Fixing the Economy and Helping Out the Ill: Marjiuana

A big topic today is fixing the economy. Obama’s speech/State of the Union was about it.

I’m already convinced I helped fix the economy with my last entry; I mean the markets went way down Monday then I write an entry saying to keep investing monday night and tuesday it was up. Sure there were leaks of Obama’s speech and Bernake made some comments, but it was clearly the tens of people who read my entry. Yet I want to do more to fix our economy.

My solution to getting the economy going is much simpler in this entry: legalize and tax marijuana.

If nothing else we'll stimulate the snack food industry right?

If nothing else we'll stimulate the snack food industry right?

Now this was partially spurned by the NJ senate voting yesterday to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes, but it’s a view I’ve held for quite some time.

Medical marijuana is something I couldn’t support more. Having seen a sister puking for days and not being able to eat as she suffers through chemo, if I could have helped her by “scoring” some weed I would have in a second. Unfortunately I was 14 at the time she died so I didn’t think to.

However my focus tonight is on legalizing it as a way to fix the economy. I’ll try to be brief, but thorough. Legalizing marijuana will first and foremost raise funds through taxes the same way alcohol and tobacco taxes fund education and infrastructure in this country. However, the main benefit will arguably be that it will also save us money with policing, adjudicating, and incarcerating non-violent offenders. Do you have any idea how much they pay corrections officers???

I’m not the first person to make this argument, but if there’s ever been a time to consider doing what we can to raise funds for the state is this not the time? California is broke and most other states aren’t better.

Now some people might assume I’m a pothead and try to use that as an ad hominem attack on my arguments. However I can assure you I am in no way a pothead.

I will also concede a that several of the arguments against marijuana are true. Marijuana is bad for you. It kills brain cells. It’s a gateway drug. Those statements are all true.

However, I challenge you to prove to me these effects are any worse then alcohol and cigarettes. In fact ask yourself what’s caused more deaths in this country marijuana or cheeseburgers?

Those who oppose marijuana legalization will tell you to think of the children. I say the same to you: think of the children. Do you want your children to have a rising national debt, an underfunded education system, and crumbling roads? Do you want overcrowded prisons letting out more serious offenders?  Do you want your kids to be attacked by terrorists who get rich off the drug?

I don’t want any of those things for my children.

Personally I’d like to try to solve some of those problems, while also focusing our efforts on ridding our country of real drugs that kill people.

So call me a hippy pothead if you want, but you’ll be wrong on both accounts and once you’re done name calling please find the mistakes in my argument.

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2 Responses to Fixing the Economy and Helping Out the Ill: Marjiuana

  1. Jesse says:

    Rumor is (according to Lou Dobbs) that California is considering legalization/taxation to help with the economic issues. I’m all for it but not exactly optimistic. We’ll see how much support the idea gets in the mostly conservative parts of the state (as in, everywhere except LA and San Fran), and if the oh so politically correct politicians in Sacramento actually go for it.
    We’re ahead of the curve thanks to having legal medical use for years now (and thumbs up to my home state for taking a positive step in that direction!) but it may still be a while before we pull an Amsterdam.

  2. Alec says:

    I’m going to have to take issue with your concession that marijuana use kills brain cells–does it?

    I’m going to have to take issue with your concession that marijuana use kills… just kidding.

    Let’s see where Jersey goes, and let’s see where politicians go with the “creative taxation” they’re pursuing (pornography, pot, etc). I’m skeptical, but my prediction still stands:

    20 years for federal medicinal use.
    30 years for federal legalization.

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