allen, a retired law enforcement officer, wrote in the Tacoma, Wash., News Tribune.

Also, here are the five biggest marijuana myths debunked, according to Coed Magazine.

George Soros wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal titled: "Why I Support Legal Marijuana."

Nov. 3, 2010, update: California voters rejected a ballot measure that would have made their state the first in the union to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana. (Washington Post)

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