Some Americans can legally smoke and sell weed, while others will be arrested. What are the pros and cons for the legalization of weed?
Let’s face it: Democracy in America is dead.
The system is rigged.
Left versus right is over. Both lost. The question now is freedom versus control. Let’s try freedom. – Casey B. Head
In America today, when the majority of its citizens support something, such as the legalization of weed, our represented officials ignore us.
This is how socialism starts. There are “rulers” who decide what is best for the “peasants.”
So instead of working to legalize weed, which is what the people want, our represented officials are busy passing laws for things we don’t want, such as going to war.
In December 2019, both Democrats and Republicans agreed to give President Trump $738 billion dollars to spend on the military.
Why would Democrats do this? Don’t they hate Trump and foreign wars?
The answer comes down to corruption. The defense industry gives politicians, on both sides of the aisle, piles of cash in exchange for votes.
America is no better than Venezuela.
The majority of us strongly support campaign finance reform, making quid pro quo arrangements like this illegal, but who cares what we want?
Related Reading: Statism Destroys Individual Freedom
Legalization of Weed: The Cons
So given this context, is it any wonder weed is still illegal on the federal level?
What are our government’s reasons?
#1. The Costs Outweigh the Revenue
According to ProCon.org, societal costs means increased emergency room visits, medical care, addiction treatment, drugged driving accidents, increased crime and a negative impact on health from secondhand smoke.
It’s too bad more politicians aren’t potheads, or else they would know how irrelevant this argument is.
#2. More Teens Would Smoke Weed
Isn’t this a good thing? Better than drinking, right?
The percentage of kids who smoke weed between the ages of 12 and 17 is higher in states where it’s legal. According to the Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado, The Impact, 16.21% of Colorado teens and 18.86% of teens in Alaska (two states where weed is legal) reported marijuana use in the past year. That is compared to the national average of 12.29%.
Teens get drunk stealing booze from their parents and I don’t see the government outlawing alcohol…
#3. Traffic Accidents will Increase
According to IIHS.org, the Highway Loss Data Institute found an increased crash risk of 6% in states where marijuana is legal, as opposed to states where it is illegal.
Got it, thanks!
#4. Marijuana is Addictive
Kind of like the very legal opioids that doctors push on every American who reports pain? Next.
#5. Weed Legalization Benefits the Black Market
According to ProCon.org, Mexican cartels were growing marijuana legally in Colorado and selling it in black markets across the country.
Um, yeah, that’s going to stop happening unless you legalize weed everywhere.
#5. Marijuana is Bad for the Brain
I’m not going to say whether this is true or not. The question here is: Is this a reason to send people to jail over smoking or growing it?
Sugar is REALLY bad for us, yet it’s legal…
#6. Marijuana Harms the Health People Around Them
So does alcohol and cigarettes. Next.
#7. America Agreed to Enforce the “War of Drugs”
Now THIS could be the most legitimate reason why marijuana is illegal.
- 1961: The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was signed by 100+ countries to prohibit production and supply of specific drugs. Earlier treaties only prohibited opium, coca, and its derivatives (morphine, heroin, cocaine). This 1961 treaty broadened their scope to include cannabis.
- 1971: The Convention on Psychotropic Substances was another treaty signed in Austria by 100+ countries, meant to control psychoactive drugs such as stimulants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics.
- 1988: The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was signed because the demand for weed, cocaine, and heroin in developed nations had increased the production of such drugs in places where they are traditionally cultivated. International drug trade was booming and this treaty put in place stricter enforcement (confiscate drugs, extradite drug dealers, arrest illicit drug users, etc.)
The only problem is none of these laws actually decreased the demand or use of drugs. In 2003, a European Parliament committee recommended repealing the 1988 treaty, stating:
- Despite massive deployment of police and other resources, production and consumption of, and trafficking in, prohibited substances have increased exponentially over the past 30 years, representing what can only be described as a failure, which the police and judicial authorities also recognise as such … The policy of prohibiting drugs, based on the UN Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988, is the true cause of the increasing damage that the production of, trafficking in, and sale and use of illegal substances are inflicting on whole sectors of society, on the economy and on public institutions, eroding the health, freedom and life of individuals..
Related Reading: What is Anarcho Capitalism?
Legalization of Weed: The Pros
If the only legitimate reason to keep weed illegal is because of an international treaty signed 30 years ago, why can Canada, The Netherlands, Colorado, Washington and others legalize it?
And here are the reasons to do so:
#1. Legalizing Weed Makes it Safer for Consumption
People buying weed from the guy down the street have no way of knowing if what they smoke was covered in mold, fungus, pesticides, or other harmful substances. Once marijuana is legalized, the government can enforce laboratory testing and regulations to ensure that it is grown safely and free of toxins.
#2. Will Help Millions of Americans in Pain
This is a blow to the pharmaceutical industry and doctors, but health insurance is expensive. And doctor visits and prescription pills are expensive. And pharmaceutical solutions, i.e. chemicals, don’t always work and usually come with nasty side effects.
Could something that grows from the ground really help?
According to Health Europa and the Medical Cannabis Network, marijuana has been proven to treat the following:
- Relief of Chronic Pain
- Improves Lung Capacity
- Helps User Shed Excess Weight
- Regulates and Prevents Diabetes
- Fights Cancer
- Treats Depression
- Regulates Moods for those with Autism
- Regulates Seizures
- Helps Heal Broken Bones
- Helps with ADHD/ ADD
- Treats Glaucoma
- Alleviates Anxiety
- Slows development of Alzheimer’s
- Treats pain associated with Arthritis
- Treats PTSD symptoms
- Provides Relief for those with Multiple Sclerosis
- Treats inflammatory bowel diseases
- Helps Parkinson’s Disease Tremors
- Helps treat Alcoholism
#3. Most Americans Want to Legalize it
As mentioned earlier, 2 out of 3 Americans support the legalization of weed. This should be reason enough.
#4. The Police Might Become Useful
It’s a joke that police units, in some states, are still out there cruising the streets for potheads and throwing them in jail.
No one thinks this is a good use of our tax payer dollars. Please make weed legal so the police can be useful.
Arresting people for weed possession costs taxpayers between $1.19 billion and $6.03 billion annually. These costs include police, judicial, legal, and corrections expenses. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated that legalizing weed would save between $7.7 billion and $13.7 billion annually.
#5. Would Create Thousands of Jobs
According to a report by the Washington Post, just one year after weed became legal in Colorado, 18,000 jobs were created. Imagine that on a national scale!
#6. The Economic Impact of Marijuana Legalization
How about instead of increasing taxes on citizens, yet again, to fund your wars and line your pockets — you legalize weed and collect tax from that?
The firm New Frontier Data released a report in 2017 estimating that the immediate legalization of marijuana at the federal level would lead to $131.8 billion in aggregate federal tax revenue being collected between 2017 and 2025.
#7. People Who Smoke Weed are Smarter
I believe smoking weed opens parts of your brain that otherwise the conscious mind keeps closed.
Try watching cable news or TV commercials while high.
Your bullshit detector will go off. You’ll see how TV ads are just subliminal messaging to act or behave a certain way. You’ll see that news anchors are full of shit and only following an agenda handed down from an executive who’s being paid by someone in the White House to report “this” or “that” as news.
It’s probably a conspiracy theory, but legalizing weed at the federal level will open the minds of millions of Americans, and be harder to control.
Related Reading: Why Spiritual Healing Matters
Marijuana Lobbyist Groups Come Up Short
Big Alcohol — the nation’s top alcohol distributors and their lobbyists — have unyielding power over politicians in Washington.
So even though alcohol kills 88,000 Americans every year, Big Alcohol’s deep pockets will protect their profits and position of prominence in the recreational substance industry.
Can the cannabis industry compete?
Weed has never killed a single American, but facts matter less than bribes in Washington.
In California, weed lobbyists paid $1.8 million to politicians, but there’s no way the cannabis industry has enough money to compete with Big Alcohol on a national level.
Besides, weed lobbyists aren’t just up against Big Alcohol. Here are two more industries that benefit from keeping weed as a Schedule 1 Drug:
Law Enforcement and Prisons
Did you know that police units keep ~80% of the items seized in suspected drug arrests? They then sell the seized property and get to keep the earnings.
In 2014, the DEA’s cannabis enforcement program seized $27 billion in assets. Keeping weed illegal helps them fulfill arrest quotas, grow their budget, and set aside plenty of dough needed for lobbying.
As noted previously, marijuana is a natural medicine from Mother Earth.
Big Pharma HATES her.
So they get creative.
Insys Therapeuticals created a cannabinoid compound called Dronabinol. The purpose is to reduce nausea in chemotherapy patients (something weed does for a fraction of the price). The drug was approved by the FDA and the company solidified their stance against legalizing marijuana. As quoted in a SEC filing in 2007, Insys said;
If marijuana were legalized in the United States, the market for dronabinol product sales would likely be significantly reduced…
Ever heard of Marinol?
It’s a patented synthetic cannabinoid (fake weed) suitable in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and HIV-associated dementia.
If weed were legal, folks could visit a dispensary and treat themselves instead of going to doctors and pharmacies and taking pills. But below is the reality of the situation.
Top lobbying industries in the United States in 2018, totals in millions:
It is more profitable for the government and pharmaceutical companies to create synthetic versions of weed than allow its natural state be sold in the open market.
The Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition
In the 1920’s, Americans wanted to drink alcohol but the government said they couldn’t. Prohibition was born and everyone still drank alcohol.
To dissuade people from drinking, the government poisoned the alcohol. According to Deborah Blum, an expert on the subject:
The government passed regulations in 1926 that required alcohol manufacturers to add poison to their alcohol knowing that it would get stolen by bootleggers and people would drink it.
Seems shocking until you realize the same thing is happening today. The government won’t legalize weed but it will legalize its deadly alternatives.
The DEA Approves Dangerous Synthetic Marijuana
Synthetic marijuana is a legal chemical compound meant to mimic the effects of marijuana. It is 100% legal, and sometimes called Spice or K2.
Synthetic marijuana is dangerously more potent than marijuana and causes severe side effects such as vomiting, chest pain, increased heart rate, vision blackouts, headaches, kidney damage, agitation, high blood pressure, and psychosis. Overdose is very common and withdrawal symptoms are horrendous.
Deadly Bootleg THC Vaporizers
Since weed is illegal, there is no guarantee of safety. The rise in popularity of THC pens has opened the door for bootleggers to make a quick buck.
No different than the bootleggers during Prohibition.
And just like the booze bootleggers, the oil in THC vaporizers are cut with hydrogen cyanide and other dangerous chemicals that have led to multiple deaths across the country.
It’s frustrating to live in a democratic society that isn’t democratic. The majority of Americans want to legalize marijuana at the federal level. The reasons not to legalize marijuana apply to the alcohol and cigarette industries, and therefore are moot points.
Perhaps the United Nations treaty is the official reason? This seems unlikely given how many countries and individual states have legalized it. So what’s the hold up, then?
The sad truth comes down to money and lobbyists. The cannabis industry does not have an extra $200 Million lying around to pay off politicians. And frankly, I like to think the cannabis industry is above that bullshit anyway. How and when did American politics become so corrupt?
Legalizing weed would create job opportunities. It would help heal those in pain and bring in tax revenue for the government to blow on foreign wars. Legalizing weed would decrease organized crime, regulate the safety of the product, stop kids from dying from fake vapes and K2, divert police units to more serious criminals in society… the list goes on and on.
So the pros and cons of legalizing weed have concluded. Can we legalize it already?