Posted byat 13th April, 2009
My niece Cheryl and her family just got back from spring break in Mexico. Being rational people they restricted themselves to the safer touristy areas but, being my mother’s son, I remained concerned. There’s a lot of shit coming down in Mexico these days, and of course it’s about drugs. Marijuana in particular; the Americas’ largest cash crop. And I mean “cash” literally.
Everybody’s wringing their hands over this. Both the Americans and the Mexicans blame the problem on the drug users in the United States of America. Of course, that’s not the problem. The problem is that marijuana is illegal, and that simple act has repercussions.
It finances the drug wars. Some of the money, according to organizations with bad track records when it comes to telling the truth, goes to outfits that sponsor terrorism. Yeah, well the Taliban supports poppy growing and heroin processing, but Mexico isn’t exactly across the street from Afghanistan and grass ain’t smack.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the toll placed upon our society by keeping marijuana illegal. The billions and billions of dollars we spend prosecuting and incarcerating users. The distraction of police departments, whose time could be better spent doing just about anything else. The loss of massive tax revenues. The network of dealers where customers can easily obtain more dangerous stuff.
Let’s look at that argument for a moment. The anti-grass forces say marijuana is a “gateway drug,” one that leads to “the harder stuff.” Now, it just so happens I spent over a decade in the drug abuse education business, and I keep up. The studies interviewed people who have been convicted of possession of “harder” drugs and discovered that most of them had previously smoked dope. Ergo, ipso facto, there’s a relationship. Yes, that’s true, but it’s one of access and not causality. Shades of Fredrick Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent. 87% of mass murderers were breast fed as babies; does breast feeding lead to mass murder?
Legalize the stuff and you remove the profit motive from the access chain. Legalize the stuff and you end the war in Mexico. You empty the prisons so we can keep the dangerous criminals behind bars for their full terms, and save a shitload of money in the process. Legalize the stuff and you keep The Government out of at least one aspect of your personal life.
We continue to have massive educational efforts regarding the evils of drugs that are presently illegal. Would that we should have such efforts regarding dangerous legal drugs like alcohol, sugar and aspirin. Any adult who is abusing marijuana or, quite frankly, any other illegal drug is making an informed decision. Maybe not the one you would make, maybe not the one I would make, but an informed decision nonetheless.
If we were to legalize marijuana, would Americans go apeshit? I doubt it. It’s easier to buy grass these days than it is to buy a car. Besides, there’s precedent. Marijuana wasn’t made illegal until 1937. That means it was legal before 1937, including during the entire period of alcohol prohibition. If we didn’t go ape during the Volstead Act and we didn’t go ape during the Great Depression, we aren’t going to go ape now.
As is often the case, the great Mojo Nixon put it best, this time in his song “Legalize It.” I’ll quote:
All this murder and all this crimeSenseless so many people dying
Making it illegal’s only made it worse
It’s like we got our soul’s a great big curse
People think they’re cool ‘cuz it’s outlaw
Thinking they rebel without a cause
We gotta help the sick and the addicted
But we’re killing ourselves with the new prohibition
It’s not the government’s job to tell you what to do,
Decide for yourself what’s right for you.
If you go to far and get out of hand,
Then you take a trip down to prison land.
What we gotta do?
Gonna put them pushers right in the grave!
The government should go back to governing.
Mike’s Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind rants can be heard every Monday and Friday on The Point podcasts, available right here at www.michaeldavisworld.com, as well as at comicmix.com, getthepointradio.com, zzcomics.com, and ravenwolfstudios.com. You can subscribe to The Point at iTunes by searching under “The Point Radio.”