Conservatives need to get on board with legal pot and with haste.
Many “conservatives” are already. I was on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville and saw a Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) kiosk. This is progress. But the progress is not fast enough, particularly in many states which do not have ballot initiatives like my home state of Virginia.
Pot prohibition is not good for individuals, communities, or the country. If one chooses to use cannabis this is no one’s business but that of the individual who uses the drug. But additionally, the actual letter of the law, in the Constitution, appears to point (despite current laws) to state regulation of cannabis (and many other things) under the 10th Amendment. Broad federal regulation of pot seems to fall outside of the Constitution.
And there are at least 3 other major reasons why weed should be legal.
- Because an end to prohibition means moving the business out of the shadows and takes revenue out of the hands of organized crime.
2. Because the war on weed is intensely crony. The reason pot remains illegal in many places is because police unions, prison systems, treatment centers (which sadly often profit from plea deals), and most of all Pharma will lose out on significant revenue streams.
3. Because it appears (and we must say APPEARS at this point) that where marijuana is readily legally available the use of far more toxic, addictive, and deadly opiods decreases. Pot can be psychologically addictive – one can become a burnout it’s true. But Oxycontin (legal heroin) is physically additive and that is a whole different deal.
(From The Washington Post)
The tanking numbers for painkiller prescriptions in medical marijuana states are likely to cause some concern among pharmaceutical companies. These companies have long been at the forefront of opposition to marijuana reform, funding research by anti-pot academics and funneling dollars to groups, such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, that oppose marijuana legalization.
Pharmaceutical companies have also lobbied federal agencies directly to prevent the liberalization of marijuana laws. In one case, recently uncovered by the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the Department of Health and Human Services recommended that naturally derived THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, be moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 of the Controlled Substances Act — a less restrictive category that would acknowledge the drug’s medical use and make it easier to research and prescribe. Several months after HHS submitted its recommendation, at least one drug company that manufactures a synthetic version of THC — which would presumably have to compete with any natural derivatives — wrote to the Drug Enforcement Administration to express opposition to rescheduling natural THC, citing “the abuse potential in terms of the need to grow and cultivate substantial crops of marijuana in the United States.”
The DEA ultimately rejected the HHS recommendation without explanation.