I want to start off by saying that I am not a pot smoker. Have I smoked pot in my life…HELL YEAH! I started experimenting in my early teens. Then at age 15 I saw my best friend lying in a coffin having been hit by a Staten Island Rapid Transit train while walking the tracks high. I decided I had best lay off the chiba for a bit. Then I became a cop and it’s a big no no to partake. It’s a lose your job kind of no no. Then once I retired I was hanging out at a restaurant with my crazy ex wife when the manager locked the doors. He handed me a cigarette. I told him I didn’t smoke. He told me it was marijuana. I lit it up and let’s just say I didn’t feel right for the next three days. Damn shit got stronger. Isn’t science amazing? Fast forward a few years and I have decided that weed is not for me. If given the choice, I will reach for a smooth, caramel colored glass of Bourbon any day of the week. But I am a big believer that marijuana should be legalized, and this is coming from somebody who has actively fought the war on drugs .
There are arguments on both sides, but I have to admit that the arguments against, have some trouble holding water. People smoke pot. It’s a fact. There is a market for it. The government is missing out on an amazing opportunity to make some easy money. Now I probably won’t bring anything new to the argument. It’s a battle that has been waged over and over again. But let me ask this though, isn’t it about time a politician actually comes out and says they are in favor of marijuana law reform? Can’t somebody with a progressive mindset say they are in favor of legalization and not come off like a kook? And most important they would have to be a Republican (which is highly unlikely) or a Democrat. Ralph Nader ensured us that a third party candidate is not viable on any national platform. Besides, the Marijuana Reform party basically holds the same credibility as the Communist Party.
At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, my theory is that there are too many powerful forces at work to prevent this and even if there was a candidate who came out with a platform of legalization it would be too easy to paint a picture of that person as a hippie, and we know that there are two types of people who hate hippies…Eric Cartman, and true blooded Americans.
If it were legalized there would be entities with lots to lose. The pharmaceutical companies for one would lose out on big bucks. People reach for the pill of the month to cure anxiety, depression, compulsive behavior. There is strong evidence that in certain cases weed cures those ailments. There is also strong evidence that it can cause those conditions as well. My theory is that for some people it is very good, for others their body chemistry is just not suited to be smokers. I have a friend who suffers from bi-polar disorder and he takes 30 separate pills a day. He said none of them give him the same positive effects as lighting up a big fat spliff.
I also can’t see liquor companies being too happy about the allowance of weed. Some folks not wanting to violate the law would reach for a boll as opposed to a bottle. I’m thinking tobacco companies won’t be too happy about it either as when you really think about it, there is only so much smoke you can put into your body in a single day. The stuff can be grown pretty much anywhere and under many different environments, and it’s just plain aggressive. There is a reason they call it weed.
Now I am by no means saying to lift the prohibition and let the inmates run the asylum, by no means. We do a pretty good job of regulating alcohol production, we can do the same with pot. You can’t just grow it, you would need a permit to grow and sell it. In addition there would be a hefty tax on it. People are willing to shell out $40 for a good bottle of wine, what about $40 for some quality hydro? If we look at things objectively we are willing to pay close to a trillion dollars to bail out corrupt financial institutions who acted unethically but yet we turn up our noses at a revenue stream that many people want. If put to a popular vote, I bet marijuana law reform passes a hell of a lot easier than any one on gay marriage.
Now we all know what will happen the second it’s legal and available. People are going to act like assholes. It’s a fact that when given too much freedom Americans act like assholes. People would be abusing the stuff just because they can. There would be an increase of accidents initially. People would show up to work high as opposed to hung over. You wouldn’t be able to find a frozen pizza or a copy of Pink Floyd The Wall anywhere. Once the novelty of finally being allowed to smoke is gone we just might settle down and behave like human beings. It’s not a quick process, but then again when is real change ever quick?
I know I am not the only law enforcement officer (current or past) who shares this belief. I do know that most that I know felt weed collars were a big of a waste of time and money. I mean you have to compare US crime statistics to Amsterdam. They are 1/10 of what they are here. How can you deny that? Look at one of the most legendary crime figures in the country, Al Capone. Would he have been the same folk hero if had it not been for prohibition?
Like I stated earlier, I am not brining any new arguments to the table. I am fully aware of this; but I feel it bears stating. Hell I am not even a smoker. If it were legal, I admit I will probably partake just to have a lost weekend some time. It’s like a vacation without ever leaving home. Don’t worry I’ll send the baby to grandma’s. Unfortunately I can’t see any of the old white men in power pulling the ripcord on a hemp parachute any time soon. They just have too much to lose in the wallet and reputation department.