Dear readers: We apologize to those who complain that we are focusing too much on the legalization of marijuana. We will return to other topics soon.
For those following the issue, this post is a continued discussion on the possibility of voters legalizing marijuana, see http://crimeinamerica.net/category/drugs-marijuana-legalization/ and comments for background.
Arron is a writer for CannaCentral, see http://cannacentral.com/.
Best, Adam and the contributors to Crime in America.Net
Hi Aaron: This is a much better response than your last; it places reasonable arguments before the public.
Marijuana may be legalized. Voters throughout the country have approved an endless array of acts deemed potentially harmful. Whether you ride your motorcycle without a helmet or smoke or drink alcohol or carry a gun, voters or their representatives agreed to legalize all cited and more.
Our principle objection is the lack of an objective debate. There’s not a pot user in this country who has not seen first-hand the damage that marijuana can cause either in themselves or their friends.
The research cited in Crime in America.Net is statistical in nature; it simply documents the connection to crime or treatment admissions or accidents. It takes no position as to the legalization of marijuana and the marijuana statistics are simply one of many cited. Few within the university-based research community seem to care if marijuana is legalized or not.
Organized crime engaged in the growing or importation of marijuana is also engage in other acts. They will not go away simply because marijuana is legal. We would have to decriminalize every drug and every vice for that to occur. There is no benefit for the legalization of marijuana.
Americans want freedoms to do things that have negative statistical backing. The data on guns seems clear that guns in the home have a greater statistical chance of harming a family member than a bad guy that invades yet the right to carry guns now exists in 35 states.
The arguments of gun proponents are very similar to yours. That’s neither good nor bad; voters simply choose to ignore the data and approve gun rights.
Personal use of marijuana may be approved in similar fashion but we warn proponents that claims that marijuana is not harmful will doom your cause.
Marijuana is a powerful drug that’s statistically connected to a wide array of harmful acts; if legalized it will create immense harm for our society and create social burdens that states cannot afford. It’s impossible to look at the data and not come to that conclusion.
As to arrests, we have consistently stated that people should not be arrested for personal use. The criminal justice system has more important things to do.
But arrests are happening because marijuana is being used while driving or during criminal acts. Any officer who arrests solely for possession is creating more harm than good.
So let’s leave it up to voters. Let’s place objective data before them without all the silly rhetoric and distortion and let them decide.
We’ve approved many acts that carry social consequences. Marijuana may be one of them. Just agree to place money for safeguards (similar to gambling and counseling for destructive gambling) in place to help the many who will need it.
More importantly, if approved, create social pressure for responsible use in the same way we approach drinking and driving.