Police Chiefs Advocate the Legalization of Marijuana!

The War on Drugs in 100 Seconds

President Obama freely admits he regularly smoked marijuana as a teenager. Had he been busted for doing so, at the very least he'd never have risen to any high office let alone the Big One. At worst, there's a good possibility he'd still be languishing in prison along with many of our best and brightest.

The cost to American taxpayers to keep one person behind bars for possession of even a small amount of marijuana?

$36,000+ PER YEAR per prisoner.

Is it any wonder most state budgets are in the red?

But clearly, the message is "Pot is BAD".

Conversely, during every nationally-televised sporting event, we're bombarded with ads for various brands of beer.

At many events, beer is even sold at the concession stand and hawked in the bleachers, seemingly with no regard for the fact that most fans arrived in some type of vehicle and will leave the same way, with the possibility that a drunk will be behind the wheel now much greater than before the event.

As a nod to the dangers of driving while intoxicated, beer advertisers will include a reminder to drink "responsibly" (wink, wink).

The message? Beer is "cool"...beer is "fun"...beer and sporting events go together like Mom and apple pie.

If you get pulled over and can't pass the breathalyzer, you'll get a ticket, pay a fine, maybe spend a few hours or a night in jail. If you agree to enter a diversion program, your insurance company won't even know you were pulled over.

Big deal.

But get caught with even a small amount of pot and you could spend the next 10 years behind bars, or depending on the judge, maybe the rest of your life.

Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief, board member of LEAP, and author of "Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing"
Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief, board member of LEAP, and author of "Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing"

Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper questioned the flawed logic of keeping pot illegal while alcohol is openly advertised as "cool" and "fun".

In an interview with reason.tv, he stated that every police chief and law enforcement officer he spoke with while researching his book Breaking Rank wants pot legalized.

With the exception of the few who mix pot with other drugs, potheads are non-violent.

If they get behind the wheel, which historically very few do while stoned, they're more likely to roll gently over a curb than plow into another car at high speed.

They don't beat their wives and girlfriends, so there are ZERO complaints of domestic violence by anyone only under the influence of pot.

And there has never been a single traffic death caused by marijuana-only use.

It's long past time to legalize marijuana.

However, since pot can be grown pretty much anywhere - in a field, in the basement, on a patio in a pot (excuse the pun) - I don't agree that it should be taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Doing so would open the door to taxing and regulating vegetables and such that we already legally grow in our backyard garden plots.

Because marijuana is a banned substance, so is hemp, its non-hallucinogenic distant cousin. Hemp a fast-growing plant that will grow where other crops won't, and can be made into a variety of useful goods, fabric and soap being only two of many.

Ironically, thanks to our antiquated drug laws, the importation of raw hemp is legal while growing it here is not. Meaning we import raw hemp and hemp products from other countries where it's a major cash crop like corn is here. Products we could be making from our own hemp for our own consumption as well as exporting.

Makes no sense to me either.


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The number one request on Obama's Change.org web site was ending the prohibition of marijuana and its non-hallucinogenic cousin, hemp.

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The mission of American Drug War (ADW) is the legalization of marijuana in order that addiction to it may be treated as a medical issue same as alcoholism and addiction to "hard" drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines.

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Comments 88 comments

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

While I've never tried marijuana, JamaGenee, I agree that it should be legalized. Obviously, the illegality of marijuana has not been successful in ending, or even reducing its use to any great extent. I am not in favor of marijuana for "recreation" purposes, but it especially should not be outlawed for medical purposes. I think I could list hundreds of legal prescription drugs that are far more dangerous than marijuana. I believe alcohol is another matter, but you make some very poignant points on that issue. Many politicians want to appear to be strong opponents of crime by railing against drugs, including marijuana, because they believe it will bring them more votes. They favor capital punishment for the same reason. What we need in government is good motives and common sense. Let's hope the last election has brought us at least some of that.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Hi Bill! I'm a bit puzzled by "no marijuana for recreational purposes". Alcohol has been a legal "recreational" drug since Prohibition was repealed (75 years ago last month, btw). Tobacco has (as far as I know) never been banned, altho nicotine is definitely a "drug". But politicians wanting to appear strong opponents of crime by railing against drugs, including marijuana, is *exactly* why it should be legalized. To put it into its rightful place alongside tobacco and alcohol, instead of wasting dwindling law enforcement resources on trying to catch people whose only "crime" is getting happy using a currently illegal substance.


rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 7 years ago from Standing right behind you!

Good hub! Can you imagine the governement being able to tell us what type of flowers and produce we could grow in our own yards? That's scary,


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

G'day JamaGenee, I think this Hub gets right to the guts of the matter. Money!!!

Can anybody tell us how much the Tobacco and Alcohol companies are paying to the lobyists to keep Pot from being legalised.

I have not heard of Norm Stamper but he does put foward a very good argument.

I must declare that I have never smoked pot and gave up smoking about 20 years ago.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Fabulous Hub, you voiced my own opinions far better and more eloquently than I ever could have. Well done JamaGenee :)

BTW, I once grew some Cannabis seeds in our conservatory when I lived in England. Sadly the plants all turned out to be male (no buds to dry and smoke), and as a novice at growing them anyway I never pinched out the tips. Result..... a very nice miniature tree about 4 foot tall with a slim straight trunk topped with a lovely pom pom of cannabis leaves at the top, what's more, I had 4 of them. I kept them for months and simply told people who visited they were a tropical palm that I didn't know the name of. In the end the coolness of the Winter weather killed them off, (by now we had moved them to an unheated greenhouse), but it was a shame as they would have made a great decorative houseplant for anyone, and were not actually smokeable due to being males anyway.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

PS. I used to smoke Cannabis quite regularly, and my own experience tells me tobacco and alcohol are far more dangerous. Even I can get snappy and short tempered on booze, but on Cannabis, well, you just end up very relaxed and very hungry :) Oh, and of course unlike tobacco it is non addictive and easy to stop.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

JamaGenee:  I agree 100%, and your information is presented in a straight forward, logical fashion.  I'm glad Mr. Stamper is speaking out.  It's ashame current Police Chiefs are afraid to do so, and of course the industry the "War on Drugs" has created is a major problem.  The absurdity of this situation is mind boggling.  Why in the world would we try to repeat prohibition which was a miserable falure in the first place?  American philosopher George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it."  Well, we are, and in a big way. People lives are being ruined in tragic proportions.

Perhaps with more enlightened people coming into positions of power, things will change.  I pray they do.

Thanks for an excellent article!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 7 years ago from Whitstable, UK

JamaGenee, you obviously couldn't tAX your pot plants or your garden plants, but you could tax resin and pollun brought in from abroad. In fact it woud give some of the Afghan and Morroccan farmers currently growing poppies a chance to return to a traditional crop, one that they always used to grow before the advent of the crazy drug laws. Other than that I woldn't argue with a single word of this hub.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I'll smoke a joint in agreement to this hub.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Just blow a little in my general direction...would you?


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

Roll up the windows and don't let any of it out.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Buggar, can't you send some in this direction, I haven't had any in several years???? :)


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

We're enticing you to come visit America for its uh, fine sophisticated culture and the botanical gardening here is good to visit too.


sandra rinck 7 years ago

agreed! Though, it is true that the government does tax medical marijuanna growers but the people that grow wont spill the buds on what they are actually giving the government and because it is fed. law prohibiting it, they don't keep books or locations public but it does happen.

Yip, never heard nor seen anyone act violently just smoking pot. I don't think I would mind being taxed on joints cause if they were legal I don't think I would care much while stoned.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Exactly, violence is reduced because people on Cannabis simply can't be bothered to fight. I reckon it should be standard issue in prisons and at UK football matches etc. Far less trouble all round.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

agvulpes, darn right it's about money.  Money that Alcohol and Tobacco companies wouldn't get had pot been legal all along.  But I don't think anyone knows how much lobbyists have been paid to keep it illegal.   There was a rumor years ago that it'd be legalized IF Tobacco companies could grow and sell it in packs same as  cigarettes.  Ditch weed hawked as Maui Wowie.  Right....

Thanks, Christoph Reilly!  You'd think the dismal example of Prohibition would be reason enough to legalize pot.  But again, it's the money thing and who gets the biggest chunk.  Oddly, pot is the acknowledged biggest cash crop (albeit illegal) in something like 25 states. Don't ask me how that was determined. Street value?...acreage? At any rate, states and local governments aren't getting a cut of the profits via income tax from the growers' profits.  Rather they're *spending* huge amounts of tax money to find and destroy the pot.  There used to be public burnings of the booty when a field was discovered - usually just before it was ready for harvest - as an example of 'if you grow it, we will find it'.  Stopped when it dawned that the locals who came to watch weren't there to cheer good guys over bad, but for the contact high. ;)

rockinjoe, it IS scary that the government could dictate what we could grow in our own backyards, but in a sense they already do.  We're not allowed to grow even one pot plant for our own consumption (but we CAN make our own beer and wine...go figure).

CJ, point well taken.  We need to use common sense for the common good, instead of continuing a policy to eradicate the primary source of income for farmers in Afghanistan and Morocco.

goldentoad, blow some my way too! 

sandra rinck, "spill the buds".  Good one!  

mistyhorizon, thanks for a good laugh about your lovely male Cannabis plants, so lovingly grown!  Alas, over here even male plants would be a ticket to jail.  Same for seeds (which from personal experience I can tell you have *no* THC value, that is if you can get them out of the blender after they're pulverized...)  As for the non-violence aspect of pot, only thing I ever "attacked" was a 2-lb bag of Oreos!  At indoor concerts in Las Vegas, security guards would conficate any alcohol people tried to sneak in, but ignore pot.  A stoned crowd was a happy crowd. Only makes sense to issue it to prisoners and at UK football matches!   


TheMoneyGuy profile image

TheMoneyGuy 7 years ago from Pyote, TX

The Money Aspect of the drug war is far more complex than most people realize, The drug trade became a currency when Britain used Opium from Afghanistan to pay for goods and services in China. It is a great way to preserve your currency while pushing dope onto a less than colony. Ronald Reagan took this to a new level by using the CIA to channel the drug trade into the US to ensure governments that did our bidding would have open markets while ones that don't get shut out. What a great Idea to fund things that aren't popular, instead of taxes you just simply use all the money our poor and teenagers spend on drugs to finance governments that give great leeway to our Multinational Corporations.

This is how two faced the drug war is in. In Afghanistan we burn Opium Poppies that support the Taliban while helping the Farmers that are loyal to us. We want them to like us by helping them grow and distribute their crop. I wished I was making that up, but I have seen it.

TMG


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Jama--you and I spend our best time together laughing. It's my favorite thing to do. But then, you knew that. So this is a little different conversation than any we've had before.

You make excellent points. You ever on a debate team?

I am so against drinking and driving that it's not even funny, but that wasn't the greatest point or even the purpose of this hub, I know. I know thousands of people can be trusted to drink responsibly. I've been known to have limited amounts on occasion. The sad thing about it is, you have to prove you are not responsible before anything is done--and ALOT of the time, not even then. This is not a popular opinion, but it is mine none-the-less: I would not be opposed AT ALL to prohibition rearing it's head again. I know there are major points against my opinion. Just because it's illegal, doesn't mean it will go away. Only the criminals will break the law, and the criminals are the ones we were worried about to start with. I know, I know, I know. But the senseless acts of violence against children, deaths, etc. just makes me so sad--and I DETEST being SAD! I want to laugh. Did I mention that?

Now on to the marijuana. I have never smoked pot or any other form of illegal drug. I have experienced the effects of big-time pain-killers under the care of hospital staff. Although I hated the feeling of not being in control (when I was coherent enough to know it), I can see how people could get addicted to it. Again, these were drugs like morphine, newbaine (sp?), demerol, hydrocodone, and others, not marijuana.

So this brings me to the quandry I have always had. And I'm not asking this out of judgement, only curiosity. What are the reasons for wanting to do drugs, including alcohol to the point of being drunk and yes, marijuana? Is it fun? Is it escape? I'm just curious. I'm curious if there is a way to acheive these feelings by other, less dangerous means. Again, not a judgemental statement whatsover. Plain, honest, everyday curiosity.

The same curiosity as my son has when he asks why the water goes to the right instead of the left when he flushes the toilet. Why a wad of toilet paper, but not a wad of paper towels will go to the right then down the hole at the bottom. Why does mommy laugh hysterically before punishing him when he puts the end of the roll of toilet paper in the toilet and flushes it. (Yes, I laughed--nearly peed my pants--but remember, I DO love to laugh). It's not that he's fascinated by the toilet--okay, maybe he is: it's a fascinating thing if you really think about it--we've just finished potty training, so much of life has been spent focusing on said toilet.

So I apologize if I have offended anyone--ESCPECIALLY you, JamaGenee--with my opinions or questions. Let the beating begin. I can take it--I'm still bundled up from sledding.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

I love this hub! The last joint I smoked was 20 years ago at a Rolling Stones concert. I would still smoke it now and then if the idiotic, right wing social Nazis would leave us alone. Pot = 20mph. Alcohol = 90 mph. Choices?


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Tom, I love "Pot = 20mph, Alcohol = 90mph"!  Even the most thick-headed anti-potter can't argue with that one!  In all the years I indulged in pot, I only got behind the wheel once.  Figured out real quick it wasn't such a good idea, and never did it again.

Driving while seven or nine sheets to the wind was a different matter - did that wayyy too often. It's sheer luck that I didn't kill myself or someone else in the process.  Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but no alcohol whatsoever should be sold (or served) at events that require driving to or from.  Our meager law enforcement resources should be directed at those who think driving even a "little" drunk is "cool" or "okay", instead of knocking down doors to arrest otherwise law abiding souls who happen to be kicked back in their own home with a joint, no threat to anyone or anything but a bag of Oreos.  

That someone as squeaky clean as Rick Steves publicly advocates repeal of our Draconian pot laws only underscores how far America has fallen behind the rest of the developed world.

"Land of the free" rings rather hollow when more citizens who prefer Perma-grin and the Munchies are locked up (and for longer periods) than ones who prefer alcohol-induced domestic violence, vehicular homicide, and shooting or beating to death loved ones or strangers while in a drunken rage. As you said: Choices??


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Love the bag of Oreos! Alcohol creates crime. Crime creates jobs for Judges, lawyers, counselors, police, prisons, etc. Pot, pretty much just creates hunger and horn blowing from someone who is in a hurry. If people smoked pot in place of drinking alcohol, crime would drop, but government funded employment would take a dive.

Alcohol promotes violence and is one major cash cow of the system. It is mind boggling to think of the leeches attatched to alcohol abuse. Sickly and sadly, the bottom line is money. When Billy Bob gets drunk and throws his wife through a window, how many people profit from it? His wife sure doesn't.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

You are sooo right!  It's ALL about money and who profits from the despair and destruction alcohol causes. Those who make it, those who sell it, and those who stitch up the casualties.  To paraphrase Hawkeye in an episode of M*A*SH* "what a terrible thing if PEACE broke out".  Which is exactly what would happen if pot were legal.  Sounds like a no-brainer to me.  

btw, about 25 years ago our wonderful federal government spent $650,000 on a study that determined marijuana increased appetite.  Over half a mill for information that could've been obtained for free (or maybe a dime bag) by hanging out at a convenience store on a Friday or Saturday night, or at the concession stands during *any* rock concert. 

This "study" also determined pot eased nausea, and would therefore be beneficial to chemo patients.  The next logical step *should've* been to amend *federal* law to make medical marijuana users immune from prosecution in all 50 states. But naturally it wasn't.

The irony being the people who *could* amend the law routinely have a drink (or four) to "relax" after a long day in Congress, forgetting that making or possessing alcohol was once as illegal as pot is now.  Or the millions (billions in today's dollars) wasted trying to stop the flow of bathtub gin and booze smuggled in from places it wasn't illegal. And then there are the sheep at FDA  They have NO problem approving any garbage Big Pharma cranks out, but gawdforbid they do the same for a plant BP can't control or profit from.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Thanks for sharing this vital information and gluing it together with a well-considered argument. "Make love not war." And that goes for the war on drugs. Thumbs up, JamaGenee. (Love your avatar!)


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

I don't think there's enough pot on the planet to make me drink gin that's been in someone's bathtub!! :-))


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

What a terrible thing if PEACE broke out". I love that line. I just found out that my older brother, Tim, has cancer. If he wants pot, I will make sure that he gets it. Love is thicker than legislature.


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

"Love is thicker than legislature"

Now, THAT's a good one!!!!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

PM, during Prohibition, people didn't care where alcohol came from, as long as they could get it. 

Tom, sorry to hear your brother has cancer, but he's lucky that you believe "Love is thicker than legislature". As for the line from M*A*S*H, I'll see if I can find the episode it was in.  I'm sure it's on video or a DVD somewhere.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Thank you JamaGenee, I would love to see the episode.


funride profile image

funride 7 years ago from Portugal

*take a deep breath and hold...* What a nice smell I sense in this hub :D

I almost can`t remember how good it smells after all this years but I still know it should be legalized. Thanks JamaGenee, it was a very interesting reading and it deserves a big thumb up!


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Yes, funride. But are you INHALING?!?!??


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Oh, funride (she says sighing...), pot's like riding a bicycle - ya never *totally* forget how good it smells.  Same for how permagrin feels.  ;D  Thanks for the big thumbs up! 

Proud Mom, since I know you aren't a smoker and never have been, inhaling and "take a deep breath and hold" (the longer the better) are the same thing in marijuana terminology.   However, being a non-smoker, if you ever want to find out how a pot high feels, there's a brownie recipe I can recommend.  Or just attend any indoor rock concert and breathe deeply several times during the encore. ;)


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

Fantastic hub JamaGenee. Accurate, passionate and very well written.

There's really not a lot I can add to what others have said. Being a Woodstock alumnus and a rock musician of the sixties and seventies, I know from years of personal experience that pot is harmless and does NOT lead inevitably to the use and addiction to other, shall we say, less benign drugs.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Wow, CWB! Considering your credentials, I'm honored (and humbled) by your stamp of approval. Pot IS harmless compared to alcohol, is NOT the gateway to addiction to hard drugs, and locking up pot users is a total waste of our potential and productivity!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I agree that using law enforcement resources to track down and lock up pot smokers is a huge waste. I was surprised to see your paragraphs about how DUIs or drunk in publics are handled. Out here in CA, both are not only fined and jailed (at least overnight) they are FORCED to go through -- and pay for -- an alcohol education class. DUIs lose their license for 5 months. It's not just a slap on the wrist.

I must disagree with those who claim pot is NOT addictive. It CAN BE. If you one of those people who are inclined toward addiction, you can become dependent on pot just as you would on alcohol. Does it inevitably lead to harder drugs? No. But repeated us can put you in company with others who are more open to experimentation. Also, the weed out there today ain't nothing like what was smoked in the 1970s. It's way, way stronger. My son's primary drug of choice has always been weed. He is now in his 4th rehab and he is not quite 17. I think it's safe to say in his case he crossed that imaginary line from recreational use into abuse and dependency.

Having said that, there are so many more important issues this country and its law enforcement personnel should be dealing with. Government needs to get its hand out of citizens' lungs and let them decide for themselves...


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

JamaGenee, please, you overestimate my "credentials". I'm just an aging hippie who wants nothing more than to see the world at Peace before I die.

It is I who am humbled by your proffered respect.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

You're so right, Mighty Mom, that government should get it's hands out of citizens'  lungs, and focus law enforcement resources on *real* crime. Yes, unfortunately your son being an example, pot CAN be addictive if one has a predisposition to chemical dependency.  I've heard today's pot is much stronger than what was around in the '70s, but I've not looked into why that is.  Only plants that produce more THC being harvested?  Or only pot grown in  specific areas reaching the streets?  Something else added after harvesting?  And hurrah for California taking DUI seriously.  Too bad more states don't.

CWB, stop blushing and sputtering!  I only meant your "credentials" as one with much more up-close-and-personal" experience with pot users, rather than that of an occasional dabbler like myself.


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

Those credentials I do indeed have. In one communal band home I was dubbed "The Keeper of the Pipe". LOL It was a hookah with wine instead of water.


Horatio Baccus profile image

Horatio Baccus 7 years ago from PDX

I don't support the tax and regulation of home grown herb but like anything else sold for consumption in the market place it would have to be taxed and regulated. I know too many people who have no patience for growing a plant or like a myriad of tasty high potency strains that are somewhat tricky to manage as plants to believe that everyone will grow their own stash.  There also has to be an economic gain as seizures and property auctions are going to drop off and that means a lot of police agencies and governments are going to lose money if they don't see an avenue to regain that revenue you can forget about broad support.  Other then that I am in total agreement with you.

 


danjutsu profile image

danjutsu 7 years ago from UK

Fantastic Hub. The law seems to be making a fool of itself when it comes to pot. The benefits to pain sufferers has been well proven for years.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Horatio, how about the $36,000+ a year states are paying to keep ONE pot user in prison? Multiply that times however many are already there and that should be more than enough to offset the loss of revenue from auctioning off seized property.  The only loser here will be owners of privately-run prisons banking on the penal system continuing to be a growth industry.  

Thanks, danjutsu.  You're right - the law does make a fool of itself when it comes to pot.  If they spent as much time and energy taking *real* criminals off the streets as they do pot users, our cities would be virtually crime-free. 


Horatio Baccus profile image

Horatio Baccus 7 years ago from PDX

I still fail to see how not taxing and regulating Cannabis sold to the public makes anymore sense then not taxing and regulating tomatos sold in the supermarket.  If the product becomes legal those grow it and distribute it for profit have to come out of the dark and into the guise of selling a regulated and safe product.  Which means the consumer knows exactly what they get and taxes paid go to fund usda and fda monitors to ensure product quality and safe and sanitary handling.  Otherwise some fundy yayhoo poisons a batch and the prohibiton is back before you can say 'in road to terrorism'  Without regulation it would be up to individual growers and sellers to insure that minors did not consume it.  You can't sell this deal to the public without putting safeguards to insure kids do not wind up doing bong hits on the play ground.  That is just the sort of op-advert you can expect too.  Oh and 36,000 is what WE pay the for profit prison to keep the pothead, 8000-12000 goes to the actual upkeep of the prisoner.  Those for-profit prisons got there because they have connections and they are going to angry about every 20,000 hole in their balance sheet.  The politicians that got them the prison management contract are going to fight to save their contributors from that loss.  When it gets proposed you have to be able to shoot down on the paper tigers they will use to attack your Position.  They say it'll reduced police jobs; no it'll refocus law enforcement assets to stop hard street drugs and unregulated distribution.  They say kids will get stoned at school; They do that already because it's unregulated, under a regulated system selling unregulated product is illegal and selling unregulated product to a kid becomnes a serious felony for which there will be a registration much like sex offenders.  Once you have dealt to kids you are no longer trusted with either pot or kids.

As I said, I totally agree; what you grow in your backyard for your use at your home, totally unregulated.  If you sell your crop or the crops you buy then to the public then the crop needs to be regulated for publically safety.  Let's face it not every one will grow their own.  People will want to open cafe's and whole rich market will devolop but if it does so without guidence and regulation and without paying for itself the liberation won't last a year without being declared a national disaster.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Mmmm, it sure smells nice in here!:D


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Just to set the record straight, JamaGenee, I do not believe marijauna should be illegal, but I also see no reason to indulge in it. Neither do I oppose prohibition of alcohol, despite the fact that only last night I attended the wake of a VFW member's 35-year-old son who was killed by an allegedly drunken driver. It surprises me, personally, that so many hubbers here endorse smoking marijuana. But I would never suggest that anyone should be arrested for using marijuana "recreationally." At the same time, I totally endorse the use of medicinal marijuana when and if it relieves unwanted symptoms. I smoked cigarettes for many years, and I enjoyed the habit, and I drank my share of alcohol as a youth, but I wouldn't suggest that my grandchildren follow in my footsteps in that regard. Fundamentally, I simply don't think it's wise to take any kind of mind altering drug for recreation purposes, whether it be marijuana, cigarettes, a scotch and soda or rat poison.


TheSandman 7 years ago

Bring Back Prohibition !!! Alcohol Kills!!! a drunk driver killed my best friend. When I do drink I have the good sense to stay home, or walk, unfortuntaley a lot of people do not have that kind of sense. In my experience with pot, it makes you generally to lazy to do much more than watch the grass grow, which can be a very pleasurable experience.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Sandman, prohibition didn't eliminate alcohol use, same for pot. The resources now used on catching pot users could be re-directed to getting drunk drivers off the street, stopping abusive spouses, and generally UN-glamorizing booze.

Alcohol killed my best friend too, although it was self-inflicted over 30 years.  I personally prefer watching grass grow from above, not below.  btw, pot smoke will make flies *hover*.  Another pleasurable experience that kept me and friends entertained for hours!   


mysticdave profile image

mysticdave 7 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

I agree totally, all the money spent on catching pot users is a total waste. It should be spent on the "legal" substances, such as alcohol, which has been proven time and time again to be more dangerous and harmful to the well being of mankind. It seems to me, when you prohibit something, you give the criminals more power, because they end up controling it, i.e. organized crime, etc. I guess the powers that be kinda like it that way because it's like job security for them or something. Like the bigger the problem gets, the more money and resources they get, and that ends up meaning more and more control over the populace. Kind of makes you think, hmmm............


Horatio Baccus profile image

Horatio Baccus 7 years ago from PDX

Too right MD. Just think how much smaller budgets DEA IBE and DHS would have if suddenly the the Drug Cartels had 60% of their profits cut off without having to so much as make a traffic stop. The punch line is that because the Cartels wouldn't have money coming in from pot, cocaine, herion, and meth would all experience a price spike because currently their costly and risk intensive production, transportation, and distribution is being subsidized by the Cartel's cross border grow operations which net something like 500 bucks profit for every doller spent.


Silver Freak profile image

Silver Freak 7 years ago from The state of confusion

I have to agree with everything you've said here. There is another side benefit to this that nobody has mentioned. Think how many more teens will get employment at places like Pizza Hut and Domino's! There could be new Oreo factories popping up all over to keep up with the demand for munchies. Potato chip and cracker factories will be hiring hundreds to keep up  with the increased demand.

Legalizing pot could very well supply the economic stimulus we need to drag ourselves out of the depression our world is in!

Then there's the need for paraphernalia. An entire new industry could be built around pipes and hookahs, not to mention really elegant roach clips. Videos that run and re-run for hours with wonderful visual effects that will keep a stoner fascinated. The entire entertainment industry could be revitalized in a new and calmer direction.

There could even be advances in the paranormal research area. After all, everyone knows that when you're high you can levitate a 2lb bag of oreos from the kitchen to the couch! The real mystery is how it got turned outside in and licked clean! LOL


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

Its sad that people who drink and drive had caused fatal accidents but gets away with it like its just a traffic accident? I had a friend who dated a guy like that. Plus he was bad news to begin with. I'm glad that she finally got the message after he pulled a gun out on her.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

'Bad news' is an understatement, mayhmong! A drunk with a gun. Too many of those around these days, but sadly, completely legal. No wonder cops would rather deal with a suspect high on pot....


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

As an avid gardener, my yard is filled with deadly poison. It's crazy how many average plants and weeds are deadly. I even bought some seeds for castor bean plants from a catalouge, that's what they use to make reisin. But if I had a pot plant I'd be arrested. It's ridiculous.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Dolores, it *is* ridiculous that pot is prohibited as "dangerous" on several levels when average plants and weed are not. Apparently it's okay if a plant can kill you, but not okay if a plant can give you a case of the giggles. Seems to me we need more giggles and less death.


MissJamieD profile image

MissJamieD 7 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

Everyone here has made good points and I have enjoyed reading them. Here's the lowdown: Pot makes you happy and relaxed, it's grown in nature, it's NEVER caused a death, it alone has never caused abuse, it's no different a substance than any other OTC drug (Sudafed and Benadryl that cause drowsiness, hence the warning labels and the fact that not everyone has the body chemistry to handle them), we can never stop children from getting their hands on illegal substances no matter what we do-that's the nature of the beast (reality), need I go on?

This is an awesome hub, you pointed out important facts and figures. I also believe that pot will be legalized soon. Why else would it be such a hot topic right now and not in the past? Great job:)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Jamie! You made an equally good case for legalization in your hub too. The more the merrier. btw, the similarity between pot and OTC drugs never occurred to me until you said that. So true. So let's ban Sudafed and Benadryl for awhile and see how well *that* goes over! ;D


Fishin' Cricket profile image

Fishin' Cricket 7 years ago from The Ozarks Hills and Hollers of MIssouri

Jama, fantastic hub! (starry eyed) will you be my friend?


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Only if you bring the Oreos!  Oh where are my manners! I'll be your friend even if you don't! ;D  (Glad you liked the hub) :)


J. Kumm profile image

J. Kumm 7 years ago from Washington

It's sad that this is even up for debate to the point that you had to write about it. Great hub, here.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

J. Kumm, I totally agree. The list of how the U.S. lags behind other developed countries is getting longer every day. Very sad.


Fishin' Cricket profile image

Fishin' Cricket 7 years ago from The Ozarks Hills and Hollers of MIssouri

Yeah, tell that to the metric system... LOL


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Hey, Cricket! You're right. I'm for one am ever thankful that we didn't go metric here. It's our way of getting back at England for refusing to drive on the right (and correct) side of the road! ;D


Model_Mom profile image

Model_Mom 7 years ago

Not to mention, if we did legalize and tax it, what good would that do for the man? It's legal, I would buy from my suppliers as usual, I wouldn't buy weed with taxes tagged on. That's silly. Once we get all the old thinkers out of power I am sure we will see changes. A new generation of thinkers are taking over and hopefully that will make all the difference. Not only with pot, but everything else that is wrong in this world as a result of our previous world leaders.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

I couldn't agree more!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I smoked it once in Vietnam, once in Laos, once in the international waters, once in AmsterJam. But- I never inhaled!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Well, of course you didn't. ;D}}}}}}}}}}}}


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

You said it all in a short time. I worked at a mental health facility for adolescents for 10 years. I worked with some exceptional young people who would be succssessful if people could tolerate their behavior. I was a voc instructor and had few problems. We kept busy and had fun. Made a little money too. Several of the kids I worked with got busted for simple posession after turning 18. 1st offence = pre-trial diversion = 6 mths probation with random drug testing. Some of them peed dirty every time - new charge ... violation of probation. Next step 1yr probation/random test. Next step 90 days to 1yr in county jail depending on the judge. Out on probation - pee dirty - violate - 2 yrs state penitentary. I left out the "failure to appear" charges these guys always racked up.

I had to sit down and cry a couple of times. Why couldn't they just work in my shop. I probably wouldn't say anything if they went out back for a puff on break, put on some tunes and stayed on task for 2 hours straight. The war on drugs is a war on people.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

WD, Part One of Ken Burns' new PBS series "Prohibition" was on last night, and there's no way to watch it without mentally substituting "marijuana" for "alcohol". The effect on society as a whole is the same. Those who grow or import pot, or run the prisons to house "offenders", get richer while states get poorer from footing the bill for "enforcement", and Society loses a wealth of brain power to unnecessary incarceration.

We supposedly learned the lesson from Prohibition that making a substance used by millions "illegal" doesn't stop its use - in fact, it *increases* it - so, yes, the "war on drugs" IS a war on people, and one we will NEVER win as long as *using* drugs deemed "illegal" is a "crime".


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

Excellent and rational article! But I think our political leaders are too afraid to make changes at this time. I can relate as I'm a retired mental health and addiction counselor. We need to figure out an approach to help "the powers that be" vent their stressful emotions so their brains can think outside of the box. What do you think? I like to write about emotional recovery and miracles. Peace and Light...Gary.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Gary, I'm not sure "the powers that be" are capable of thinking outside the box anymore. There's a huge difference between stressful emotions and being hardwired from birth to an irrational, illogical belief system. As you well know, one has to WANT to change before change can happen.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Great hub and you made some excellent points. I have never smoked anything nor did any illegal drugs but I think that police chief is correct. There was a HUGE discovery of marijuana plants growing in a field not far from Houston a few days ago. Made the news and it was ripped out and burned. They had not yet caught the "farmers" last I heard. If it was legalized and taxed just like cigarettes and alcohol, it would bring in more revenue and our jails could house the serious criminals and perhaps keep them there longer instead of the revolving door which so often happens today...letting serious offenders (murderers, rapists, etc.) out sooner than their full sentences because of the overcrowding factor.

Innocent people who wander off the beaten track could be killed by the people with guns protecting the illegal marijuana fields. My mother and I were actually warned of that fact when we were driving through a part of Arkansas one year. People at a local eatery obviously took a liking to us and shared that information. We appreciated the advice!

Voted useful, interesting and up!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Peggy, you also make some very valid points. In many states, the biggest cash crop isn't wheat or soybeans or alfalfa, but marijuana, and there's no GOOD reason states should not be receiving millions in tax revenue from the legal sale of it rather than spending millions to hunt, prosecute and jail those who grow or use it. One would think we would've learned a lesson from what happened when alcohol was illegal. Prohibition didn't stop people from drinking. In fact, alcohol use went UP during those years, and made alcohol an attractive money-maker for the Mob, who also used force to protect their "fields".

I can't help but think that if marijuana were legal, there'd be a lot less alcohol-related domestic abuse and traffic deaths. That in itself would save millions in law enforcement resources as well as lives ruined or needlessly snuffed out.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

It seems simple enough to us. Must be a lot harder for our congressional lawmakers to understand. The tax revenue alone should make them take notice while we are currently in such a financial mess! But then it seems that they have a hard time making decisions of any kind these days.


GoGreenTips profile image

GoGreenTips 5 years ago from Indianapolis

Great hub and i agree with everything you say, but I think that having marijuana illegal is probably big business to someone. After all many jails and prisons are operated by the same contractors that supply our arms for the many unnecessary wars that we wage endlessly. Many laws allow local municipalities to confiscate property sell it and use the money for their cities or states.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

You nailed it, GoGreen Tips! Prisons make tons of money from incarcerating pot users and dealers, as do municipalities not only from confiscating their property, but from federal grants for law enforcement. I just read on one of the legalization blogs that certain members of Congress are trying to cancel those grants, which will take away the incentive for the communities receiving them to waste law enforcement resources on ferreting out people using pot in the privacy of their home, and force them to devote those same resources to catching real criminals instead. Also, a new study shows drunk-driving accidents and deaths have gone down significantly because people are using pot instead of alcohol (and staying off the road!). Well, duh. ;D


Sooner28 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this. I am voting it up and sharing it.


peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 4 years ago from Placentia California

I read your article and most of the comments. I don't think there is anymore I can say that hasn't already been said other that it is was a very thought provoking article.

Thanks for SHARING.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

I am glad to have found your well-written article on the legalization of marijuana. If politicians could just wrap their minds around the money-making potential of legalizing this plant product, maybe they could get past the loss of revenue from incarcerating people who have harmed no one.

Voted up and SHARED.


Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

What really bugs me about the whole thing, is pot was made illegal originally because the logginig industry wanted to use trees for paper instead of hemp. Do you know how many trees we could save using hemp for paper? I mean come on!

I know when I smoke, I do not feel like getting off the couch, except for maybe some munchies. I definitely don't feel like fighting anyone, or going anywhere. Pot should be used as not only the painkiller it is (and it's amazing for those with migraines, I can attest to that) but as an antidepressant as well. It is very well documented that pot increases not only serotonin levels in the brain but dopamine as well. It's a happy drug!

There are so many people out there who can only get relief from chronic pain with this plant. It's not even a drug, it's a freakin plant, an herb. Mother nature put it on this earth for a reason, we're just to dumb not to see it.


Sooner28 4 years ago

@Daughter of Maat,

We can hope it changes soon! People still have an aversion to legalizing drugs, because of the campaigns they have been hammered with throughout the years. And some drugs are definitely harmful. But legalizing marijuana would take away the criminal aspect, and it would also bring in revenue for the government! It's a win win if you ask me.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Sooner28, that you for reading and for the thumbs up!

peoplepower73, you're so right. There's nothing to add to arguments for legalizing marijuana. What is surprising, however, is how long it's taking to get it done. Prohibition of alcohol was repealed after only 10 years or so. But then, alcohol wasn't lumped in with a bunch of truly dangerous, addictive drugs. That seems to be the sticking point - guilt by association.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

L.L. Woodward, thank you for the kudos! So far, politicians prefer to wrap their hands - not their heads - around the cash they receive from the privatized prison industry to keep pot illegal. However, recent studies are showing the current crop of teens are shunning alcohol as the recreational drug of choice, so this generation may finally be the one to turn the tide to legalization. Plus, the current crop of politicians is aging, and many teens who see no reason for pot to remain illegal will eventually be replacing them in legislatures all over the country and becoming members of Congress.

Daughter of Maat, it makes no sense to me either that killing trees to make paper was ever deemed preferable to growing quickly renewable crops of hemp to make not only paper, but many other everyday items.

As for the rest of your comment, I've never (knock on wood) had to use pot as a pain killer, but smoking it always left me feeling wonderfully "refreshed" the next morning instead of like I'd been run over by a truck (or two), as alcohol did/does. And driving a car was totally out of the question, which is why so many teens are now choosing it over alcohol. What's not to like about a substance that keeps woozy drivers off the road? ;D


Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

I totally agree there. Anything that keeps drunk adolescents off the road can't be too bad.

I find it interesting that many of our prescription drugs, which are derivatives of street drugs, are "ok" and pot, again which is an herb, is taboo. Many prescriptions are more harmful to the body than pot will ever be. It's just a shame really that it's illegal to grow a plant that mother nature provides. But then again, I also find it odd that we have to pay for food which mother nature also provides....


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

DOM, I find it interesting, too, that prescription drugs that have been derived from street drugs are "okay", but the dried leaves of a certain plant are not. Such is the power of BigPharma's own addiction to $$$ and with that money, to manipulate our laws to their benefit.

The sole purpose of the ads for "wonder drugs" flooding the airways is to keep that river of money flowing into its coffers. BP is quite aware taking a drug for one condition and a second drug for another condition will produce symptoms that (supposedly) can only be "helped" by taking a third. Cha ching, cha ching.

THC, on the other hand, can eliminate the demand for all but a few of BP's over-priced wares. So it's no surprise BigPharma (and hospital chains) want to keep pot illegal, as do the alcohol and prison industries because of the impact legalization would have on their profits, too.

But more and more people are catching on to the lie that pot is "dangerous", and like you are questioning why it should be illegal to grow it for personal use.


Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

Exactly, and all of that corruption permeates ever facet of government. I think people are starting to become wise to what our government has been doing to control us all these years. I don't know that it's happening fast enough, but it is happening. With the advent of the internet, knowledge is now easily accessible to those who can't afford further education. Not good for bigpharma or any of the other conglomerates that have an interest in bleeding us dry.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

If anyone doubts privatized prison "management" hasn't become a lucrative revenue stream for BigBuisness, read this recent article: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/78917...

There's only ONE way states could fulfill the contractual obligation to "guarantee 90% occupancy" and that's for courts and judges to turn a blind eye to justice and leniency for pot use. And guess who pays the bills at these prisons? WE do!


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Jama... easy to grow and years ago easy to use... lol... I think I still have some in my system... who said that anyway.

Drug laws are changing all over the world. I have the condition Glaucoma and my specialist is somewhat of an old recycled hippy (like me) and he says I could qualify for the medical stuff. Would I... lol... I think not like I said I still have some left over in me and that was 35 years ago. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Hugs from Canada


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Said what???? lol! With so many countries pressuring the U.S. to end the famously-failed "war" on drugs, we have no business calling ourselves "leader of the free world" when the attitude about pot in those countries is far freer than ours.

Legalizing pot doesn't mean anybody HAS to use it, or that everybody with a medical condition it's been shown to help HAS to go that route. It only means we'll stop filling our prisons with our best and (probably) brightest citizens.

35 years, huh? I'm TOLD today's marijuana is 10 times stronger than pot back in the day. Ohhhh myyyy. Perma Grin on steroids...just park that Oreo delivery truck in the driveway and come back for it in the morning! ;D

Hugs from Oklahoma


Sparrowlet profile image

Sparrowlet 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Here in Massachusetts, they've de-criminalized marijuana. As long as you have an ounce or less on you and you're not dealing, you get a pass. I agree to your wider point about the cost of incarceration vs. treating people with addiction. In my opinion, if we channeled the money we now spend on the drug war (which we are losing) into education and rehab for those addicted, we'd be way ahead of the game!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Sparrowlet, you are soooo right about channeling the Drug War money into education and rehab. However, I must point out that marijuana is far less of a danger to society than alcohol, and should never have been lumped in with "hard" drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth in the first place. Hopefully the day will come when people can openly enjoy whatever form of pot they prefer at a "cocktail" party without worrying that the next knock at the door will be a S.W.A.T. team.

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