Regarding the recent column “Drug dealers protecting their turf” by David Sirota, published in the Aiken Standard on Tuesday, his proposition to legalize marijuana seems to make sense.
He supports his position stating:
1. “Marijuana is already ‘almost universally available.’”
2. “Because it is available but not legal ... (it is) not adequately regulated for quality, and ... poses safety hazards.”
3. “It makes no sense healthwise to only let users choose a dangerous substance (alcohol) rather than a safer alternative (pot).”
Add to this several other considerations:
1. Legalization and taxation of marijuana, to the same extent as alcohol is currently legalized and taxed, would provide an average additional $5.74 billion a year to state and local governments and $9.55 billion to the federal government according to the “Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.”
2. The Mexican government could license growers of marijuana, putting a number of their drug lords out of business.
3. New stores to sell the marijuana would provide an instant economic boon to all U.S. localities and generate needed jobs.
4. What is now considered a victimless crime would be eliminated.
Our users, the victimless criminals, have been unwittingly aiding and abetting the drug lords in their illegal operations, to include murder. What could be better than removing this liability from someone who only wanted to get high?
One thing’s for sure, lacking a groundswell of popular sentiment on this issue, no one in Washington will ever touch it.
Perhaps all our old hippies need to contact a congressman. Maybe the tea party would support such a proposition (you can make tea out of the stuff, can’t you?)
We could call it the Ole Hippy Tea Party movement – now wouldn’t that be something.