Smoking marijuana is a big topic of the day. While the use of this product doesn’t offend me the talking points are downright absurd. I have more respect for people if they just say they want to use it to get high than some of the things I’ll comment down below.
My [Insert Person I Know] Got Multiple Years in Prison for Just Having Marijuana
This is the most common thing I hear in the legalization of marijuana debate. I can tell you from my past and current experience in the law enforcement arena that having a small quantity of marijuana never puts someone in prison for 50 years. In the year 2000 I was a rookie cop and riding along with my FTO. We pulled a car over and smelled marijuana with the driver fully intoxicated from marijuana. (LEGAL NOTE, marijuana field tests were evolving by the minute during this time period) I asked if they had been smoking and they said yes. Upon search of the person we found two marijuana joints. I looked at my FTO in trying to judge how we were to precede. He told the driver to put both joints on the ground and stomp on them. The guy obliged. We had him call for a ride and had his vehicle towed. Please note we didn’t send him to a maximum security prison. I asked my FTO why we didn’t make an arrest. He explained the courts were already swamped with wife beaters and bad check writers, a judge wouldn’t want to deal with “two joints”.
I do come across the stories of people knowing someone who went to prison over marijuana. The stories are compelling and usually critical parts are left out. Most of the time it takes a very basic search of someone’s criminal past to understand why they went to prison for just having marijuana. “But my uncle having marijuana is a non-violent crime and now he sits in a prison”. Well, after looking up your uncle I found he also did multiple stints in prison for robbery, car theft and selling drugs within a school area. I guess the whole “following your parole/probation criteria” is thrown out because selling weed is a non-violent crime.
Marijuana Will Bring in Tax Revenue
Bringing tax revenue to the church of government absolves a lot of sin in American society. When the marijuana debate took off and Colorado instituted legalization, the tax revenue claims were touted by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper of $100 Million year tax revenue (read “COLORADO’S POT REVENUE GOES UP IN SMOKE”)
Some would see this as just a financial prediction, but it really was a societal claim that all the marijuana smokers would come out of the shadows and purchase weed in a proficient way. Through many conversations I had with people who believed this I emphatically stated that if you’re currently getting good weed from Frank the dope dealer, what would compel you to drop him and go to a marijuana shop to purchase it at a higher price?
Marijuana supporters usually come back with a defensive posture of some tax revenue is better than none, even if the financial analysis is way off. So be it, but just remember, government doesn’t make tax revenue projections for nothing. They usually make the projection and already spend the money and let the chips fall for when revenue actually comes in (surplus or deficits).
MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS
These guys are the main players of supplying most of the drugs in America. They control the entire country of Mexico, have supply routes that make UPS and FedEx blush and are deliberately let in on a constant basis by the United States Federal Government through lax border security. So how does this relate to the legalization of marijuana? Because many Americans believe once you legalize, these drug cartels will simply disappear. No they won’t and will only get more brutal and switch to different drugs (heroin is going into Chicago and being dealt right here in Indiana). The cartels operate in almost 1,300 cities and in sworn testimony September 2014 the DEA said Colorado legalizing only make them send more drugs. The cartels sent more weed there because the black market on marijuana would grow due to prices skyrocketing in legally approved shops. Cartels are also beginning to shakedown shop owners. Just like a scene out of Sopranos collecting neighborhood taxes, the cartels are walking into the shops and saying, “Monthly fee will keep the fires away”.
What is the solution? Marijuana activists should become friends real quick with the philosophy of the US Military enforcing the border. You set up an aggressive strategy of the military standing on the border and you cut off easily 80% of all drugs coming from Mexico and South America. State and federal governments are coming with regulations on the selling and chemical makeup of marijuana, once this happens legal marijuana sellers will be undersold by the cartels. They are much more organized than Johnny the dope dealer with a permit. Only way to give legal sellers a chance to survive and lessening violence law enforcement see with cartels will be closing off the border.
Edited by SJ Himes