Marijuana can Reduce the Deficit, Fact Gaining Support by Republicans
The legalization of Marijuana: four simple words which can start a debate, a clash of ideas or Master's thesis. The term is as politically packed as the term: "The Prohibition of Alcohol" was in the 1920's.
Any logical person could conclude that alcohol should be illegal and marijuana should be legal. Most crimes committed and the most violent crimes involve alcohol use or abuse. There are no health benefits derived from alcohol use other than those reported on moderate wine consumption and the costs to the economy from healthcare related issues to time missed at work associated with alcohol are in the billions.
None of these things can be attributed to marijuana. People may do or say dumb things while under the influence of weed, but they are not going to beat their wives. Also, since producing marijuana costs next to nothing and can be taxed at a rate of about 200%, the tax revenue gained by individual states and the federal government can help reduce the deficit.
This November, those four little words are once again on the ballot in several states, including three influential western states: Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Each of whom is battling prescription drug and meth abuse and could use tax dollars from legalized marijuana, resources and man hours saved from arresting and prosecuting marijuana users to help combat real social and health menaces such as prescription drugs and methamphetamines.
A new ally in this battle may be conservatives. Although they may object to marijuana use on moral grounds, the fiscal sense of the issue cannot be ignored.
Appealing to Western individualism and a mistrust of federal government, activists have lined up some prominent conservatives, from one-time presidential hopefuls Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul to Republican-turned-Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.
"This is truly a nonpartisan issue," said Mark Slaugh, a volunteer for the Colorado initiative who is based in Colorado Springs, which has more Republicans than anywhere else in the state.
When activists make their appeal, it goes like this: States should dictate drug law. Decades of federal prohibition have failed where personal responsibility and old-fashioned parenting will succeed. Politicians back East have no business dictating what the states do.
"What is the law against marijuana if it isn't the Nanny State telling you what you can do and what you can't do to your body and with your body?" asked Tancredo, a former Republican congressman from suburban Denver who briefly ran for president in 2008 and endorsed the measure on the steps of the state capitol. He compared federal law to New York City's ban on sugary sodas.
At some point, we are going to be mature enough to recognize that the only people who oppose legalization of marijuana are those people who stand to lose money if people have a cheap, reliable, non-addictive and natural alternative to chemical-based pharmaceuticals.
Time to wake up Washington, Oregon and Colorado; time to wake up America.