With the war on some drugs grinding on it would seem many U.S. states (and other areas in other western countries) have decided to go a different route and legalizing or at least decriminalizing its use. Mostly it would seem for medicinal use but increasingly for recreational use as well.
Disclaimer– I do not partake myself but see no reason why it should be denied to anyone else. When a friend of mine told me he was buying shares in a group called Canopy (a cannabis company) I gotta say I was pretty shocked. Not that he would invest in a pot company (he’s pretty savvy with financial investing) but that someone could invest in a “pot” company. This is telling me that marijuana is ready to go mainstream and that all sides of legalization need a more serious outlook. So here we go, the good the bad and the ugly, in the legalization of pot.
Initially many marijuana advocates have applauded these steps toward legalization. The industry in various U.S. states have seen incredible revenues. For instance in Colorado, state tax revenue from pot is reported at over $70 million outpacing alcohol tax revenue. Many other states that have legal medical marijuana (and or recreational use) have also shown large revenues, increasing their budgets and in general helping out their citizens.
Other pluses are that drug cartels are loosing business and reportedly have stopped growing and are getting out of the marijuana business, due to the price dropping (legalization does that) and not being able to compete with large legal growing companies (legalization does that too!). Legalizing marijuana has allowed for more open medical research leading to better medicines and cures!
DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) agents though haven’t seem to have seen the memo. Their agents still do raids on legal growing operations as well as dispensaries and individuals. The DEA will tell you though that they are enforcing federal laws. Marijuana is still a schedule 1 drug (which means it is evil!)
From the DEA website-“Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.” Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:
heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine(ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote”-end quote.
Well I really don’t think marijuana deserves to be up there with heroin. And whatever the hell methyl..err something something… I cant even pronounce that one but I’ll trust the DEA on that one and say it’s bad. If you can’t pronounce it, its probably especially not good for you.
Now when I see police raiding small marijuana crop farmers, when there are large industrial growing operations nearby it raises my hackles. Small operations are easy to target(probably not armed or violent), they don’t have lawyers and probably no friends in government. Police then again become the tools for the “Wal-marts” of marijuana growing, ensuring a monopoly. Corporations win again. Its because of scenarios like this that Ohio last year voted down legalization when it was found out that there was a conspiracy of 10 companies that wanted a monopoly and were maneuvering behind the legalization push, to make sure they were the ones on top once legalization went through.
A big fear among independent growers and small businesses has been that Big Tobacco is sitting in the wings and watching like a lecherous cancerous buzzard waiting for the one ring to rule them all….insert evil laughter and lightening here.
However, once they (the marijuana advocates) do all the hard work (and hard time in some cases) getting legalization pushed through the big tobacco companies will waltz in with their resources and about 100 years of experience and take over. This is apparently a “conspiracy theory” among the pot people and has some basis in fact.
Now for the ugly. The top groups lobbying against marijuana legalization (in the United States) are:
Pharmaceutical companies (not a surprise): legalization would put real alternatives to folks instead of using their chemical products. If big pharma was smart they would start researching (and patenting) marijuana based research and newer drugs. But when your on top and have it easy already it can be hard to see a new way. Marijuana legalization would put a big dent in their easy profits so they continue to spend millions fighting it. I can understand their fear especially since marijuana has not actually killed anyone to date (that I am aware of) but pharmaceuticals are the fourth leading cause of death in Americans!
Seems another case of when your a top hammer everything starts looking like nails. Seems ridiculous to me really, most folks like beer and spirits but legalizing “bud” is not going to turn NASCAR fanatics into potheads.
This I found sad being a Union guy myself (not a cop though). But maybe the Police Unions are only about themselves and not workers. One would think with marijuana off the table the police could concentrate on serious crimes and make our communities safer. Some would allege that marijuana related forfeitures are the primary motivator to keep things illegal. I guess its easier to bust a bunch of non violent potheads and keep them behind bars than it is to deal with serious gangs and violent offenders. Which leads us into our last group behind prohibition. There’s just as many cops that are for legalization or at least decriminalization however.
Prison Industrial Complex (aka Private Prison Corporations)
If there was ever a Trojan horse in modern society this is it. Disclaimer: I am against the use of private prisons. I feel that if a state feels the need to imprison a citizen than it is the states responsibility to reform the prisoner. Having a for profit business run a prison is sickening and can only lead to the corporations interest in increased arrest and incarcerations. The entire cause and being of a corporation is profit and growth. Do we really want to see that? Are there not already enough problems with some corporations that have become to big and influential to the point they co-opt our entire political structure? In Ontario,Canada there were 2 private prisons that reverted back to government control after studies had found that -“We found that in basically every single area, the outcomes were better in the publicly run facilities,” Ontario Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter“.
Hope that gives some insights.
Thanks for tuning in! Evil von Scary