I don’t smoke pot, but I think you should be able to

The War on drugs must end: not working, causes violence, started in racism, many drugs have medical uses, and it just plain costs too much.

First, let me talk about me for a moment.  I consider myself a Republican.  I am a precinct delegate, a member of the Ingham County Republican Executive Committee, and a frequent delegate/alternate to State Republican Conventions.  Let me also say this: I don’t smoke pot.  By that I mean, I tried it — once.  It wasn’t for me.  I don’t judge people who do.  It could be completely legal and I don’t see myself partaking in it.  Point being, I’m hardly a  stoner or a druggy: I don’t have a dog in this fight.

So, that’s me.  Now to the issue: we need to end prohibition.  I know the headline lured you in thinking I was just talking about Marijuana.  WRONG! I’m talking about all of it: Marijuana, Meth, Crack, Cocaine, Heroin, you name it.  Why?  Let me lay out a few reasons.

1. The War on Drugs Simply isn’t Working!

Yep, that’s right, the war has been going on for decades and we are losing, folks.  Back in the early 1900’s, when there was no prohibition the percentage of the population that used what we now consider to be illegal drug as compared to now was actually less.  Trillions of dollars spent on the war — how can this be?!?!

By continuing prohibition, you’re actually making an incentive for people to push drugs and I mean push them hard.  If these things are a commodity you can buy at any corner store, the profit margin on this stuff is going to be lower — much, much lower.  Right now there is a huge profit margin which makes opportunity for adventuring black market entrepreneurs.  With a lower profit margin, these things become far less profitable to “push” on a person to person basis.

2. Just because it’s legalized, doesn’t mean people will start to shoot up!

Let me ask most of you who are reading this a simple question: If heroin was legal, would you go out and shoot up tomorrow?  How about cocaine? Nose feeling itchy? Crack? No, of course not!  These things are addictive, highly detrimental to your health, and ruin lives.  I’m guessing each of you have told your children about the dangers of these drugs too.  I doubt they will go out and start using because they have been brought up by good parents.

3. Think of the children!

We’re in a society that is violent.  Children often times and tragically get caught innocently in the middle of this violence.  The nature of a black market makes it violent.  If you are a distributor of cigarettes and one of your retailers doesn’t make good on his account payable to you, what are you going to do?  You’re going to take him to court and sue him!

Now let’s assume you are a distributor of <insert your favorite prohibited drug>.  If your retailer doesn’t make good on his account, are you going to go to court and say: heeeeeeeey.  Joe over here owes me $20 grand for smack I delivered to him and he hasn’t paid me on as agreed.  Of course not!  You’d get locked up!  What you going to do?  You’re going to send Guido and Tony over to visit him with a baseball bat and smash his knee caps!

This isn’t the only violence.  Different gangs selling drugs have different turfs.  If you try to retail goods on their turf, they aren’t going to take kindly to it.

Need more violence?  How about shootouts between government agents and drug lords?

Often times when someone is killed in the drug war, a small child loses a father (or mother).  Let’s think of the children, folks!

4. Prohibition was started in racism

The first drug prohibition laws started in California, the home of all things good in this country (sarcasm there).  Out in California the people living there at the time didn’t like the immigrants from south of the border that were migrating into their state en masse. But many of these immigrants had something in common: their use of a plant — Marijuana.  Let’s make this plant illegal and it’ll help solve our Mexican problem, many in the State legislature thought.  Thus the first state level prohibition was born.

Fast forward to the late 1930’s/early 1940’s.  A company called Dupont created a new fabric material called nylon.  But they had a problem: a better natural fiber already existed: hemp.  How could they compete with hemp?

William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate, used the power of his editorial section in all of his major news papers to opine about the dangers of Cannabis.Wouldn’t you know, William happened to have a lot of industrial interests in using trees for paper production — he didn’t want the competition of hemp!

So, marijuana prohibition has its roots in enriching the good ole boys club and racism.  Sounds like a fine tradition we should continue…especially since many of the people locked up and killed by the war on drugs are racial minorities.

5. You own your body, don’t you?

It’s a valid question.  Don’t get me wrong, I think using many of these drugs is a bad, bad idea.  But then again: so is smoking tobacco, so is alcohol addiction.  Yet both of these things are legal.  If the government is telling you that you can’t use certain substances because they might harm your body, then who owns your body?  You or the government?  Sure, innocent people could get harmed by someone else’s drug usage, maybe even children.

If someone is negligent or abusive towards their child because of their drug usage, let’s punish the neglect or abuse!  It makes no difference why you abused or neglected your child.  It makes no difference if you were high or not.  Abuse is abuse and neglect is neglect and should be punished appropriately, regardless of the cause.

If someone tries to break into my house and harm me or those I love because they are high, well, as the President of Michigan Open Carry, Inc — I can assure you I have a solution for dealing with home invaders too!  So who owns your body?  You or the government?

6. Many of these drugs actually have valid medical uses

Study after study has shown something simple: Cannabis Can Cure Cancer.  Guess what else, there is good evidence that shows MDMA AKA Molly AKA Ecstasy can be combined with therapy to  cure PTSD unlike anything else.  I’m not talking about treatment that makes life easier or helps people cope, I’m talking about a cure!

Of course, there isn’t many domestic studies on cancer or MDMA because both have been declared Schedule I by the US FDA.  That means these drugs have been declared (by the Government) to have no legitimate medical use and therefore medicinal studies and use is prohibited.

7. The war on drugs just costs too much money.

Straight from Wiki, folks:

According to a 2008 study published by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron, the annual savings on enforcement and incarceration costs from the legalization of drugs would amount to roughly $41.3 billion

Wow — just wow!  That’s about 1 trillion dollars every 2.5 decades.  With the Federal government bleeding debt, can we afford to continue funding the failing War on Drugs?

 

In conclusion, I hope I have given each of you many things to think about.  I hope you will join my voice in calling for an end to the War on Drugs!

You Betcha! (7)Nuh Uh.(10)

  6 comments for “I don’t smoke pot, but I think you should be able to

  1. Jason
    April 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Phillip, I get where you are coming from. Once I may have been of the same mind but recognize that at the very least a 'victimless crime' carries the risk of our public morgues filling with unclaimed bodies. It may seem an extreme example, and some may think for the sake of liberty, its worth a 'little cost,' but it drives a point home.

    As long as health care, welfare, education, courts, and policing are no longer paid for with our resources, I cannot agree wholeheartedly.

    Truthfully, I think it is worth watching Colorado for a few years to see what really happens.

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • April 24, 2014 at 6:38 am

      As long as health care, welfare, education, courts, and policing are no longer paid for with our resources, I cannot agree wholeheartedly.

      Not quite sure what you're saying there.

      In re the public morgues filling up, I would imagine that morgues fill up just as fast from people who die from alcoholism, or a binge drinking session. I would also imagine that those who die from said alcohol abuse would affect mass quantities of friends and relatives as well. If anything, that would be more of a reason to prohibit the bottle than some other substance that might affect than those whose bodies go unclaimed.

      Despite the fact that we have first hand knowledge of what alcoholism can lead to, I still couldn't get behind its prohibition.

      You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(1)
      • April 24, 2014 at 7:09 am

        Are paid for.. where the "no longer" came from might have been from an earlier version.

        You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
        • April 24, 2014 at 7:44 am

          Well, I would say that out of the above resource consumers, only law enforcement and courts are the only real legitimate functions of government.

          The drug war means more money needlessly funneled into the courts and used to feed the needless alphabet soup of federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the militarization of those agencies, as well as local law enforcement agencies as well.

          We can't forget the gem of no-knock's

          You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Phillip Hofmeister
      April 24, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Hi Jason,

      I do agree that while we have socialized medicine and while hospitals are required to provide treatment to whoever walks into the door (regardless if they can pay for it or not), I took have concerns about ending all prohibition. That being said, these are two policies that need to go (socialized medicine and required hospital treatment).

      You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • Phillip Hofmeister
        April 24, 2014 at 8:51 am

        Corrected: I do agree that while we have socialized medicine and while hospitals are required to provide treatment to whoever walks into the door (regardless if they can pay for it or not), I too have concerns about ending all prohibition.

        You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)

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