Bringing the Inevitable Sooner

Posted by Richard Lawson | Dec 05, 2016 | 0 Comments

An untenable situation now exists in the United States insofar as marijuana is concerned.  The experiment with legalization in Colorado and Washington State has now expanded to several other states.  It is inevitable that one-day possession of marijuana will be legal everywhere in America.  What we have now is the criminalization of some, while the same behavior is perfectly legal for others.

We cannot continue down a path where we create arrest records for people who get caught smoking marijuana, while at the same time others do not face the same consequences for doing the same thing.  We have become a nation where those who are not caught (or happen to live in a state where marijuana consumption is legal) have more opportunities than those who are unlucky enough to be arrested.

Marijuana Legalization is Inevitable:

On the Reasonable Doubt Podcast (Episode 72), Adam Carolla made the following point: If we transplanted ourselves back to the segregationist south and asked intelligent people if 50 years later would we be still openly discriminating against African Americans, most thoughtful people would have said no.  The logical question then would have been to ask why not stop now?

In twenty years, we will look back and wonder why we devoted limited police resources to enforcing the marijuana laws.  We will also be ashamed of ourselves for creating criminal records for people who consumed a plant, permanently limiting their opportunities.  In fact, thoughtful state legislatures will pass laws to expunge the criminal records of those who were convicted of possessing marijuana.

The question for all of us should be, why not now?  No one is saying marijuana use is a good thing.  I am not making a comparison to alcohol consumption or any other vice.  I am saying it is an improper role of government to tell its citizens what they should consume.

To detractors who use incidents of impaired driving or other ill effects of marijuana usage, we have laws that govern this behavior.  If a person is a less safe driver due to the consumption of any illegal or legal drug, we should prosecute that person.  

The fact that a legal activity, such as drinking alcoholic beverages, can become a criminal activity is not a reason to ban it.  On the contrary, we should enforce the DUI laws in Georgia and throughout the country.  Are we adults?  Do we own our bodies or does the government?  The slippery slope argument against marijuana legalization is infantile.  If it were logical, the government should mandate our caloric intake or how many vegetables we should consume.

The law should not act in loco parentis.  Do we want a nanny state or to live in freedom?  The government is always the last entity to catch up to the inevitable.  That is why it has taken a referendum to pass marijuana legalization in every state.  We need to force our representatives to do their jobs and listen to what people want.  I want to live in a state and country that respects individual freedom and the choice of people to make both good and bad decisions.

As a non-marijuana user, I do not want our government to tell me what to consume, especially when I consider eating only eleven of a dozen donuts a victory.  

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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