A Modest Proposal

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why did Prohibition fail?  The Hammerheads weren’t tough enough?  They didn’t incarcerate enough people? 
No.  It failed because ordinary citizens resented being told they couldn’t engage in activities that seem normal and harmless, so they quietly rebelled in a nation-wide fit of non-compliance.
Same reason the drug war is failing, particularly the war on marijuana.  Repeal federal prohibition.  Leave it up to the states.  This bill might be a good start.
Joe Doakes

It’s true – ending the “war” would end the black market, which would give us an opportunity to deal with the chaos on the border and in our inner cities.

Of course, there are wide swathes of our government that profit from that chaos.

We’ll see.

8 thoughts on “A Modest Proposal

  1. I could agree, with either of two sets of provisions
    Scenario one: Recreational use is permitted. Growers and sellers are legal but subject to the “dram shop” law and are prosecuted if someone causes a car wreck while under the influence, OR if the user damages his health by using (like the tobacco lawsuit).
    Scenario two: Recreational use and sale is permitted, with the following condition: Each package must bear a revenue stamp, equal to the average street value, and available privately in most government offices (or through the internet). Anyone in possession without the stamp must pay the stamp cost plus a penalty, but that penalty is waived and a “cut” paid if the seller is identified and pays the stamp cost plus penalty. Government should like this solution, just like they like other “sin taxes.”

  2. I’m OK with legalization as long as we have penalties in place for public intoxication, real research into the question of whether marijuana use merely correlates with or causes various maladies, and real research into whether marijuana really helps cure a lot of other maladies.

    I’m guessing that there are some things it causes, and some things it cures for at least a subset of users. Certainly if the standard american diet, tobacco, and alcohol are legal, then marijuana should be as well. It’s a lot less harmful as far as we know.

  3. I haven’t smoked a joint in 40 years.
    But shouldn’t we discourage smoking marijuana? It’s hard to believe that the problems of the underclass wouldn’t be harmed by making marijuana easier to obtain and use.
    Who would benefit from making marijuana legal to possess and traffic? Not me. Not anyone I know.
    FYI, the effect of making medical marijuana legal where I live was de facto legalization. It’s not worth prosecuting for possession, for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent. The price here has dropped to the cellar, my sources tell me that an oz of Puna Gold is about the same as I paid for an oz of Mexican shake back in the 70s.

  4. MP, my take is that if we legalize it–and do research like the kind I’m suggesting, maybe some other–we find out precisely who will benefit most from its use. I’m guessing back pain and cancer, but again–that’s why we would want to do the studies, no? Bring it out of the shadows, and help people pay for it without crime.

    Then educate them about the risks. It’s worth noting that most of the improvement in vehicle death rates, for example, has been due to reduced drunken driving. Education at work.

  5. How would you handle job required drug testing? many of the higher paid blue collar and white collar jobs require a drug testing as a condition of hire, and follow up random drug tests. How do they handle drug tests following an auto accident? A guy who enjoys a (legal) joint on weekend nights could fail a drug test, even though he had been drug free for days before the incident.

  6. Simple; you make it legal to check it, and again, you allow people to check for THC use in the same way you allow them to check for alcohol use. I believe Colorado has a provision doing exactly this.

    And, as noted above, you do the research so we actually know whether it’s the THC, or its metabolites, or both, which would lead to impairment. I believe most testing today is of the metabolytes, and that’s going to see something very different from the actual THC.

  7. I know a guy here who is a medical marijuana user (glaucoma). His wife is a school teacher, so she is subject to random drug tests. She does not smoke da’ kine and never has, but it is possible that she might be drug tested and fail from the second hand smoke.
    That is a problem, and it is not a problem that would occur with alcohol.

  8. No doubt it’s a problem, but again, if you’ve got research into whether it’s THC or metabolites found, and in what concentration, you’ve got a great point of reference as to whether it’s worth acting on or not.

    And sometimes I would swear that some of my teachers were using, and not just second hand…..

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