The Sky is Falling in Colorado

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 06, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Utter Hysteria of Our Georgia Drug Laws:

Now that I have your attention, it's been 6-months since Colorado legalized marijuana and low and behold, crime is down, tax revenues have increased, and personal freedom is being respected.

In spite of hysterical rhetoric that legalization will turn the state into a haven for drug abusers and that children will now have access to drugs (as if they didn't have access before), marijuana legalization has lead to a more honest interaction between the state and it's people.

The first premise that needs to be addressed is whether banning the use of something that even the President of the United States has admitted to using can be justified.  Is marijuana regulation a proper role of government?

The hypocrisy of arresting people for using drugs is clear when we look to the last 2 presidents.  Both President Bush and President Obama have admitted using marijuana.  Had either been arrested for drug possession, they could not have been elected.  Had President Obama been arrested, he would have been like many other young black men whose lives are ruined by the criminal conviction for the drug, not the drug itself.

Yet the Obama “Justice” Department has fought legalization of marijuana and medical marijuana throughout the United States.  The FBI still prosecutes low-level offenders everyday.  So, the hypocrisy of all of this is that the only difference between being the President of the United States today and a life ruined by a criminal conviction for President Obama was the fact that he was never caught.  No other conclusion is even possible.

Georgia's marijuana laws have not been changed in the 19 years I have practiced law.  If you are arrested for possession of marijuana and convicted, the conviction is for life.  You will also LOSE YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR 6 MONTHS, even in cases that have nothing to do with driving.

Many Georgia Courts have “Drug Court Programs” designed to treat offenders, rather than convict them.  However, these accountability court programs are difficult to complete, time consuming, and costly.  They require court-supervised treatment for between 18-24 months, and participants are sanctioned with jail-time if they fail to complete the program or test positive for drugs.

I am 100% against these Drug Court Programs because it is an improper role of government to regulate what a person consumes in their body.  I do not consume illegal drugs, however I do not eat properly.  When I over-consume ice cream and soda, it's bad for me.  I have joked with my friends that if a “Sugar Court” existed, I would be sentenced to it.  I would also violate the court rules and be sent to jail.  It is absurd to force someone to stop consuming something that is not hurting anyone else.

To Address People Who Say Drugs Hurt Others:

They do not.  It's the illegality of the substance that creates the organized crime that brings the drugs to the United States.  When there was alcohol prohibition, organized crime exploded because like drugs, people wanted to drink alcoholic beverages.  The crime element related to the sale of drugs would instantly end with legalization.

What about DUI?  Won't legalizing drugs cause more DUI Drug cases?  No.  We already have laws against driving under the influence of drugs and DUI marijuana in particular.  If a person legally purchases alcohol and drives drunk, we have laws to address that.  It's called DUI.  If a person does the same while on any drug, we already have the same law.  I see DUI drug cases in my office everyday.  It's a “sky is falling” argument to assume everyone will start abusing drugs if legalized.  There is a donut shop on every corner in Atlanta and the last I checked, no one is forcing anyone to stop in.

In the classic folk tale, Chicken Little believed the world was coming to an end.  I think that the experiment to legalize marijuana in Colorado will show beyond all doubt that nothing could be further from the truth.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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