Legal Marijuana Would = $ 72 billion

This is a column by Carl Gibson  in the GalesburgPlanet.com.  This is one of the finest summaries I have seen in ages.  Enjoy:

If there was some­thing readily available that had proven to success­fully grow brain cells, kill cancer cells, treat glaucoma, multiple scle­rosis, chronic pain, PTSD, insomnia, loss of appetite and other ailments, how infu­ri­ating would it be to know that both state and federal govern­ments were spending in excess of $26 billion of our tax dollars every year arresting and incar­cer­ating people for having, selling and using that substance? Could you imagine this guy going to jail for simply curing his thyroid cancer?

I still remember my 16-year-old cat dying when I was in high school, and crying after it happened. Losing a pet is trau­ma­tizing for any kid, espe­cially little ones. I can only imagine the fear, terror, anger and hatred felt by three kids in St. Paul, Minnesota several weeks ago when drug task force agents raided their home in the middle of the night, shot their family dog, and made them sit hand­cuffed next to the bloody carcass at gunpoint for over an hour while officers ransacked their home. One child was kicked by a cop and searched while loaded guns were pointed at her. Another child was deprived of her diabetes medication and went into diabetic shock induced by low blood sugar levels. And the drug cops weren’t even raiding the right home.

Retired Cali­fornia Superior Court Judge James P. Gray argued in 2009, during the state’s debate over the ulti­mately unsuc­cessful attempt to regulate and taxed mari­juana like alcohol, that the more than 30-year War on Drugs has failed miserably. Gray went on to state that the prohi­bition of mari­juana has only led to the prolif­er­ation of even more potent mari­juana, just as the days of alcohol prohi­bition moti­vated boot­leggers to peddle stronger booze to turn a higher profit. The facts back up Judge Gray: Mexican drug cartels currently kidnapping, raping and murdering thou­sands every year would be crippled if mari­juana, their biggest source of revenue, was made legal in the United States.

With taxed and regu­lated mari­juana, federal and state govern­ments would suddenly free up $26 billion spent annually on the failed drug war. And the addi­tional tax revenue taken in, assuming the states regulate and tax the sale of mari­juana, would mean an addi­tional $46 billion in tax revenue every year. China spent $70 billion modern­izing their high-speed rail system, which simul­ta­ne­ously created jobs, stream­lined trans­portation, and will dras­ti­cally improve the envi­ronment over the years. What if we invested $72 billion in American high-speed rail with that new revenue?

While state govern­ments in Oregon, Wash­ington, Colorado, Connecticut, and yes, even Kentucky are waking up and real­izing the benefits of both prescribing medical mari­juana and regu­lating mari­juana like alcohol, the federal government’s chief drug enforcer, Michele Leonhart, is still blindly parroting vastly outdated talking points, even when confronted by members of Congress. And yes, this is the same federal government that has issued 300 pre-rolled joints every month since 1982 to stock­broker Irv Rosenfeld, who suffers from a condition that causes painful bone tumors. It’s also the same federal government whose pres­ident said he would stop raiding medical mari­juana farms and dispen­saries in 2009. It’s also the same federal government that continues to raid medical mari­juana farms and dispen­saries, like the ones at Oaks­terdam University in 2012.

Confused yet? According to Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, the US government signed a treaty in 1961, with a host of other coun­tries, that made mari­juana a Schedule I drug, meaning it’s flatly forbidden. Keep in mind, this was done not long after Harry J. Anslinger’s lurid testi­monies as US Commis­sioner of Narcotics, and racist fear-mongering by yellow jour­nalists like William Randolph Hearst that insin­uated that smoking mari­juana would turn women into pros­ti­tutes.

But today, over half of Amer­icans are ready to see mari­juana legalized. And $3 million has already been raised to help the legal­ization efforts in Colorado, Oregon and Wash­ington state. If you’re ready to stop being confused and end the senseless prohi­bition of mari­juana, demand your state legis­lators introduce bills in the following session that do just that. Demand members of Congress and pres­i­dential candi­dates to withdraw from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. If they won’t, elect legis­lators, congressmen and pres­i­dents who will.
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In the original every fact or assertion is linked to a source. Good scholarship and you can find it HERE.

Mr. Gibson, the kids came by to salute you. Nice work.

[images: Google images – business and salute]

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Elevate....

Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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