The Surgeon General has positively linked tobacco with heart disease, emphysema, and cancer, making it the number one cause of death in America. Thirty years of research by the US Government has not proved marijuana harmful, but it is still illegal until "proved harmless". Government’s position on both herbs is costly, ineffective, and terribly destructive to society. Persecution has not stopped people from smoking marijuana, but has enabled the creation of a huge criminal sales organization. Most destructive has been that millions of American youth now see themselves as outside the law, and they view the Government as an irrational and oppressive force to be feared and hated. What could be worse for a nation than that?
We support a growing army of secret police whose job is to inspect private lives without legal process by deceitfully pretending to be friends, giving their word falsely, and betraying trust. A private citizen who does that is called con-man or fraud. That friendly Spaniel at the bus station may be searching your purse with his nose...without the warrant his handler would need. What happens to community trust when anyone could be a State spy ferreting out the least sign of civil disobedience? And once the system is in place for marijuana, what else will be rendered impossible?
Willful violators of unjust laws against practices done in private are driven underground, forced to organize for survival. The obedient must protect themselves by spying on...and reporting on...their neighbors. Those are basic elements of both hostile underground and totalitarian state -- "Gestapo" was a German acronym for "undercover state police". Must we create that in The Land Of The Free just to defend an unreasonable law forbidding what is dubiously self-abuse?
The "war" against marijuana drives prices up, which disrupts the economies of countries where pot will grow. Our government’s costly answer: poison their fields and pay the Generals to harass and alienate their people. This policy serves only those who seek American military intervention in the internal affairs of other countries.
Our courts are backed up months, our prisons jammed, and costs go up and up. Prisons are universities for crime, and many who go into them for petty offences come out bitter sophisticated criminals. If all marijuana-only offenders were given Presidential pardon, courts and jails would be relieved of a huge burden, and society served. No amount of marijuana will make any person the enemy of society; suffering six months in prison for alleged self-abuse can make an angry, anti-social person of almost anyone. The taxpayer cost of that destructive incarceration is more than the average annual wage.
We spend millions of Deficit dollars enforcing unjust marijuana laws and subsidizing tobacco, and the result is terribly destructive to health and social order. Why not reduce both destructive influences and save the taxpayer by eliminating all spending to prosecute marijuana, and to subsidize tobacco? Tobacco growers will find other crops, and with no black market, the syndicated international criminals will drop marijuana. Switching to hemp with its many byproducts would give American agriculture a shot in the arm. American producers could easily dominate the domestic market with our already-available fine hybrids...which will make marijuana a legitimate, politically non-destabilizing crop in the Third World. Home-growers can be given a tax-free limit (like wine-makers), and oxygen-producing windowbox gardens will replace the energy-consuming growlights in the closets. Come on, America -- lighten one up!
James Nathan Post