For those who weren’t paying attention to the elections, prop 19 was a proposal to legalize Marijuana.
Just for perspective, I’d like to state that I don’t personally use Marijuana. However, I don’t care one whit whether or not other people do.
Once you strip off all the crazy and inaccurate propaganda (the most infamous example, “Reefer Madness” is actually hilarious), you are left with basically an equivalent to alcohol, but with a couple of advantages: People who are stoned, KNOW they are stoned and would rather sleep or eat than drive. People who are intoxicated with alcohol frequently misjudge their impairment, and that’s what leads to accidents. People who are stoned tend to get very passive and laid-back. People intoxicated with alcohol either want to tell you “I love you, man” or pick a fight.
So now that prop 19 has not passed, we’re going to continue to spend a bunch of tax money on enforcing, incarcerating, trying, and applying people and efforts to enforce something that not even the law enforcement types really want to bother with.
The criminal types will still continue to thrive in the black market for the “wacky tobaccy”. Is this really an industry we want to encourage?
Then, there are the medical aspects. My father died from a type of brain cancer that has responded well to cannabis treatment in other patients. I take that rather personally. Because of all the propaganda and silliness, it’s taking an inordinately long time for the medical uses to become accepted. It is great for pain management, treatments for certain types of cancer, and a whole host of other things (search the net – it’s amazing). Why isn’t proper research being done on all this, like it would be for any other drug? Well, mainly because there is no profit in it for the drug companies. They want to make something they can patent, and charge a lot of money for. They can’t patent a natural product, so they’d have to settle for packaging and processing, which has a much lower profit margin.