Thursday, October 29, 2015

Legalize - Regulate - Tax

For the better part of a century, our nation has fought a never ending war on drugs and losing.  This war has cost taxpayers untold billions of dollars with no visible positive affects.  Instead, the affects have been negative.  We have imprisoned hundreds of thousands and built even more prisons to house them.  We have militarized our police.  We have also brought about the rise of the deadly drug cartels of Mexico as well as Central and South America with our anti-drug policies.

One of the easiest ways to end, or at least curtail, this never ending "war" is to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.

I have never partaken of marijuana nor do I have any plans to.  Oh, the thought has crossed my mind, especially as a way to deal with my manic-depression, anxiety and PTSD.  But I have never smoked or ingested marijuana.

Millions of Americans do, whether recreationally or for medical purposes.  Many states have legalized the medical use of marijuana while three states have legalized it for recreational purposes.  But on the Federal level, it is still illegal and thus even in these states that legalized its use, users of marijuana are subject to arrest by the DEA.

Now, there is some movement in Congress to decriminalize marijuana and to allow the states to legalize, regulated and tax marijuana.  I am very hopeful this occurs and our nation's resources can be better used in shoring up our social safety net.  States are able to use the extra taxes generated and the money saved to pay for public education and other services their residents want.

Legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana is a win for all.  We get to demilitarize our police, stop incarcerating hundreds of thousands, raise hundreds of millions in new taxes and save billions in ineffective enforcement.  We also get to start breaking up the drug cartels.

Now, if only our politicians could see the light.

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