Sunday, February 26, 2017

Legalizing Marijuana Would Quell Social Protest

Polls Show Americans Favor Changing Laws
President Trump would be wise to instruct his administration to give solid consideration to legalizing marijuana or ending Federal laws that attempt to control state rights over the issue. This would go a long way to quiet much of the social protest and angst that mainstream media has been able to stir up within liberal ranks. Polls clearly show most Americans agree marijuana users should not be sent to prison and see using it as a victimless crime. Due to current drug laws, there are far too many non-violent criminals filling up our prisons. This is an area that continues to polarize America while energizing and motivating our youth and huge segments of our population to hit the streets in protest.

This is a matter that many Americans feel very strongly about and just like those supporting gun rights they tie it directly to the issue of freedom. Liberalizing and changing the laws surrounding marijuana has become a more bipartisan issue over the years as a growing number of conservatives and Republicans have moved to supporting laws that reduce or eliminate prison sentences for drug use. Back in March of 2015, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, joined Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand to end the federal ban on medical marijuana, now legalized in 23 states. Many of the  2016 presidential hopefuls including Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz, all said they believe states have the right to make their own marijuana laws. The fact is this goes beyond using marijuana for medical use. While it is known that Trump does not drink because of personal reasons this does not mean those feelings and views transfer to this issue.

This Is A Hot Button Issue!
Over the years I have researched and written several articles about this subject and Americas war on drugs. As a resident of Indiana who supported Trump, I was not happy to see him select Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a running mate. Back in 2013, I wrote an article titled, "Indiana Marijuana Laws A step Back In Time" which condemned Pence for his backward and oppressive stand towards marijuana. It noted that with the rest of the United States moving towards relaxing marijuana laws, Indiana was bravely marching into the past by increasing jail time for minor possession. Many Americans fail to realize that Pence had generated within Indiana a solid "Pence Must Go" movement committed to ousting him from office.

In the last decade, due almost solely to the surge in drug-related arrests, U.S. prisons are massively overcrowded and underfunded. In another article, "War On Drugs Is Far Too Costly" it is pointed out that numerous reasons exist that Republicans should support marijuana reform. Republicans support state’s rights, smaller government, and want to stop wasteful spending. The war on drugs has been far too costly and much of it is over marijuana. It is time we grow up and end this costly polarizing and divisive war that damages so many young lives and has taken a huge toll on minority communities. This issue is a big part of a legal system that highlights inequality and injustice and serves as a magnet for those who feel oppressed.

Minorities Have Been Hit Hard By Current Laws
Last but not least we should not underestimate how the propaganda film, Reefer Madness has greatly and quietly influenced the views of a whole generation of Americans towards marijuana. The 1936-1939 American propaganda film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana. Now with prisons across America bursting at the seams, we are finally beginning to question the wisdom of these costly policies. Trump and those in Washington would be wise to heed changing public opinion and look past the myths about this drug that has resulted in many young people being sent to prison for until this is addressed and resolved the streets and prisons of America will be filled with the discontent.

A great deal of speculation and fear is that newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions will enforce federal law and come down on states with a vengeance. Such a move could spark a rollback and retrenchment of recent efforts to bring marijuana use into the open. The well entrenched establishment in Washington marches to its own agenda and Trump with his efforts to dislodge them needs all the friends he can find so it makes little sense for him to go out of his ways to create more enemies. This issue takes our eyes off more important and pressing issues. Recent polls and a media campaign centered on bashing Trump tend to undermine his ability to create legislation and do not bode well for his ability to govern. Protest in the streets are also roadblocks for a positive agenda.

2 comments:

  1. How is legalizing marijuana a positive for our country, and our youth? I understand the idea that it will help quell protests, especially for young people. And perhaps it would. But at what cost? What message do we send to young people that it's ok to abandon your dreams, and just get high? Young people who smoke marijuana are at far higher risk of becoming losers, and it's a proven fact that marijuana use at a young age can have significant negative effects on the brain (basically making the person "dumber" and with no ambition).

    While I do think the entire "war on drugs" is pretty stupid in many ways, and very bad from a "asset seizure" standpoint, I just can't condone making drugs like marijuana legal. I would support no jail time for marijuana users for a first offense, with some sort of counselling.

    My nephew has gotten caught up with marijuana. He's become addicted to it. He was a very promising young man, who turned to it to help him deal with his all too common emotional issues growing up. He dropped out of college, got arrested a couple times, was in jail for two months awaiting trial, and was diagnosed with bipolar, which seemed to be triggered by the drug. Is this what we want to our American youth? I support treatment and rehab, not jail sentences for marijuana users, since I don't think jail does much for them.

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    Replies
    1. Look back to when it was outlawed and why.
      Newly invented synthetic fibers manufacturers didn't like the competition from HEMP fibers.
      So they cooked up the Evil Drug business to get it all banned!

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