Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Talk about pot? Never!

So the odds of marijuana being legalized are nil.  Be real.  Even in California.

Not sure that I truly want it to be legalized.  But I wouldn't mind talking about it. 

I can't help remembering my idealistic days at UC Santa Barbara, debating the pros and cons of legalization.  In a formal debate class, no less.  We found research that supported the legalization of heroin! 

Research out of Texas showed that crime related to heroin addiction went down when the drug was legal.  Addicts were able to lead productive lives when they accessed the drug legally.  Some addicts.  And that was an improvement over no addicts leading crime-free productive lives.

California needs the money, that's for sure.  A large cache of cash has evaporated in this state.  The gov began swinging the axe on taxes back with vehicle registration.  Now it's schools and social social services sustaining the blows. 

Maybe the gov is secretly hoping that millions and billions will come in from marijuana sales.

Not!  Too many bugaboos.  Too much superstition.  Too many downsides, and no air time for an upside. 

Unless we could talk about the parallel to legalized alcohol.  Did prohibition stop alcohol consumption?  Of course not.  Did the rate of alcoholism go up when prohibition was repealed?  Don't think so.  More alcohol related crime?  No.  More underage users?  Nope. 

Did tax revenues go up?  Yup. 

As it is in California, folks buy "medical marijuana" at a "club."   A doctor "prescribes" it, but not on a prescription pad. 

Still, somehow a cancer patient, or someone with glaucoma goes to the "club,"  chooses Maui Wowie or Purple Haze, pays, and in some cases sits down and tokes up right there and then.

Why don't these folks have to go the pharmacy for their drugs like the rest of us?  Why is it okay to smoke on the premises of a pot club when we can't open a pint of peach schnapps at the liquor store and start forgetting our worries on the spot?  Why is "medical marijuana" different?

When the clubs buy the weed for resale, do they pay taxes on their purchases?  When the patients buy the weed, do they?  The current system, such as it is, is flawed.

But will we have a measured debate and take even a baby step toward tapping this potential source of revenue?  Doubt it.  We will have lots of screaming and crying and hyperbole.  Red-faced folks will stand toe-to-toe with veins bulging, ears closed and mouths wide open. The measure will go down in resounding defeat.

We can't talk about anything anymore.