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Marijuana Legalization – Will It Really Happen?

Posted in Legalization of Marijuana by htbaird on January 15, 2009

My political hero, William F. Buckely, founder/publisher of the National Review, former host of the popular TV debate program “Firing Line”, and true conseravtive has long supported the legalization of marijuana. His ability to discuss the topic (which would easily provoke rage in the average debator) in a calm and always gentlemanly style has earned him the respect of millions.
However, this is the one issue on which Mr. Buckley and I part ways.
His argument – which carries a lot of validity – is that our prison system is over-crowded with violent criminals, who are too often parolled to make room for more recent offenders, including reapeat marijuana “offenders.” He also note in his argument that marijuana is not a drug that causes violent behavior in the user, and that the only violence associated with marijuana stems from the fact that it is illegal and trafficked through the “drug trade.” His beleif is that if marijuana were legal, it would vastly decrease violence, and that the ones who would suffer would be the illegal drug traffickers.
While I understand his argument, I am afraid that the legalization of pot would do more harm than good to decent, law-abiding citizens. Legalizing it would be tantamount to inviting people to use it…including those who never would have considered it otherwise, or known how or where to get it.
As far as sending marijauna users and non-violent dealers to prison, however, I beleive that is crossing the line. I think that heavier and heavier fines for those frequently caught in possesion is the answer…not parolling murderers and rapists to make room for marijuanna smokers.
I have seen the effects of marijuana on those who have a penchant for it and and have become long-term users. Over time, they become slow-witted, and often paranoid. This bizarre behavior wrecks relationships, ruins families, and ultimately takes away the life-potential of the user.
While I understand that the same thing could be said about alcohol, it is an entirely different matter. Jesus drank wine, and considered it a gift from God to bring people closer together. While there are those who have adverse effects from it, the majority of people who drink it do not abuse it. Even if you are of the opinion that alcohol is just as dangerous as marijuana, it has been around and legal for much too long to take it away. Good or bad, it is long-entrenched in the fabric of Western society. Let us not make marijuana another substance for easy access to abuse.

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2 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on January 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Holly –

    I too have seen the long-term effects of regular usage and agree with this but strongly disagree that it legalizing pot invites usage.

    Look to the Netherlands where if not legal, usage is “not illegal”….

    There were urban myths floating around when I was in high school that queen Beatrice would leave the palace and stroll around smoking with the common folk – this is bunk.

    The vast majority of natives look down upon regular users as slight degenerates – the ecessive usage because of its legality only comes from dumb Americans.

    Look to our conrty during prohibition …
    the legality of drinking did nothing to curb the abuse of alcohol.

    lets make the drug problem smaller by focusing on highly addictive and otherwise destructive substances so that we can have a chance to fight it!

    Great Blog!

  2. htbaird said, on January 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Than you, Mark. While I do see your point and am almost tempted to agree with you, I just don’t think that what this country needs in another harmful substance – like alcohol – that they can simply swing by the store and pick up o their way home from work. Prohibition was a disaster because alcohol went from being a legal substance which had been a part of the fabric of our society for thousands of years, to suddenly illegal. Pot does not have the same historical acceptance in our society.


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