Huffpost Black Voices
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Terrance Hamm Headshot

The Real Case Against Decriminalizing Marijuana

Posted: Updated:

Times are pretty hard now. You can turn on the news and bear witness to all types of negative news stories. WTOP reports that unemployment rates are climbing. CNN says taxes are hiking. Then on the evening news you learn that it's becoming trendy for teenagers and young adults to experiment with some dangerous synthetic drug called "Molly." These are the problems challenging our already problem-burdened society. To alleviate these issues, don't pass passing the pot. Without question, we will face more human tragedy and ruined lives as a result of marijuana legalization. Petition to keep marijuana from being decriminalized. Here is why.

First, keeping marijuana illegal means millions of undercover pushers will keep their jobs. Providers or pushers of marijuana make money by selling the off-the-market drug to consumers. Though illegal, this is an occupation nonetheless. American neo-soul recording artist Erykah Badu's "Otherside of the Game" was one of her most successful ballads. The song emotionally describes the complex situation that the families of marijuana dealers experience. Badu sings from the perspective of a conflicted woman in a troubled relationship with a dealer in the illegal trade: "What you gonna do when they come for you? / Work ain't honest, but it pays the bills." The imagery Badu creates in her lyrics is a very real situation for many low-income, American families. If the drug is decriminalized, stores will sell it and marijuana dealers will then be out of jobs. Millions more will then be unemployed and possibly filing for welfare. Marijuana should not be made legal because families need to eat.

Keeping marijuana illegal will also protect your money from being funneled to the government. Last month, TMZ reported that in the first month since the pot law became effective in Colorado, more than $14 million worth of recreational weed was sold in the state. Taxes on gross sales there exceeded $2 million. Business is booming for the state's 160 state-licensed pot stores, but the tax revenue is another charge to your wallets. The billions of dollars in taxes on marijuana is money that consumers would not have to spend if the drug remained illegal. "Pot for pothole repairs," joked Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Politicians are strategically legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana because it's a way to get more of the consumers money.

Next, see keeping marijuana decriminalized as a way to keep drugs that are more destructive at bay. One might object here by saying that such drugs are already in our communities and their presence has nothing to do with whether or not marijuana gets passed. While there are drugs like heroin and cocaine being consumed around the nation, it is not a coincidence that synthetic drugs are gaining popularity at the same time marijuana is becoming legal. For years, the laws against marijuana use and distribution have been challenges for suppliers to overcome rather than barriers to consumer access. As suppliers search for something new to sell, dealers are realizing that the synthetic drug industry can be their new multibillion-dollar business. Reports show that the fastest-emerging drug problem in the United States is the synthetic drug market. When marijuana is made more readily and legally available, it is more than likely that synthetic drugs will replace marijuana on the underground market.

MDMA, but most often known by its more popular name "Molly," is a strong contender for that placement. In 2013, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized $95 million in synthetic drugs off drug traffickers during a crackdown. Who are these traffickers pushing towards? Teens. According to CNN, Molly is being marketed to young first-time drug abusers between the ages of 12 and 17 and the chemicals in Molly have been found in nearly every state. Molly clearly a threat because it causes severe effects on the body and has apparent popularity with teenagers.

So America would be wise not to decriminalize marijuana. We owe keeping marijuana illegal to our lovers, our children and ourselves. There are enough threats to prosperity taking place in this world. Just look at the news! Marijuana should remain illegal because it keeps millions of dealers employed, keeps more money in the pockets of America's citizens and keeps Molly from becoming the next "thing." To increase unemployment statistics and unnecessary taxes, and the likelihood that our children will secretly pop poisonous pills deals our society a great and potentially devastating blow.

If that doesn't make you nervous, then you must be high.