Robert DuPont, who served as the nation’s drug czar under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, said Americans should be wary of a slippery slope to legalization. While marijuana may not cause the life-threatening problems associated with heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, it’s far from harmless.
“It is a major drug of abuse,” he said. “People ask me what the most dangerous drug is, and I say marijuana. Other drugs have serious consequences that are easy to recognize. Marijuana saps people’s motivation, their direction. It’s a drug that makes people stupid and lazy. That’s in a way more dangerous.”
Unfortunately for Mr. DuPont it seems as if he never had the privilege of tokin’ some doobage in his day. Or perhaps he was that ultra conservative brat in high school (the “bro”) who shit on all the theater kids, the band geeks and poetry club members who thought outside the status quo. Who dared to dream and aspire to something secular than the institutionalized recycled rhetoric the youth has been spoon fed decade after decade.
Because if he did, and he took that drag to the head, he might have realized these kids were on to something. Before you get the wrong idea and suggest I’m just one of those ill-informed, pot smoking dead beats, who lay around all day scratching my head trying to remember where I put the remote; I never said I even smoked. And if I did it wouldn’t matter because I would have understood what so many people across the country understand: Criminalizing the use of marijuana is not only a waste of time and tax payer dollars, but unjustly perpetuated by right-wing, backwards thinking parasites.
You see if individuals like Mr. DuPont actually understood the truth, which may be hard for them conceptualize only because it makes perfect sense, perhaps they wouldn’t subscribe to the nonsense war on weed over six decades old.
1. More than 800,000 people are arrested for marijuana each year, the vast majority of them for simple possession.
2. Most marijuana users never use any other illicit drug. Marijuana does not cause people to use hard drugs. Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the United States today. Therefore, people who have used less popular drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, are likely to have also used marijuana.
3. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug and the vast majority of those who do try another drug never become addicted or go on to have associated problems. Indeed, for the large majority of people, marijuana is a terminus rather than a so-called gateway drug.
4. Most people who use marijuana do so occasionally. Increasing admissions for treatment do not reflect increasing rates of clinical dependence.
5. Claims about marijuana potency increases are vastly overstated. In addition, potency is not related to risk of dependence or health impacts.
6. Marijuana has not been shown to cause mental illness.
7. Marijuana use has not been shown to increase risk of cancer. Marijuana has been proven helpful for treating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions.
I have to stop here, I can go on and on.
Once consigned to the political fringe, marijuana policy is appearing on legislative agendas around the country thanks to an energized base of supporters and an increasingly open-minded public. Lawmakers from Rhode Island to Colorado are mulling medical marijuana programs, pot dispensaries, decriminalization and even legalization. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now authorize medical marijuana and 14, including neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts, have rolled back criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot.
Rhode Island is poised to become the 15th state to decriminalize marijuana possession. The state’s General Assembly passed legislation last week that would eliminate the threat of big fines or even jail time for the possession of an ounce or less of pot. Instead, adults caught with small amounts of marijuana would face a $150 civil fine. Police would confiscate the marijuana, but the incident would not appear on a person’s criminal record.
Minors caught with pot would also have to complete a drug awareness program and community service.
Decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana also contributes to stimulating our nations economy. By doing what we do best, regulating and taxing the life source out if it.
That’s were we find ourselves today. With a significant number of Americans standing up and saying, “I’m done being afraid,” it is comforting to see the majority of citizens not subscribing to the redundancy of irrational media and lobbyist ideals and an important step forward in legitimizing an overwhelming popular consensus that says, “we aren’t the bad guys anymore.”