January 11, 2014

Colorado now the 'Highest' state in the Union

...with the state of Washinton soon to follow.

Please forgive the rather lame pun starting off this post... I just couldn't resist. :P

I'm afraid I'm not much of an expert in either politics or drug dependence/ effects, so please bear with me. :)

 The news coming in that Colorado is now legalizing medical marijiuana (though, without a prescription) comes as no particular surprise to this blogger. Legalizing weed is something that Libertarians, the medically suffering, and hardcore addicts have all been clamoring for for years now. So, I guess the question, morally and politically, is 1) Does the US Federal Government even have the Constitutional authorization to be regulating drugs like marijiuana, cocaine, etc,  (I know they like to use the Interstate Commerce Clause as their pet loophole to justify regulating absolutely everything that crosses state lines that they deign to regulate, but I mean other than that....besides which, and I'm not 100 percent positive on this, but I'm pretty sure there has to actually be legal interstate commerce in said article to begin with before the Feds can start regulating/ taxing it, so it would seem like something that is really up to the States) and, 2) Even if they do have that power, should they do so, morally, even if they can do so?

I'm going to try and do some research on the drug, it's effects, (both beneficial and not)  and, possibly, try to see what this means for drug policy in the future. One thing that I do remember hearing from experts on a documentary on the substance, (I think it was the History Channel...please don't hold me to it though :) ) and so far as it's detrimental effects on judgement and the like go, it seems it's much worse/ has much more of a pronounced negative effect on "newbie" users, whereas in those who commonly smoke a couple pipes a day of the stuff, they're hardly effected at all when they're "high", so far as judgement, reaction time, etc. Maybe something to keep in mind, given that Colorado is likely to have new users, with legalization.

On the flip side of the issue, one benefit frequently mentioned  by drug legalization advocates (including such libertarian groups as the Cato Institute) is massive reductions in the funding and money illegal drug cartels and terrorist groups, such as MS-13 and Al Qaeda, will get, once there is legal competition in place. (Price wars will [theoretically] cause their profits to plummet) And, on top of that, the Feds will no longer have to spend the X number of billions of dollars they are currently spending on their hopeless, failed, drug "war". (As drug advocates call it, anyway)

Myself, I find it hard to choose which position to take. On the one hand, I'm the last person that wants the USA to turn into a nation of lazy, dependent, good for nothing wastrels, wasting all of their money to get their next fix, sitting sideways in some Govt trough. (Being supported by the "rest of us") Just making drugs "legal" doesn't mean all of the deadly, dangerous, and inconvenient (to society, at least) side effects just magically disappear. And, on the other, it would be nice if we no longer had to spend billions and billions of dollars in a war where there are no victories, only countless causalties, and where the more effective the Feds are at tightening up drug supplies, the more money illegal, criminal enterprises are able to make once they do manage to slip past the Feds. In my opinion, as long as the taxpayer isn't required to pay for the consequences,  I say, let 'em be legalized. Just make it so their insurance doesn't cover whatever illnesses and injuries (including psychological) they may incur from their addiction.

(Or if it does, make it so it's out of their pocket, and not the taxpayers.... I mean, c'mon, why should the rest of us have to pay for your lack of character, just because you feel like you need to get high???)

Note: I'm starting to get too tired, (was up too late the other night... :( ) so, dear readers, I'll be adding links and research data later. (Hopefully tomorrow if I can happen to get on. :) ) Thanks for reading. :)

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