As The World Burns: Right To Bong – 4/23/2010

After being dazed and confused last week on “420” in the midst of the deep provoking thoughts inspired by “Apocalypse Now,” I began to wonder if this will be the last time engaging in this unofficial holiday is a misdemeanor.

The debate of marijuana legalization has been one of the hottest issues that is being marginalized by the media and politicians. While the Obama Administration is trying to ignore the issue, California is taking steps to legalize and regulate this billion-dollar industry.

To continue the enforcement of a law that William F. Buckley Jr. once said “has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could,” is not only ludicrous but also irresponsible on the part of government during this troubling economy.

Regardless of what opponents say, they have failed to make any validation of what could be regarded as a rational counter argument with any factual evidence. The opposition’s argument consists of racial fears, old wives’ tales and the reefer madness concocted by Henry Anslinger (political opportunist and the first drug czar) in the 1930s.

Even then, Ansliger’s crusade was seen as a scam, and his lies were exposed when Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York from 1934-1945, commissioned the first scientific study regarding the effects of marijuana in 1939 (LaGuardia Commission).

The most recent study in support of legalization, “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition,” by the Department of Economics at Harvard University, was published in 2005. The report focused on the economical ramifications of prohibition and how legalization could benefit the economy. The study received the endorsement of 500 economists, including Milton Friedman, one of the most influential economists of the modern age who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1976.

Legalization would economically benefit communities in Northern California, where medical marijuana farming is a major source of revenue. The legalization would boost revenue and bring in tax dollars to the state government. At the same time, agencies once responsible for enforcing marijuana prohibition will now have to supervise its regulation and taxation.

From the average American to politicians to Noble Prize winning figures, the ongoing prohibition has been a blunder. If California fails to get the ball rolling on the movement of legalization, then have fun enjoying that “Emerald Kush” in the closet while watching the world burn.

Published for La Voz Weekly
4/23/2010
Original Link: As The World Burns: Right To Bong 

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About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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