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Why the Drug War and Prohibitionists are Wrong

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I’m a veteran of the US Air Force, I don’t smoke pot, and I consider myself a conservative.
So anyone who loves to jump to the conclusion that only a liberal wackjob could support the
legalization of Marijuana, humor me for a moment.

Gateway Drug | It used to be that people against legalizing marijuana would form arguments
centered around Marijuana being a “gateway drug.” As it turns out, anybody with a basic level
understanding of statistics can see that the gateway drug theory shows a predictable correlation
between people who use heavy drugs and early pot use. What the study conveniently fails
to address is that the data shows a correlation, but it does not show causation. This is an
important distinction. The data could have just as easily been centered around alcohol or
tobacco. It’s a poorly developed theory and is now considered by most to be invalid.

But People Will Drive | These days, the voices against marijuana legalization are resorting
to an argument that in a nutshell says, “If we legalize pot, people will drive stoned, so let’s
continue enforcing these marijuana laws.” Let’s think about that for a second -- according to
these people, because some people will smoke and drive, we should continue giving criminal
records to otherwise law abiding citizens? Should people who drive stoned be punished for it?
Of course. Is that a reason why marijuana should remain illegal? Of course not.

Do you understand how dumb that sounds? If anyone says, “We shouldn’t legalize pot
because people will drive stoned,” I can only assume that they’re either mentally challenged,
brainwashed by ‘war on drugs’ propaganda, or they stand to benefit by toeing a line. If you
already disagree with me, then which one of those options sounds like you?

Health | I would love to see a poll of how many Americans agree with this statement: Alcohol
and Tobacco are more harmful to your health than Marijuana. It’s a pretty indisputable fact by
the death toll alone. No need to look any further down this logic path, because marijuana has
not been shown to cause death. Even if it did/does have some aspects that aren’t good for the
end user’s health, how would that be any different than alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, fast food,
etc.? There are no health concerns that warrant a continuation of this prohibition.

Criminals | If marijuana is legalized, organized crime loses one of its most highly demanded
products causing a significant cut in their illegal revenue. Lives are saved. Law enforcement
can become more efficient. There would be less money going out for bribes. This would be a
VERY good thing for our society.

Plus, do you know how much it costs to house a prisoner for a year? It’s anywhere from
$15,000 to as high as $60,000. The cost benefit of not imprisoning otherwise law abiding
citizens for possession offenses and not having to misappropriate police resources is a strong
incentive indeed.

Medical Marijuana | I’ll keep the Medical Marijuana argument brief. I mean, if pot might help
people in need, and you still think their doctors are wrong, then I would be forced to question
your intelligence level, and you should consider revisiting the idea of critical thinking.

Marijuana is Stronger Now | Ok, that’s not a reason to keep marijuana illegal. Sometimes it’s
stronger because the strains have been perfected by botanists over the years to maximize the
THC yields, and other times it’s strong because bad people put chemicals and drugs in their
product and pose it as really strong weed so they can demand a higher price.

If Marijuana were legal, patrons of the plant could go to a store where they have strains of
different intensities to choose from. The money goes into the hands of legitimate businessmen
and women, and they give the due portion to the government. The pot consumer enjoys their
product and wakes up the next morning without a hangover. Even if everybody who wanted it
went for the strong pot strain that ever existed, it’s simply not a reason to uphold this prohibition.

Marijuana Causes Psychosis | It’s more likely that people with mental illness recognize
something wrong with them and are self-medicating with recreational drug use than all of the
millions of people on earth who smoke marijuana having psychosis right now. Besides, do you
know what excessive alcohol does for one’s mental health? The bar has already been set so
low, precedence should stand that Marijuana is a shoe-in for legalization.

I don’t want my children thinking Pot’s ok | But you want them to be able to spend time in jail
if they decide to try it and get caught by the police? Alright, I understand where this motivation
comes from, but sometimes the answer is not as clear as what it might seem at a glance. If we
want to protect our friends, family, and neighbors from unnecessarily harsh consequences, we
should be against the prohibition.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel strongly that Marijuana, while fun and enjoyable, will not assist in
one’s personal growth and maturity. It might cause some users to not study as hard they should
thereby forfeiting their future as a doctor, lawyer, or whatever your ideal for success consists of.
I’m not advocating that people use it, and you don’t have to advocate the use of marijuana to
understand that we shouldn’t be punishing people legally for an at worst poor life decision. The
legal consequences currently established by our government for using marijuana is far more
harmful to society than the so-called problem.

It is for these above reasons that I believe it is morally wrong to continue supporting the
marijuana prohibition.

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