The push for legalized marijuana has overcome some major hurdles in recent year, but still has a long way to go. At the state level in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, marijuana possession, sale, transport and cultivation is legal. Unfortunately, everywhere else, being caught with it will land you in handcuffs and facing legal troubles.
While many people are clearly in favor of legalization around the country, our leaders in Washington still think they know what's best for us and want to tell us how to live our lives. For example, at a Heritage Foundation event last week, former drug czar William J. Bennett and federal prosecutor Robert A. White outlined the evidence in their new book, Going to Pot: Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana Is Harming America.
Bennett and White tried to make their case with the usual list of reasons: the public is not informed on the dangers of pot; the level of trahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive drug in marijuana, has become more concentrated in recent times; it may lower your IQ, etc. But where these men lost the argument is when an audience member asked if marijuana is worse than alcohol. Bennett replied, "It's not worse than alcohol."
Just the fact that alcohol is legal but marijuana isn't, is proof of how screwed up our legal system is. How can we justify one and not the other? If alcohol and marijuana were animals, alcohol would be an anaconda and pot would be a pussycat. Yet pot will land you in jail but you can drink alcohol in the White House.
The point Bennett and White are missing is that we've heard it all before. Like anything else, marijuana might not necessarily be good for you, but neither are a lot of things that are legal, and marijuana creates a softer effect than alcohol, yet our jails are full of people who like to use and sell it.
Logic and reason don't always prevail in America. The moral police do. These are people who believe they know how to run our lives better than we do, and they are here to save us from ourselves. These crusaders believe they are morally and intellectually superior, and they have blessed us with their presence so we too can see the light. These are the same clowns who can't balance the budget and stop themselves from emailing lewd pictures to college girls, but... they are here to guide us.
Here's my critical thinking solution: get out of our lives. We own our bodies and in a so-called free society we have the right to use them as we please, as long as we're not hurting anyone else in the process. If I get high on heroin, that's my problem. If I get high on heroin and hurt someone, I go to jail. The people that say hard drugs cannot be legalized are kidding themselves. Millions of American's are using them every day. The only logical solution is to stop spending money trying to slow them down. It isn't right and it doesn't work. I'm not advocating drug use. Drugs scare me. What I'm suggesting is applying critical thinking on an issue where none exists.
Instead of spending billions of dollars pretending they can squelch demand, the government should legalize drugs and invest a tiny fraction of the savings in educating people on the dangers of drugs and helping the addicted. Not only would legalization save billions and empty half of our jails, it would also save tens of thousands of lives around the world from the vicious drug cartels.
Not only that, but as we've already seen in Colorado as one example, marijuana sales have resulted in millions of dollars in tax revenues for the state and crime is down. Now it's time for the rest of the nation to legalize pot and for our so called leaders to get out of the way.